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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Brighton

Time is beginning to fly by as my return to the States is approaching. When I was typing about Salisbury on Sunday morning, I realized that I only really had three days of being a tourist left! So Sunday afternoon I went to the train station and hopped on a train to Brighton. 

Brighton is along the coast of England, (around the southeast corner along the bottom) and was originally a fisherman village. Interestingly enough, the beaches there have NO sand. The entire coastline is rocks!
The rocks were gorgeous, and in a way I think I liked the rock beach better than a sand beach. It wasn't nearly as uncomfortable as it sounds, probably due to the stones all being smooth from years of the ocean beating down on them.

Technically speaking, I think that Brighton is considered to be along the English Channel, not the Atlantic Ocean. So, I got to step in the English Channel!!!!!!!!! Which I think is pretty awesome.
After strolling along the coast a bit, and dipping my poor toes into frigid, salty waters, I walked to Brighton Pier. The pier is very similar to places like Wildwood with carnival games, a few little roller coasters, and lots of little shops. 

However, I walked out on the pier for the sole purpose of getting better pictures of the coastline.

Wandering into the town a bit, I went to Brighton Palace, which is easily the most bizarre looking building that I have seen while in England.
Yeah... its style has been labeled  "Indian Gothic with a flavour of Chinese", basically John Nash was asked to turn an existing villa into a palace. He decided he wanted it to have an Eastern style, but had never been outside of England before. 

Nash, while he designed many things, was apparently not the best architect seeing as the roofs of this 'palace' failed within ten years of being built and had to be restored. He also designed the Marble Arch in London. However, this arch was originally supposed to be a triumphal arch along the Mall near Buckingham Palace. Nash failed at designing the arch wide enough for the state carriage to fit through... so it ended up being moved to Hyde Park.

 After walking around the gardens in the palace, I continued meandering through the town, and stumbled across a folk and blues festival. During the time I stayed and listened, two different groups played, and they were both quite good. Definitely an awesome thing to stumble across.
Before hopping on a train to go back to London, I stopped to get a snack from the grocery store. For the past 7 weeks, I have been trying to collect recently minted coins. When the 1,2,5,10,20 and 50 pence coins from after 2008 are placed together, they form a shield with Britain's Royal Coat of Arms. When I got my change from my snack, I ended up getting the last coin I needed to complete the design!

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