Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Bristol in Two Days: Part Two

Bristol has lots to offer in several loose categories: street life, industrial heritage, music, and water.

In terms of street life you can do no better than to start at St. Nicholas Market. Depending on the day this is either a thriving array of stalls, a slow food fair, a farmer's market, or a rather abandoned section of the city. I recommend you go on a Friday or Saturday for maximum effect. The weekend we were in town banners announced a Sunday market, but little was open. What we found on other days were amazing food vendors, over-priced CDs, a lovely store of fossils, and other miscellanea. We were tempted to drag bag a large block of petrified cuttlefish from Morocco, but common sense prevailed.

Like any old English city there are lots of intriguing streetscapes, some of them just off the beaten path, and others perhaps not the sort of locations you may wish to lurk in after dark. The photo above was taken just down Broad Street from the market, a location we would later come back to in order to visit the Arc club.

On the wall was this flower and just outside an arched pedestrian way the weathered visage in the following shot.

Of course there was much more, everywhere you look. Europeans may be yawning by now, but at heart I am from the new world and happy to see anything more than a coupld hundred years old.

From the foot of Broad Street we walked to the central Promenade, the best place to catch a bus going just about anywhere. For visitors the numbers 8, 9, and 500 are all you need to know.

But on our first visit to this heart of the city we backtracked North slightly to find the Christmas Steps, bathed in history (and blood). At the top was Colsten Street and a few boutique stores, one of which was a specialist bow-maker's. Continuing up the second set of stairs one finds to the left a brew pub that has decided to go for a modern club look.

Zero Degrees has a glass-enclosed brewing area that is visible from three sides (and above) which is pretty darned nifty. On the wall is a diagram of the process...

...and underfoot are some illuminated workings that remain mysterious to me, but which lend a cool


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