so we left london. we only really spent 4 days there (one of which was a tired hazy day) but we really were hoping to see at least one more city in the uk and, after much deliberation and shrugging of shoulders (none of us had a strong opinion as to where to go), we chose brighton. brighton is a seaside town on the south coast of england about 1 hours train ride from london. we got up in the morning and, after our last toast/”juice”, we headed off.
the train ride was short and uneventful… well, actually i guess it wasn’t completely uneventful. we stopped at one stop and tom and i were extremely thirsty. when the conductor announced that we would be stopped at that station for 7 minutes, we decided to run off the train to buy some water. well, it turned out that the nearest shop was much further away than we expected and there was a line for the cashier. by the time we bought our stuff, the train was only about 2 minutes from departing. tom and i sprinted back through the station (and got a bit lost) and were practically sure that we would end up missing the train and be left behind… but luckily we jumped on the train w/ only like 30 seconds to spare. phew!! both of us were imagining a very unhappy caryn left on the train w/ 3 huge backpacks on the way to brighton!
brighton is a really nice town. much much calmer and more mellow that london, but still lively and fun. from what we can tell, the town is full of 3 things: little shops, job placement centers, and restaurants. people walk all over checking out the different shopping areas which are really cool… they’re kinda alternative and remind me of a toned down haight street feel: lots of vegetarian cafes, skateboard shops, funky clothing, boots, incense, etc. from what we can tell, brighton is also quite small in size. we walked pretty much the whole town from top to bottom in a pretty short amount of time. seeing as it is near the beach, it has all the usual beachfront touristy things: a santa cruz beach boardwalk type area (coasters, rides, etc), beachside seafood vendors, sand volleyball courts, mini golf, etc. we spent most of the afternoon just walking around and taking it in. the one thing that their beach lacks is sand. instead of sand, the whole beach is these large pebbles, which i can’t imagine would be comfortable to walk on barefoot. i keep thinking how someone who grew up hear thinking that this is what the beach shouldbe like would be quite impressed when they went to a “real” beach.
one of the cool things we saw was the ConTemporary gallery, a small gallery in an abandoned post office. half of the gallery was underground where the mail was stored and there are tons of old vaults and weird spooky iron doors down there. the whole place actually had a very unsettling eerie vibe to it and it was a bit unnerving to be down there. one of the diplays was a hospital gurney covered with old letters in envelopes and behing a chainlocked metal cage. it turns out that people were encouraged to address envelopes to people in their life who were “returned to sender” and drop the envelopes through the cage onto the gurney. spooky.
after walking around, we had dinner and then went back to our hostel’s bar. it’s nice to have a bar that’s actually a part of the hostel. oh, i forgot to mention just how crowded our hostel room is. there are 5 bunk beds in this tiny room and they are scattered about randomly giving our room a maze-like feel. it’s funny how quickly people adapt to new situations. i’m getting pretty used to this new lifestyle already. i already have new morning routines, i have certain sections of my pack where i usually store stuff, i lock things down in a certain way, etc etc. i’ve fallen into the traveller’s life wholeheartedly.
the one problem is that my clock is still all messed up. once again i got tired really early and we went to bed at like 9:15pm. i always feel bad going to bed early. i’m on my trip… i should be out and about till all hours of the night exploring, drinking, having fun and whatnot… but i’m just sooo tired!! conversely, i always end up waking up damn early! like 7:30 soemtimes. ugh!!
tomorrow we’re thinking of finally just taking it easy for a day. not doing too much sightseeing, not doing too much walking… mostly just chilling. we have one sight we definitely need to see, but other than that, it’ll all be relaxed…