Brightoned Out, But So Glad I Went

I forced myself out of bed early this morning for two reasons: 1) to get a bit of work done so I wouldn’t have a daunting amount left after my outing; 2) to encourage me to get to sleep early…

My destination for today was Brighton proper. My host strongly recommended that even though it’s only a 3mi/5KM round trip on foot that I buy a £2.90 return ticket and go on the train to save my energy, which I think was very good advice. I headed out around 9:45 to take the 10:08 train, but I got in with plenty of time to catch the 9:59 even with having to stop to collect my previously purchased ticket.

That put me in Brighton just past 10:00 and I headed out of the station to my first destination of the day. There was plenty of signage and clues that I was heading to the touristy part of town.

The first touristy thing of interest that I saw was the Brighton Dome, an arts venue. It is part of the Royal Pavillon complex and is quite impressive from outside!

I walked around the Dome and got my first view of the Royal Pavillon. Keep reading for more details, but let’s just say that I was not expecting this in Brighton and am so happy my host and her decorator put it on my must-do list! There were even palm trees by it, adding to the exotic feel.

I wandered up North Street to find a second breakfast.

Then sat in front of the entrance to the Royal Pavillon to enjoy my last sausage roll and really good coffee from Greggs.

Then, it was time to enter what is, bar none, the most incredible building I have ever had the privilege of visiting.

Unfortunately, interior photography is not allowed in King George IV’s seaside pleasure palace. But the are tons of high resolution photographs on the palace’s website. Please head there now to at least look at photos of the banquet hall and its dragon chandelier. This palace was sold and completely stripped by Queen Victoria, who did not find it a suitable home for her family, but was bought by the city and carefully restored over the years to give an inkling of how sumptuous it was in the days of George IV. Spoiler: while the outside is of decidedly Indian influence, the interior decor is of Chinese influence!

I could have spent a day going through the palace as there were so many exquisite details to take in, but it was overrun by school children and hard to visit leisurely. 🙁 I think the music room was my favourite, but the dragon chandelier that is just two feet shorter than Miranda (!) was the most memorable feature.

Entrance to the palace is £12.50, or you can buy online a combination pass with the Brighton Museum for £15 (plus play an additional £2 for the palace audioguide if you want to get any real value out of your tickets). So the museum was my next stop.

It’s adjacent to the Dome.

The museum has a hodgepodge of exhibits, most of which are behind glass, so difficult to photograph. The building held  more interest, to be honest. Here are photos of a few things that caught my eye.

The tiles are gorgeous and have so much depth!

I enjoyed making a motif of Iranian-style tiles.

This turquoise colour is very traditional in Iran.

This pot looks like a beautiful work of art, but is a”stealth bomb.” The background of the images are of unspeakable wartime horrors.

This stack of crockery has a rod going all the way through it to hold it.

There was an exhibit about how Brighton was the place to come for a “dirty weekend.” This is very much England’s Sin City.

The mosaic floor in parts of the museum was a work of art.

This French-inspired bathing costume was the standard in Brighton for a long time.

I really liked these.

This one looks like a rainy day viewed through a window.

This one is deceptively simple. So many colours in it!

Frankly, at £5.20, I don’t think the museum is worth a detour unless you pair it with the Royal Pavillon and basically get in for half price.

I was ready for lunch when I came out of the museum and knew where to go, a little Japanese restaurant right in front of the Dome. Get this. I was thinking I wanted Asian noodles for lunch and was going to ask my host if she could recommend a place, but she beat me to it! It’s rather scary how well she’s gotten to know me! The restaurant is Pompoko and it was super busy, always a good sign. I went with their lunch special of udon noodles with prawns and squid. This picture is terrible, but if you squint, you can see how they cut the squid to make it more tender. This was crazy good!

I then meandered my way down to the water.

My destination was, of course, the tourist trap that is the Brighton Pier.

The pier is free to access, so I got to take it all in without spending a penny. The entire structure is owned by one company so prices are the same throughout all the shops. Not much was open today.

There are free deck chairs to use on the pier. I imagine these go very quickly in the hotter months!

At the end of the pier are a bunch of rides, some for kids, some for adults.

I learned while watching a programme recently that that tower at the back with a slide is called a helter-skelter.

I eventually reached the end of the pier. I’m looking towards France here.

Spot the annoying typo.

The last thing on my list was to walk through “The Lanes,” Brighton’s shopping district in a maze of narrow lanes not unlike the bazaar in Sarajevo.

