An escape to Bristol

Teardrop – Massive Attack

Hey, coucou

After posting two recipes this week, I’m taking you with me to Bristol with its autumnal colours. Those photos were taken last year but I couldn’t post them any other day than today, November 11th so they’ve nicely waited for a year in my album.

We went to visit Bristol last year, on November 13th for the « Remembrance Sunday ». I don’t know if you know about this but in France we have a lot of bank holidays and November 11th is one of them, it is strange for us not to have a day off on that day but, in the end, it is fine. What is great is that you still commemorate the First World War, you don’t need a bank holiday for that and we really appreciate it. We were surprised on the November 11th because we were at Ikea and at 11h11 everyone stopped moving, everyone stopped speaking. It was intense.

Because the Cathedral is very famous, it was the first thing we wanted to visit. We didn’t know until we arrived but there was an exhibition in front of it… The atmosphere was really special, I’ve got photos for you to imagine how it was.

The exhibition was called « Shrouds of the Somme » and was created by Rob Heard. On July 1st 1916, 19 240 soldiers of the British Empire were killed and it was only the first day at the Battle of the Somme. In the end, on November 18th 1916, 127 751 soldiers were killed in one of the bloodiest battle ever. The artist sewed white sheets on dolls to represent the 19 240 first deaths of that battle. Usually, crosses with poppies are alined and it is very touching but seeing dolls it makes things more real, it is very breath taking.

We were kind of cooled, fixed, when we entered the cathedral to visit it.

In 1140 an abbaye was founded here. A lot of things happened and in 1539 the abbaye is dissolved. In 1542 what was left of the abbaye became the cathedral. In 1941 war damages destroyed the stained glasses of the North Wing of the nave. They were replaced by stained glasses commemorating the war contribution by civil forces.

Here’s the nave and a beautiful sculpture. The inside of the cathedral is very, very, very pretty; the stained glasses are sumptuous. There is something quite special here, in the UK because your cemeteries are often very close to the cathedrals or churches, as a garden whereas in France they are not and it is a curiosity for us. Your graves are different too. Of course we visited the « garden » of the cathedral where really old graves are with trees and decorations, it might appear seedy but culturally speaking I think it is interesting…

Back in town, we saw the city hall with that fancy man looking perplexed and a wink to our beloved French city.

Then we went to visit Saint Mary Redcliffe Church, it was on our map so we were like « why not? »

This church, on those grounds, dates back to 1292 – 1370, it is an anglican parish that Queen Elizabeth I loved, especially because of what makes it famous: its gothic architecture. It is also interesting from the inside because of its little treasures; a statue of Queen Elizabeth I, an octogonal medieval column with an angel, Sir William Penn’s armour (founding father of Pennsylvania, pretty impressive right?), and the graves of rich benefactors of the church as well as its stained glasses.

And something intrigued me quite a lot: this (click on the link to see it)!

It might only be a water sculpture for you but it is more than that. Water sinks by a pipe and spreads through the moving rod. By chance (or accident, see it as you like), we never know where the water is going to fall which means that we don’t know where the rod is going to go. It is written on the sign that it is a metaphor to life: you never know what is going to happen by chance or by accident… Intriguing, right? It intrigued me so much that I just couldn’t move away, I got stuck and le Barbu was completely desperate by my « bug system ». And every time I watch that video I’m like « mmm quite true », it is calming.

We ended our Bristol walk by a walk around the Christmas market and of course, a street art walk. Bristol is well-known worldwide for its street art, there are specialized city guides, specialized maps which will tell you where to find the most beautiful, the most unexpected, the funniest, the one you shouldn’t miss… We saw a lot of them but I’m just going to share my 4 favourite in a non-ordered way.

The first one doesn’t need any comment, it is just so cool and powerful! I don’t really have any reason for the second, I like its shape.

Is it possible to talk about Bristol without mentioning Banksy? Of course not. You will find this graffiti on Stokes Croft, it is quite old (1999), I admit but I think it is accurate even nowadays. There are a lot of Banksy’s graffiti in Bristol but it was the one I really wanted to see. Another graffiti I really wanted to see: « Breakdancing Jesus » by Cosmo Sarson. I think it is very beautiful and in reality it is very stunning (8,5 meters), I love it! It is also on Stokes Croft and by the way, if you like street art, that’s somewhere to go for sure.

Et voilà, my post on Bristol is already over. Unfortunately I couldn’t show you everything we did or saw but there are a lot of things we weren’t able to do so I’m planning on going there again, an afternoon to visit Bristol is not enough, there is plenty to see. If you have « must sees », share them here please :)

Here’s Bristol port, nice and a little hipster. Des bisous

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