Wandering Bristol, part 1

I started off my full day in Bristol by wandering around the city.  To be honest, this was one of the few cities where I wasn’t entirely sure that there was anything I absolutely needed to see in Bristol and I hadn’t done any major research on the city itself.  So I woke up, stared out the window and thought to myself “oh man it looks so freaking cold outside.” So I bundled up, packed away all of my layers into my purse and set out to see the city.  This was going to be the last full of day of my vacation so I wanted to make full use of my time.

As I started wandering through the streets, I found myself admiring the architecture that surrounds the entire city and the colors of the city.  In the middle of winter with the dreary weather, the city was still bright and full of people bustling around.  I started walking in and out of the various streets and eventually stumbled upon a painting on the side of a building of two small children and realized that I had just found a Banksy piece in Bristol.

To be honest, I’ve always enjoyed the mystery that comes with Banksy but I’ve never really looked into Banksy and truly understanding him.  I immediately went to a coffee shop and got on the wifi to confirm that I had actually stumbled upon one of his pieces and it turns out, Banksy is rumored to be from Bristol and he’s decorated the city with various pieces of artwork.  As someone who was just going to wander around aimlessly, I decided that this was going to be my guide around the city so I marked all of the places that his pieces were supposed to be on google maps and started on my way.

The first leg of my journey took up closer to the university and then around the neighborhoods there where I found a bunch of cute shops and restaurants.  I wandered around the university checking out the adorable shops, there weren’t a lot of chain restaurants from what I could see which was a nice change from many other college towns that you would possibly visit. As I wandered through the neighborhoods, I made my way through the the streets of Bristol checking out the most wonderful homes and views.  I even walked through this beautiful cemetery that had an archway through the center that you could walk under.  It was beautiful with the dead branches, I can only image how beautiful it would be in the spring.

As I continued wandering, I realized that many of the Banksy pieces that I wanted to find were not within walking distance of city center and so the chances of being able to actually find them in real life would be difficult.  So I stopped, rechecked my map and decided to make my way to the other side of the water so that I could get a new perspective of Bristol and try to find the woman with the pearl earring. I had to walk through some parking lots, sketch alley ways and ended up following some photographers to a relatively abandoned area of Bristol to find the girl with the pearl earring.

After that, I made my way back to the city center and decided that I wanted to stop by M Shed which is a giant warehouse turned museum along the water.  This museum has the history of Bristol along with some awesome artwork that depicts the history of how Bristol came to be the city I was visiting today. It was actually interesting because Banksy had some artwork on display at M Shed because he had actually graffitied a boat that had become a permanent fixture in Bristol so they removed his artwork, moved it to M Shed and then repaired the boat.

When I finished walking through M Shed, I then made my way back to the main part of the city which also included yet another alley way to walk through so that I could find another Banksy piece that said “You Don’t Need Planning Permission to Built Castles In The Sky.” This one was actually painted on a loading dock with the use of one of the lights.

Immediately after, I decided it was time to stop for a snack.

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