On the way there, I paused for a gelato, surprising myself when I picked “sour cherry,” which was exactly that, with very tart fruit contrasting pleasantly with the smooth vanilla ice cream.

Brighton Square.

This block of flats does not suit the ambiance of the neighbourhood.

Most of the shops in The Lanes sell jewelry.

I didn’t linger long and decided that I was ready to go home after having a beer.

More pretty tile work at a hotel.

Another church made of flint.

This pub seemed welcoming.

I ordered a half pint of bitter and was offered a choice of four. I went with their darkest and strongest, Laine’s Best Bitter. So pretty! One of the options was an American pale ale, so I’m thinking that’s what I have to look for in North America.

I then meandered my way back to the train station.

But took a detour up a very steep hill to check out St. Nicholas’ Church.

I am fascinated by the use of the flint as a construction material. It is exquisite!

And here I am back at the Brighton train station, where there was a train only going to Hove leaving in two minutes. Talk about good timing with trains today!

I’m glad I went to Brighton for the day, but it’s definitely not a place I would care to return to and I’m happy I stayed in Hove. As I’d been warned, Brighton proper is very dirty, run down, and full of panhandlers. It’s also very tourist and gaudy. I can imagine that there are much nicer places to go for a seaside holiday in England. But the Royal Pavillon is worth the detour!

When I got into Hove, I had the bright idea of picking up my ticket for Gatwick tomorrow to save me a step. Well, I witnessed a distraught young girl have her money eaten by a machine. She said that there’s never anyone working at the Hove station and that when this has happened in the past, she was never able to get her money back. A nice man stepped in to buy her a ticket on his card before I could offer, so she was able to get home. But that sure validated my feelings of hopelessness the other night when I missed my stop!

I popped into Tesco to pick up a pizza and a small bottle of wine for dinner. One of the first things my host showed me in her kitchen was how to use the grill to heat up a pizza, so I knew I wouldn’t have any trouble doing that for my dinner.

Now, my host is the lovely Moira! I don’t like to say where I stay when I’m there, but I can finally give a shoutout to her and her  Airbnb listings. Coming home tonight, I marvelled that I’ve been living with her a full week and haven’t gone nuts yet! 🙂 Her home is unfussy, cosy, clean, and so welcoming. I could make meals at home if I wanted, watch telly in the lounge with her in the evening, and just live my normal routine. It says a lot that I felt comfortable leaving the door to my office open while I worked and didn’t feel the need to squirrel myself away to be as invisible as possible.

My European adventure has wound down. If I have time to grab a late lunch in Iceland tomorrow instead of just rushing through the airport, that will be icing on the proverbial cake! It’s been incredible and I feel so grateful to have had this opportunity.

Now, it’s time to go pack. I’m told WOW Air is extremely strict and won’t let me on with my purse in addition to my backpack and suitcase, so I have to get everything packed the way it was when I came over here. Even though I actually have less than when I arrived, I’ve been struggling with the packing, so I really need to go spend some time on that. Then bed, because 5:30 is going to come really soon…

A Day in Lewes — a Castle, an Ancient House, Priory Ruins, a Great Pint, and the South Downs, Oh My!

Today, I decided to head to the nearby town of Lewes (pronounced just like Lewis) to visit its castle (and other sites) and get a chance to walk on the famous South Downs. I headed out around 9:30 this morning to catch a 10:08 train to Brighton and then the first train to Lewes. Since my Airbnb is right near the train station, I was very early, even after collecting my ticket, and on top of that my train to Brighton was delayed. So I headed down to the Barclay’s to do a withdrawal so I wouldn’t have to do that in Lewes.

Standing on the platform, I could look up the stairs to the locked gate onto the pedestrian bridge.

Not sure I would want to live somewhere called “Bad House”…

Brighton train station was quite impressive!

I didn’t have to wait for a train to Lewes so I ended up having a very quick trip. It was one stop to Brighton and then four or five to Lewes.

Looking out over Brighton from the train to Lewes.

I still can’t get over the daffodils in early March!

The Lewes train station was similar to Hove’s.

I headed uphill from the train station to find the High Street and the tourist information centre.

I liked the turquoise trim on this house.

The lady at the tourist information centre was super helpful. I asked her about walking on the South Downs if I had only an hour or two and she gave me a map, a leaflet, and excellent directions for what sounded like exactly the perfect walking option. I decided to start my day with the castle, though, and she sent me in direction of it.

This narrow street rather reminded me of a Shrewsbury shut.

From the High Street, there’s a sign saying to turn right for the castle. You do so and, boom, there’s its gate!

