A lot has happened since last time.

I’ve had to remind myself recently that things going wrong make for some of the best travel stories as some kind of consolation for having been robbed in Mexico a few weeks back. It’s a drama filled story and does serve as a good travel battle story, but for now as I’m without photos I think I should try and retell the final few weeks of my Europe adventure before the memories fade. Stories of Mexico (and an entire North American trip) will be told in coming posts.

So having finished the last proper blog at Glastonbury, while the majority of the festival headed back for London Town a few of our crew boarded the National Express bound for Bristol, where my good buddy Michael lives. I’ve been meaning to head out that way for some time now, but after reports of 7+ hour coach rides back to London I’m quite glad I opted to head to Bristol, if only because the trip didn’t encounter traffic once and had us at our destination in under 60 mins (Pro tip: If you ever go to Glastonbury, make sure to return via Bristol, and spend some time checking it out). Bristol turned out to be an excellent alternative to the bustle of London, plenty of places to shop if that’s your thing, and if you like street art there is plenty to spot; notably plenty of Banksy artworks peppered around the city.

Defaced by a local anti-graffiti group; the irony obviously lost on them.

I spent about four days in and around the city, strolling about the place just taking it all in. I’d been recommended the Clifton Suspension Bridge, spanning the Avon Gorge with brilliant views over the city. To be honest I was expecting something incomprehensibly big and almost majestic, but seeing it in front of me, a narrow two-lane bridge that’s old and somewhat fragile looking, it suddenly became a whole lot less impressive than my imagination pictured it to be.

A quick day trip out to Cardiff, Wales was also on the cards. From Bristol it must have been less than an hour from point to point on the train, and well worth the trip. As usual, I spent the day walking until my feet were numb, past the Millennium Stadium, along Cardiff Castle, through Bute Park (where the pic from the last blog was taken) and back towards the bay. I would like to go back and spend a good couple days there, it seemed there was plenty worth checking out.

Before leaving Michael and I had organised to go to local dive bar, The Fleece, to go check out Gallows. To see these guys live is mind blowing, their intensity is unrivalled and with the personality of the band residing largely in frontman Frank Carter, I’m stoked to have caught him with the band one last time before the announcement of his departure mere weeks later.

I enjoyed hanging out in somewhere that wasn’t London for once. I’ve had few  real experiences in the UK outside of London, but those I have all turned out to be loads of fun. I think I’m going to try and make it a rule to spend more time away from London and in other cities throughout England/UK from now on, there’s some amazing and vibrant places out there.

Written on January 9, 2012