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March 30th 2007
Published: March 30th 2007
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Concorde at FiltonConcorde at FiltonConcorde at Filton

Both of us infront of the Mach Meter
Friday March 30

Arrived at our hotel, Holland House, in Bristol. Yes, a change from our original itinerary. It’s a new hotel only that only opened a 9 days ago. Its very smart, a few minor teething problems, to be expected at this stage, but very comfortable, a good find!

Unpacked, we freshened up and walked into the city centre for dinner. We eventually found a small restaurant near the pub we had planned on visiting later, called Johns Café. Despite the name, it was Thai, but with several strange influences like Pappadums and Naan and Roasties (small potatoes), all served by English staff.

After dinner we went to a Pub called The Old Market Tavern. It wasn’t very busy though, so we moved on to another pub, The Griffin which was a bit more lively. Lucky for us we only had a beer each, it cost $15 AUD for 2 beers! Closing time came around soon, and we took a taxi back to the hotel.

Saturday March 31

Up early today as we had booked tickets for the ‘Concorde Experience’ Tour, at the Airbus Complex at Filton. We left the hotel and had breakfast at Sainsburys on the way to Filton. We waited for the bus to arrive for the tour and Jeff asked, ‘where is everyone else?’ to which the guide answered ‘Ah, you are the only 2 booked this morning, you get a private tour!’ We were amazed, as the tours normally take 24 people, and the other 2 tours were full.

We drove through the Airbus complex, the site having history back to 1916 as a place where various aircraft have been built. After touring past some hangers and parked aircraft, we arrived at the Concorde Visitor Centre. We were ushered inside and watched an introductory video, before stepping out onto the tarmac under the majestic Concorde.

Wow, what a thrill, and how lucky to be experiencing it with our own personal guide! We climbed the stairs and entered the aircraft. Paul was surprised how compact the cabin was, only 2 seats either side of a central aisle, not much bigger than Economy class seats, but with considerably more legroom. The windows are tiny but you can still see out very clearly. After our tour of the cabin, we moved into the Flight Deck, and despite being so technologically advanced, the myriad of dials and switches gave it an old fashioned look compared to newer aircraft.

After another walk through, we moved onto the tarmac and another guide took over to give us the tour from the outside. The wind was quite strong, but we enjoyed hearing all that he had to tell us. After taking lots of photos, and going onto the aircraft again for more, we moved inside the visitor centre again, where Jeff raided the souvenir shop, and we watched a final video. Back on the bus, and back to the meeting point, feeling so lucky to have experienced this Icon on our own ‘private’ tour.

We went back to our hotel, checked the map and walked to the city centre this took about 10 minutes. We went to Marks and Spencers and purchased some pre made sandwiches for lunch. After lunch we went to Primark, a clothing chain, great value clothes with good bargains.

After walking around Bristol, it is very noticeable the most of the buildings are post-war. Bristol was heavily bombed in WW2, and there are a few churches left as monuments.

Later that evening we went to a pub called the Stag and Hounds to meet a friend and his mates. When we got to the pub there were only 2 people there, and we were worried that it could me a repeat of last night. When Mike arrived with his 3 friends the pub became busier, and good fun. After a few beers, Mike decided it was time to move to another pub, but neither of us noticed the name. It was quite busy fun with good music, but before we knew it, it was 3am and time to leave.

Next morning, we woke up with sore heads, but packed our bags and were able to extend our check out until 12.30. We programmed our Sat-Nav to Heathrow and we were on our way. Bristol was short stay, but a lot of fun, and we look forward to another visit.

Additional photos below
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7th April 2007

Bristol etc...
Hey Guys, great to see you while you were here on your very short stay... lets hope next time you can make it a bit longer? All the best for the rest of your trip... Mike

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