I bought a combination ticket for the castle and an old Tudor house for £12.50. The lady who sold me the ticket gave me directions to the house and then a route to another location that would let me do a nice circle back around to the High Street to find lunch after.

It is very, very, very late, so I’m not going to get into the very complicated history of this castle. It’s been built and rebuilt many times and has had many owners so it’s not really that old.

Stocks.

My first destination was the top of the barbican, over the entrance gate.

That “guy” scared the heck out of me when I came into the room!

I had fun trying to figure out how to use a medieval crane.

Ah… the famous chalk hills of Sussex, or the South Downs. I first learned about them when I was reading the Sherlock Holmes stories as this area is where he retired.

Shame it was so misty. I was tempted later in the day, when the sky cleared, to ask if I could come back up, but I was too tired and foot sore.

The castle is made of local flint.

Looking out over the bowling green, the lumpiest in England! Thomas Paine (Rights of Man) played there in the 18th century when he lived in Lewes!

Remains of an old cooking fireplace, when this part of the castle would have been indoors.

I headed inside to climb to the very top of the castle.

Looking out to Lewes prison.

It was surreal to be here! This isn’t even the most famous view of the chalk hills and I didn’t feel any need to go seek it out.

After the castle, I did the little attached museum. This tapestry was impressive.

Mirror

Swords

Flint tools

This is apparently what a medieval felt hat would have looked like.

The floors in the upstairs of the museum was embarrassingly creaky!

After the museum, I continued down the High Street.

Little did I know I would be back to the Brewers Arms.

The 15th century bookstore, where I had to turn off the High Street.

I passed what looked like a pretty garden and was thrilled that it was open to the public.

My tour of this lovely garden done, I continued on, passing yet another lovely church.

My next destination of Anne of Cleves House. She was one of Henry VIII’s wives. She won this house in their divorce settlement, but never actually lived here although she might have visited. I have so much information about this house that I may come back and do a page about it when I’m not so knackered. There’s no way I can do it justice tonight. It’s a fine example of a Tudor manor, but it was much improved upon over the years and does not resemble its original form.

The entrance is the former great hall.

From there you can go right (left looking at this picture) into the east bedroom.

It was a really vast and voluminous space. Two ladies and a little girl were there and we had a chat about the history of building and how mind boggling it is that it took so long for Western society to start using insulation. We also had fun playing with those costumes!

This could serve as a chair, table, or chest!

The floor of the parlour was incredibly uneven and not level!

I find that expression hilarious.

Remember his thoughts on Shrewsbury?

This represents an avalanche in Lewes in the 19th century.

Hops!

The tour of the house ends with the garden.

I found the Anne of Cleves House was very interesting to walk through. It smelled exactly as it should, so musty and old, and the exhibits were interesting. But I paid £1.50 extra for a leaflet that had pretty much the same information as on the walls and it was not laid out in a logical manner. I found that the museum could have done a better job with it and to help guests through the rather confusing layout.

more palm trees!

My last stop before a badly needed lunch was Priory Park, which is free to walk through.

From the priory, I had to go past the rail station to get back to the High Street. I passed one of the many “rail replacement” buses since there is a lot of work being done on the railways.

Exterior of Lewes train station.

I had lunch at the Brewers Arms pictured above. I went with the lunch special of sausages and mash with a pint of Harvey’s Best Bitter, a beer brewed right in Lewis. All was yummy. 🙂 I took my time with lunch since I was very tired by this point and wanted a rest before heading onto the South Downs.

After lunch,  I went down the High Street in the other direction towards the South Downs.

The High Street ends with a pedestrianised bit.

I was happy to find (very expensive) ice cream, to which I added a Flake!

Unfortunately, you have to book brewery tours eons in advance.

At the end of the High Street, I started up the very steel Chapel Road.

Not even all the way up, I already had amazing views of Lewes and the valley.

The walk on the South Downs takes you right by cows. That black one on the right had a shifty gaze.

I couldn’t believe how much this part of the South Downs looked like the rolling hills around Haven. And just like at home, the internet up with the cows was much better than down in the valley where the people live. *wry grin*

And the point of this gate is?

I descended into a valley full of sheep.

My walk leaflet mentioned this pond. Little did I know I would spend so much time here that it would be my final destination on the Downs!

It was full of frogs! I spent so much time watching them. I believe it’s mating season.

So cute!

I couldn’t believe the number of them there were, all around the pond.

One on the grass posed for me.

