For the two weeks that we have been in London, the weather has been sunny, hot, and humid. The first day that was a bit cloudy, we decided to take a train to Brighton. Even though it was a Saturday and we knew it would be packed, we decided to go anyway because part of the experience is the crowded promenades and beaches. At the London Bridge train station, we had to wait in line for 20 minutes to buy our tickets then ran to the platform to catch the next train. Luckily we got seats, but they were next to 4 really loud children with inattentive parents. After the hour commute we were very happy to arrive and start exploring.
The morning was cloudy but it started to clear up as soon as we got down to the seaside. It was a relief from the heat wave that hit London right when we arrived. The unseasonably hot and dry weather has resulted in the driest July that England has experienced in 250 years, a phenomenon no doubt the result of global warming. We just found out that the North Pole has been reduced to a lake due to rapid ice melt, which is distressing to say the least.
The first thing we did was go to the pier.
Kelly was really stoked to find a Zoltar. This machine was prominently featured in the movie “Big,” where Tom Hanks is transformed from a child to an adult by a magical Zoltar fortune telling machine. Unfortunately the machine was out of paper to print out fortunes. Kelly was sad but decided not to complain to anybody except Mi.
We went inside the arcade and played some video games. Mi gravitated towards the Star Trek games. Had there been an Indiana Jones game, we would have been there all day.
We watched a few people get thrown off a mechanical bull but decided it wasn’t worth the money for us.
Kelly took this guy up on a game to ride this bike a short distance to win £10. When the rider moves the handle bars, they steer the bike in the opposite direction. On one attempt Kelly made it 3/4 of the way but fell right before the finish line. It was a quid well spent.
We walked down the promenade and watched some guys play volleyball.
One volleyball player was dressed as a penis.
Next to the marina there was a game where people in air bubbles try to run on water. These girls were not able to master the skill. The one in the white shirt kept throwing herself at the side of her bubble to try to gain forward momentum, instead she just belly flopped and went nowhere.
Fish and Chip places are everywhere, especially on the coast.
Brighton is a very artistic and gay-friendly town. There is an entire area that has gay bars, stores and restaurants. We found this little gem painted on the side of a bar.
After wandering around for a long time we finally found a vegan restaurant named V-bites. Mi ordered fake fish and chips and Kelly ordered a falafel wrap. The food was spectacular. After lunch we split a carrot cake. Mi’s face says it all. It was fantastic!
Street performers are frequent in Brighton. These two played steel drums and a clarinet for an audience of picnickers in the park. It was very relaxing.
The sun came out in full force as the afternoon wore on. Despite our busy travel schedule and desire to see as much as we can in our short time here, we always seem to find time to smell the flowers, or in Mi’s case, put your whole face in the flowers. We stopped and smelled as many as we could.
We went to the rocky beach and hung out in the crowds of people. The water was colder than that of the Indonesian and Thai coasts but not nearly as cold as the icy California ocean waters. Dipping our toes in was a pleasant relief from the heat. We found plenty of interesting rocks and even took a couple home to remember our time in Brighton.
We had such a good time in Brighton. It had been months since we were by the ocean and when we were last at the beach in Southeast Asia it was so humid it didn’t remind us of what we were used to. Both of us are from the California coast so we quickly come to miss the cool breeze and salty smells. In Brighton, the salty air and overcast sky reminded us of Ventura.
Next stop, the V&A museum for the David Bowie exhibit!