Thursday, August 18, 2011

Catch up 2, A day trip to spend money.

Brighton beach

I spent yesterday giving the hall and stairs a coat of paint. This is not an easy task for a 5ft nothing person, and there is still a small patch where the full drop on the staircase is that will need Martin's longer arms and legs to reach, but I am pleased with the results. I slightly lighter shade (almond white instead of peach white) makes it brighter and a darn sight more clean looking (it was last painted in 2005)

So back to my blogging catch up.

On the second week of Martin's holiday I had thought we could throw the list of jobs aside and go out for days, but before I knew it, I was booked to accompany Finley and Laura on their first visit to the Healthvisitor's clinic, we needed to stay in for a delivery of a fish tank (for Kelly's birthday present from Ollie) and we had another day to stay in when the carpets were to be fitted. Adding in the afternoon of golf that Martin regularly plays on Wednesday afternoons through the summer it didnt leave that much time for long days out. I had asked to go to Brighton though, because even though its only an hour and three quarters journey away I had never actually been. I lie, I had been once with Mum and Dad, but he had been unable to find a parking place so he had turned round and come home again.

Veiw of Brighton pier as we went to park

We didnt set out that early on the Monday morning so it was getting on for mid day by the time we arrived at the sea front. We think we might have made a mistake in our choice of parking because we didnt discover until we got into the multistory that they were charging £2.50 an hour and that the car park belonged to a hotel (which was probably why they were able to charge so much) but we were already in so would have had to pay the first hour even if we had driven straight out. It was close to the Pier and the Lanes though.

Its been a while since we had been out doing the day at the beach thing, you kind of take it for granted when the sea front is 3 mins walk from your front door, but we were stunned by the price of ice-creams (£1.85 for a cone) doughnuts (£12.50 for 12) and didnt even go there with the prices of candy floss, chips, and other beachy fare.

Entrance to the pier

The walk along the pier was lovely but soooo expensive if you wanted to eat or go on any rides. I dont know how families with children manage?

Martin watching the rides

Fish and chips eaten in the fish restaurant was £9.50 each so we walked back down the pier and crossed the road to Harry Ramsdens.

Fed up with the wind, we took our fish meal across to the little park and sat on the grass watching the dolphin water fountain and ate while fending off sea gulls. We enjoyed that, it was quite peaceful and gave us time to collect our thoughts and decide where to go next.

Dolphin waterfall, very refreshing if you get caught downwind in the spray.

We walked up to Brighton Palace, and then all round it because there is no gate in at the front.

In front of Brighton Palace

It has a really nice garden if you ignore the drunks hidden in the bushes, but there was nothing to tell us either the price of entering the Palace or what we were likely to see if we went in. We didnt bother with the inside and just enjoyed the architecture from the outside.

I had downloaded a tour of the Lanes at home but had left it in the car. It was a document produced by the Tourist Information so we went in there next to grab another copy. I was stunned when they charged us 50p for it, when it had been a free download. Mmm expensive paper and printing ink I suspect. Anyway we set off to follow the pathway that was supposed to show us the best of the places in the Lanes area.

I was expecting lots of second hand, antique and shabby chic crafty type shops. I was so disappointed. What we got, between all the coffee shops and cafes was shop after shop after shop of jewelery shops. I think we pasted only 1 crafty type shop and I also have to say I suspect the TI route took us away from the shops and concentrated more on the arcitecture of some pretty poorly designed buildings.

We had had enough. We concluded that we didnt really like Brighton much, it was expensive, the beach wasnt up to much and it wasnt even that interesting. We redeemed our car (£7.50 in fees by now), looked at the sorry state of our wallets, and headed off to take the long coast road route home.

As we were going along we managed to get behind an open top tour bus. Martin was amused by the advert on the back of it considering its destination, and thought hop on, hop off wasnt really a good choice of slogan.

I had never been to Beachyhead so we followed the bus as it took its detour. It was beautiful countryside and I really would have loved to go see the cliffs (even though the heights terrify me, but I am guessing that Sussex council must think they need to fleece every visitor for as much as they can because once again they charged a high toll just to park in a layby!!!

The detour took over an hour, and with the coast route being so long it took us nearly 4 hours to get home. We did have a good day out but have come to the conclusion it is no wonder most people go off to Spain and such for their holidays. This country is just far too expensive to enjoy

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