I was supposed to catch a 5PM train back to Hove and it was past 3:30 by this point, so it was time to go back.

But I couldn’t resist capturing one last cutie for posterity.

I headed straight back to the railway station, avoiding the High Street except for the pedestrianised bit.

I passed yet another church.

This was a rather lovely building. I like the rounded corner.

A clearish view of the chalk hills.

Somewhere along the day, I picked up a copy of The Big Issue. It is a very good publication that is sold by homeless people in the UK. They buy the magazines for £1.25 and then resell them for £2.50. So every copy they have is money the invested in their business. Please support a Big Issue seller if you come across one as the program provides gainful employment that contributes to some people getting off the streets .

The train station was a mess. Many trains were cancelled, included my 4:59 home. I was early, so I took the 4:41 into Brighton.

I then just barely made the train to Hove. Exhausted, I looked forward to popping into the Tesco by the station and then only have a short walk home. Well…

No one in my carriage got off at Hove with me and I was unable to get the door to open to let me off! I asked for help and people just laughed and said it was too late as we took off again! Thankfully, the next station wasn’t too far, but I was in a real pickle since UK public transportation in general does not look kindly on folks riding outside of their allotted tickets. I could get on a train back to Hove, but if an inspector requested to see my ticket, I could be in a lot of hot water. They really don’t care about sob stories and I’m pretty sure they make most of their money from fines.

I checked where I was and I was just a block from my road and then two kilometres away. The next train back was in an hour (!) so it made sense to just hoof it. Slightly problem, you have to scan your ticket to get out and I did not have a valid ticket for that station so I couldn’t get out. There was literally no legal way out of this jam since I couldn’t even buy new tickets since the machine was on the wrong side of the gate!

It was getting cold by this point and I was exhausted. Soon as I saw someone come through the wide handicapped gate, I squeezed through by her before they could close. Talk about a ridiculous predicament!

I was so foot sore by this point that I didn’t want to detour to get dinner. I figured I could have a bowl of cereal or maybe a slice of toast. Well, my host invited me to sit in the lounge by a proper fire with a friend of her’s and wine and eventually dinner materialised! Wow! I was inordinately grateful and that really helped make the train stupidity a footnote in my day instead of a spoiler of it.

I’m going to hit post on this as I’m starting to see double. Please pardon the typos. 😉

Shrewsbury to Wolverhampton to Stafford to London Euston to London Bridge to Hove (as in Cove, not Love)

There is no greater blessing in a peripatetic existence than to have a convoluted travel day go off without a hitch…

Puppy and I went to bed early last night so I could be up early and finish preparing the house for my host since just washing the sheets would need 90 minutes and she was coming in “around 10:00” and wanted them to be drying by that point.

Well… I had no sooner fallen asleep that the neighbour slammed his door and woke me right up. My heard was pounding so hard it took almost three hours of tossing and turning to fall back asleep and then I slept fitfully because he was being loud. So I basically got no sleep and I was equal parts annoyed and disappointed by that!

Puppy knew I was leaving and stuck close all morning. She did something she’s never done before: drag something of mine into her crate to curl up around it! My heart almost shattered at that. When everything that needed doing was done and I plopped myself into an armchair to read for a bit, she was immediately in my lap.

10:00 passed and before I knew it, it was almost 11:30, with my train being at 1:30. I knew my host was driving straight from the airport and likely knackered, so I wasn’t too worried. Sure enough, she eventually turned up. I did the handover and while Puppy was obviously happy to see her mom, she wanted last minute cuddles with me too. Oh, she’s such a sweet soul and I will miss her. I feel truly blessed that I got to spend with her the time I did.

I finally left around 12:40. My host offered several times to drive me to the train station, but it’s not far nor a difficult walk and I wanted to spare her even such a small chore at the end of a journey around the world. I made it to the station at about one and collected my ticket, which didn’t look complete. So I went to an attendant and she confirmed that I had everything. I then asked her what would happen if I missed my connections and she rolled her eyes and said to take it up with the train operator as that had nothing to do with her. I need to add “customer service, or lack thereof” to my getting around the UK with public transportation post, for which I have a rough draft.

As I reached the platform, I realised that I was ravenous! I’d had breakfast around seven, so it was no wonder. There was a Starbucks on the platform and I decided to get food there even if their food is crap. Well, their food is crap in North America. My warm ham and cheese baguette with creamy Dijon (not Dijonnaise) was fantastic! I paired it with a hibiscus lemonade and was very pleased with my impromptu lunch that I ate on the train before we pulled out.

