Saturday, January 30, 2016
WINTER TRIP TO ENGLAND
We started out with a delay out of Gainesville. Good thing we had plenty of time before our next flight. It only takes a little over an hour to get to Atlanta. Mike booked comfort class and I am so glad he did. What a difference 4 extra inches makes on these long flights. You can actually stretch out your legs. Some years ago, we flew to Europe and Mike had the seat in front of him laid back so far, it was actually resting on his knees. The man would not even lift the seat back a little, and the flight crew backed him up on his right to recline the seat. A really bad experience we learned from.
The flight was smooth and we arrived in London at 8 am. Neither of us sleep on a plane, so we were pretty tired. Still, we pressed on. Hertz has a bus service to its location so we hopped on and soon were picking up our Honda CRV, automatic. This was Mike's first experience driving on the left side and he did super. We headed to Brighton by the sea. The first few days proved to be the worst weather days because it rained, blew and was quite chilly. We stayed in the center of town, walking distance to everything we wanted to see. The Premier Inn was very nice, clean and well appointed. They had a nice restaurant where we had breakfast each morning.
While there we visited the Brighton Pier and the Royal Pavilion.
The Brighton Pier was built in 1891 but has been restructured over time. It is pretty touristy now with Arcades and Amusement rides at the far end. The beach is not sand, but smooth rocks. We were shocked to see two women coming out of the ocean in bathing suits (not wet suits). That water had to be freezing cold.
They started building The Royal Pavilion in 1787 as a seaside retreat for George, Prince of Wales, who would later become King George IV. It was quite the party place for many years. It was built to flaunt wealth with a lot of gold, silver and crystal chandeliers. The outside of the Pavilion has an Indian influence with onion shaped domes, but the inside is how westerners perceived China to be. George had never been to China. A massive silver dragon holds the huge chandelier over the banquet table. They support columns look like palm trees. Fantastic place! Queen Victoria only came a few times and did not like it because it lacked privacy for her large family. She decided to sell it, but first she removed anythng that could be removed, including the fireplaces, chandeliers etc. The city of Brighton bought the place eventually restoring it to its former self. The royal family even gave back some of the treasures to display. Next, unwary to stone circles and Bath