Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Brighton, East Sussex, UK

Actual date of this event: 21 June

Clear blues on a Saturday are rare in Britain. But when they appear, you better believe that the whole nation flocks outside. We chose to spend our sunny Saturday in Brighton... finally!
Luke and I had been planning to visit Brighton since, forever. We had heard it is a pretty neat coastal town with a beach, shopping, pier, and a huge gay community. You may think I am being a little upfront about that, but Brighton is known for its gay community... it's a fact. Anyway, we hopped on the train for about an hour before our exploration began. The first thing we noticed was the hill that led down to the beach, which meant we would have to walk back up that hill later.

I was quite surprised at how not-jam-packed the beach was. There were definitely people and families out, but not as many as I expected. The rocky beach was a pretty steep slope down to the water, and we saw the West Pier which recently burned down.

There are several restaurants and bars that line the seafront. We decided to sit for tapas for lunch before moving on.
With so much sun, we just had to lay out for a bit. I took an ankle-deep dip in the water, but within seconds my feet were freezing! But hey, I can say I stood in the English Channel :-)

Neither of us put sunscreen on, we figured the Greek sun from the week before was much more brutal than the English sun. We were proved wrong as both of us ended up pretty sunburned. We walked down to the Palace Pier to check it out.

I am pretty sure that as soon as we stepped foot onto this pier, we went back to 1980-something. Everything was pretty dated, but it totally worked! Walking to the end of the pier and back, we crossed rides, an arcade, food stalls, pubs, restaurants - it was all pretty hoppin'! There were even free toilets which was a huge plus!

It was about 3pm now, and the beaches were getting more and more crowded.
Leaving the pier, we followed the Volks Railway east along the coast. The railway was the first public electric railway in the world - it opened in 1883, and it is now a tourist attraction.

Luke and I made our way inland to see the actual town. I had seen picture of the Royal Pavilion before, and it looked totally out of place in an English town, but at the same time really amazing. It was designed by the same guy responsible for Buckingham Palace and Regents Street in London. To me, it looks Taj Mahal-esque.

We wandered into what makes Brighton awesome, the little hippy-section of town located between North Laine and Church Street, call North Laine. The streets were rows and rows of vintage stores, second hand shops, music stores, pubs, and coffee shops. Since it was such a nice day, every outdoor table was full and small market tables were set up selling all kinds of random stuff. We sat at a few places for some drinks to enjoy the weather and atmosphere.

We took a wander through The Lanes which was where the old fishing village of Brighton was located. It is now full of jewelry shops and a few other shops though. It wasn't all too exciting except it is a handful of windy little paths which are always fun to explore. I attempted a few pictures in the area, but none came out decent as the lanes were so narrow. Luke and I stopped a few more times for drinks before walking back the beach for one last glimpse.
It was much much more lively than it was when we were on the beach. As it was 6pm, we made the decision to head back up the hill to the train station to go home for dinner rather than staying in Brighton for a few more hours. We enjoyed our day and thought Brighton was a neat little town! It is nice to know that we can be on a beach in an hour even if it has freezing cold water!

Brighton's Sea Life Centre is the oldest working Aquarium in the world.

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