Shrewsbury station

It was a quick ride to Wolverhampton, with the platform to Stafford being right by my arrival. So even though I only had a 10-minute layover, it was enough and there was even enough time to use the bathroom. The ride to Stafford was only about 10 minutes and, get this, I got upgraded to first class! I got leg room and a HUGE window for that. I wish the pauper seats had windows like that.

I only had eight minutes in Stafford and it’s a bigger station, but I also made my connection, phew! I was not happy with my seat for the hour-long ride since I couldn’t see out the window on my side. But on the other side, I could just see sky and I don’t know what was going on with the clouds today, but what a show! It was like watching deity dance and it was absolutely mesmerising.

About midway through our journey, I started regretting not getting a tea in Stafford. I’ve been drinking a lot of tea since I got to the UK! Well, there was a drinks cart! I knew I’d pay a train premium, but didn’t care. Well, the guy went right by me without offering me anything. I called out, “I’d like a tea please!” and the guy jumped as if I had materialised out of thin air. We got quite a chuckle out of it. Tea cost exactly what I expected, £2, but there is a twist to this story…

Best tea ever. I’m not kidding. I have to remember this brand! I’ve been drinking Tetley and PG Tips and find them both a bit flat, but this “Eros” was full bodied and very rich, more like drinking a coffee. It actually tasted like what I would have expected a £2 cuppa to taste like.

We pulled into London Euston right on time and I had an hour to get to London Bridge. A friend of mine who likes “Sherlock” asked me, if I had time, to go take for her some pictures of the building used as the façade of 221B Baker Street since it’s so close to London Euston and I had been before. So I walked the block from the station to do that for her and after much debate, decided that delicious as they are, I would regret having a cappuccino from Speedy’s Cafe at that hour, plus I didn’t want to juggle a hot cup and all my luggage.

Pictures taken, I returned to Euston station and followed the signs to the Underground entrance, where there was barely a lineup for purchasing tickets. I’d cancelled my Oyster card, so I bought a paper single, which cost me twice what the fare would have been with Oyster (almost £5), but I knew that so it wasn’t a shock. I also knew I had to take the Northern line southbound, which has a split in it. So I followed the signs for the Northern line until I got to signage that told me which of the two lines I needed to take for London Bridge and arrived at the platform just as the train was taking off. We were getting close to rush hour, so I suspected I wouldn’t have long to wait for the next one and I was right. I could still hear the first when the second one pulled in. I had about five stops to make and had to stand the whole way, positioning myself on the doors opposite the side I’d boarded. As it turned out, I had to get off on that side. Couldn’t have planned it any better!

London Bridge was shut down due to suspicious activity yesterday, but all appeared normal today. I followed the signs for the rail station. I love how easy it is to get around London! I finally got to the ticket barrier. You have to feed your paper ticket into the machine to be let on the platform. You then keep that ticket as proof of purchase and then feed it to a machine at your destination to be let off the platform.

Well, the barrier refused to accept my ticket, declaring it invalid! I had about 25 minutes left at this point and my heart sank. Based on my past experiences with customer service for issues like this, I wasn’t going to make my train without buying a new ticket. I decided to try the ticket again on another barrier, just in case. No good. And then, I heard the most magical words one can hear when dealing with UK public transportation customer service, “Let me see your ticket, love, so I can get you sorted.”

I showed my ticket and my “collection receipt” for it and the lady confirmed they were good, so she manually opened the gate for me. She then said that I needed to go to “platform 13, all the way to the right, just after the Costa.” What a wonderful woman! She got some very profuse thanks!

There were still 20 minutes left before the train would leave and it was already at the platform, so I got on and snagged a window seat. This turned out to be a commuter train and not only was there no designated space for oversize luggage, the train ended up being so full that many people had to stand. A fellow passenger helped me find a spot to stash my suitcase and my coat, food bag, and computer bag fit in a bin overhead while I held my purse in my lap.

The landscape as we headed to the Sussex coast alternated between urban enclaves and rolling farmland until it got too dark to see anything. With the train packed to the gills and my not being able to hear the stations being announced, I started to track our journey when we got to about 20 minutes of arrival so that I could get up ahead of time and get my luggage sorted. Which reminds me, my Jackery Bar paid for itself today! After my phone kept shutting off around the 80% charged mark, I just left it plugged in all day.

