|Bristol - it does what it says on the can|
The billboard says it all. We loved Bristol the first time we visited and second time round it's maybe even better.
The harbourside is so vibrant and full of energy; from the crowded, noisy bars and restaurants ranged along by Pero's Bridge to the streams of boats enjoying the water, everyone's having fun in the sun (when there is some).
|Harbourside variety from chic houses...|
|...to blocks of apartments squeezed into every inch|
|Deceptive frontage of the cathedral is actually Victorian|
Very strangely, though it looks medieval, half the cathedral was built in Victorian times - including the huge twin towers that are its major feature.
This all replaced an original nave which had been demolished back in the 16th century.
It's a splendid building inside but I'm afraid we didn't warm to it. Too many of the memorials and tombs seem to be of bishops and it leaves the impression of the church simply commemorating itself. The exception being the tombs of various Berkeleys who we met back at Berkeley Castle and whose wealthy empire clearly enveloped Bristol as well.
|The elegant St Mary Redcliffe church|
|It boats a stunning vaulted interior|
|Sir William Cannings|
|And his cook|
We haven't just been looking at churches. Today we trekked up the steep hills out of the city to the delightful Georgian suburb of Clifton. It has always been one of the most affluent areas of the city, built from the ignoble earnings of the tobacco and slave trades.
Today it has a serious dose of affluenza. with its posh designer kitchen shops, 'artisan' butchers and bakers, wine bars and restaurants, all of them teeming with the well heeled elite who, the cynic wonders, are probably employed in today's equivalent of those Georgian era high earners - banking and marketing.
|The great man dominates new visitor centre|
|Seen from the bridge, our route into the harbour|
It's a great Centre, with plenty of historical and engineering background about the bridge which was only completed several years after Brunel's death.
To round off our weekend we have 'Make Sunday Special' to look forward to when the city centre is closed to traffic for a day of fun, food and entertainment. Can't wait.