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Published: August 3rd 2014
I arrived in Bristol Friday aafternoon. I made my way by bus up to my AirBnb room, and luckily got off at the right bus stop. When I arrived at the house, I rang the bell and no one answered. I rang again and no one answered. I pulled out my phone and called my host -- answering machine. Great. Now what? I decided to hang out on the front wall of the house and hope she'd just been out to grab something as I'd arrived about 20 min. later than expected. Then suddenly the door opened and she was there! Apparently she'd been on the phone out in the garden and didn't hear the doorbell. Phew! I was starting to think I might have to camp out in the front yard...
She let me do two loads of laundry, which was fantastic since the last place I'd wanted to laundry had a broken machine. The only problem was that everything would have to air dry. Fortunately I had enough clean clothes for that day and the next, so I popped everything else into the wash. I sat in the kitchen with her while the first load went, and she made me a cup of tea, and we chatted while she did some ironing. Stella was very friendly, telling me a bit about her life, her AirBnb guests, and a bit about Bristol.
During the second load of laundry, I decided to go out and check out the supermarket, and get a bite to eat. There were a few shops nearby, and I decided on a burger. Unfortunately by this time it had started to rain, so out came the jacket and brolly. Yup, this is England!
By the time I got back to the house, the laundry was done, so I hung it up, and headed out to meet Sam. In the rain we walked around, checked out some architecture, stopped for a pint of cider, and then met up with Grace for dinner. Our pizza was delicious!
Fortunately by this point the rain had stopped, so we walked around a bit more and headed to the Old Duke, an old pub that played jazz. The singer was fantastic, and there was just enough room for one couple to dance. Sam and Grace danced one, and then Sam and I danced one. Partway through the song, another guy cut in, and we were dancing. I figured he had to be a lindy hopper or some drunk guy, but his dance skills were too good for a random drunk guy. It turned out to be Zack, a friend of Sam and Grace's. We hung out for a while longer, going outside for a while since it was too warm in the crowded pub. We danced a few more songs, and then headed back to my bus stop.
Saturday was supposed to be a stormy wet day, but luckily, the weather predictions were wrong! It only really rained for a short time after lunch, and the sun reappeared not too long after.
I met up with Sam and Grace around 11:30am (as there were issues with my bus and it following its timetable), and we walked all over Bristol. We went to the suspension bridge, and checked out the camera obscura (so cool how the lenses and lights worked to reflect the area outside the little tower!)
We walked past some 18th century houses, went up Cabot Tower, and walked along the harbour. We climbed aboard some old sailing ships (one was used in Pirates of the Caribbean) and when we were tired, headed to a pub. We were going to go to one that had board games, but stumbled upon one with live jazz. And yes, we danced! We met up with other dancers, including Zack, and stayed until we got hungry. Since it was a pricier place, we went elsewhere for food, and went back later for more music. The highlight of the night was the rockabilly band, and dancing rock 'n roll. We were complimented on our dancing (by non-dancers) and had a lot of fun. I'll definitely need to go back to Bristol to visit again with Sam and Grace, perhaps see Bath, or maybe go during the hot balloon festival (which goes on annually, this year's being NEXT weekend).
Next stop: London!
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