At the station before Hove, I told the guy next to me that I wanted to get to the aisle when we pulled away. He snootily replied that he was getting off at Hove, too, and he would move when he was ready. I explained my luggage situation and he rolled his eyes, finished whatever he was working on, packed up, and got out of the way. I had just enough time to sort myself out before it was time to get off. We arrived in Hove about four minutes late. That would have been disastrous earlier in the day!

My Airbnb host had sent me directions for getting to her place and while it wasn’t far, there were so many stairs! My arms are rather achey tonight. But I got there and she took about 30 minutes to explain the house to me and make sure I knew what my options were for dinner in terms of eating out tonight. I’m going to have very low food expenditures in the next weeks, so I’m giving myself permission this week to not do much cooking. I don’t intend to go out for pricey meals every day, but I think there will be a lot of ready meals and takeaways. But for tonight, I wanted a nice sit down meal with a beer.

The closest place to get that was Nando’s. Since I’d been less than impressed by their dry roasted chicken, I opted for a rather fancy chicken burger with a spicy-sweet chile sauce that I paired with that supergrain salad I fell in love with. Add in the Mozambique beer and my second Nando’s experience was a world apart from my first. It genuinely tasted gourmet.

Replete, I wearily retraced my steps all the way to the train station and just a ways past to get a few things at Tesco and then I was finally about to get in, have a hot shower, and start to decompress.

I thought I wasn’t going to have any work for the rest of the week, but some materialised while I was having dinner. My host is out most of tomorrow, so I’ll try to get the bulk of it done before going exploring. She said she has a lot of things to recommend to me and will help me maximize my time here. It’ll be nice to have that freedom to go exploring!

Well, it’s been a very long day and the internet here isn’t great, so I think I’ll hit post before my connection craps out again, then get some much needed sleep. It is going to be so strange not to get Puppy cuddles tomorrow morning, but yay for being able to have my first lie-in in weeks!

On a Shrewsbury Ramble

It was rather a sad day not to have work and to be waiting for deliveries since it was so sunny out! I managed to convinced Puppy to go for a decent walk around the block after the Amazon guy came, but she’s really not keen on the idea of walks yet so we didn’t get far.

I was expecting Tesco between two and three. In Hebden, they came right near the start of the delivery slot. Here, they came about two minutes before the end of it! The driver was really concerned that my pack of mixed veggies had been substituted for one that he didn’t think sounded similar. I assured him that I’d put “can sub any on offer without mushrooms” on my order form so what I ended up with was fine. I really like these Tesco stir fry “kits” for just £5 where you get noodles, sauce, veggies, and meat, which you can all mix and match in many different combinations. Last time, I did pork with egg noodles and a prune hoisin sauce. Tonight, it’ll be chicken with rice noodles and a lemongrass coconut sauce. These are really good value for me since I get three meals out of them.

The Tesco order sorted, I had a quick lunch of mediocre sushi that was on offer and then I exhausted Puppy so she could have a nap while I went out and enjoyed the blue sky and SUN.

I decided to go back downtown by way of the train station and see if I could do a loop back home. Spoiler: I was able to and it wound up being a two-mile walk. So the town is not as big as I thought it would be. I had less far to go in Hebden to get “downtown,” but there I had the huge hills to contend with while the terrain here is much more flat and a lot less slippery. It’ll be easier here to motivate myself to go out for a stroll.

The directions my host left me to get to their place had this building, Morris Lubricants, as a landmark. It’s rather impressive.

I can’t believe I didn’t notice the castle when I came out of the train station on Saturday or on my walk yesterday!

Overpass by the train station.

Shrewsbury train station. When I was there on Saturday, the emergency vehicles had “heddlu,” Welsh for police, on them, but today they were marked in English.

Passing this restaurant, I realised that I knew exactly where I was and got my first inkling that the town is very compact.

Looking back to the train station while standing in front of the restaurant. I like the tower on that building to the left.

I climbed a staircase next to this plaque, thinking I could get some information about the castle, but it ended up being a foot path on the outside of the castle walls.

Looking back down to the train station.

Should have brought my camera. My phone’s pictures suck in this kind of light. 🙁

Looking towards the castle entrance.

I ducked into a medieval alley to see what was what and turned a corner to find this interesting construction.

I turned back to the main street through downtown and from there followed yesterday’s route home.

It’s been a quiet day and a good one to get to know Puppy and her routine better. Not having work was rather lovely, especially since it looks like at least a small part of the large non-transcription project should be a go. I expect to hear back from the client about that in a few hours. Now, off to make some stir fry and try some of that very inexpensive Tesco bitter I bought. At £0.25 per can, my expectations are low. 🙂