Friday, July 29, 2011

Royal Fort Gardens, University of Bristol

Another place that is great for picnics is the Royal Fort Gardens.  It is part of the Royal Fort Estate which houses the Institute for Advanced Studies (IAS).

What is interesting here is a mirror labyrinth which was constructed in 2009 to commemorate University of Bristol's centenary celebrations.  The sculpture, named "Follow Me", consists of 76 vertical mirrors or steel plates.  The sculpture was created by Danish artist, Jeppe Hein.

Royal Fort House

The mirror labyrinth with the Royal Fort House in the background

The reflection of the Royal Fort House
True, it's not really a big space, but enough for parents to enjoy the sun while the kids run around in the labyrinth :).

Hydrangeas were in abundance, the last time I went there :)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Bristol from the eyes of this beholder :)

I have been wanting to blog about the city that I live in for quite some time, but somehow, never got to doing it.  A recent enquiry from a blog reader and compliments from some friends who came visitting, however, have motivated me to finally post this. 

Bristol is a city in the Southwest of England and is supposed to be one of the best city to live in England.  Read it here.  But lest you think it's 'happening' like KL or Subang Jaya, it's not.  Unlike that Citibank slogan - the city never sleeps - this one does.  Shops close early and the only outlets to operate late into the night are the numerous pubs.  Mat Salleh lepak kat pub macam orang Malaysia lepak kat restoren mamak.  Only thing is they drink beer rather than teh tarik :).  That's their lepak culture over here... day and night.

Based on my 2 years here, I would say that Bristol is a safe city with lots of friendly people and its own attractions. 

Yup, safe is top of my list.  I can walk alone in the streets without having to peer behind my back for pencopets.  I can cross the zebra-crossing with my eyes closed.  I walk around in my brightly-coloured tudung and nobody stares at me - they don't even blink an eye if a jubah-clad woman passes by.  Despite being different, no soul has uttered racist remarks to me.  The only time I experienced unpleasantness was when some unknown hooligans dug out a few flower bulbs from my lawn.  Not totally their fault, though... Perhaps we (my family) did cheer a wee bit too LOUD for GERMANY during World Cup 2010! Hehehe!  Marahlah orang England!

#2:  Lots of friendly people who smile at you and ask how your day was.  My favourite has got be Don, my washing machine 'engineer' (that's what they call 'tukang' here) who's big, strong and friendly (just like that Chartered Bank slogan during the 70s :)).  The cashiers at Giant, Carrefour and Mydin can also learn a thing or two from their counterparts here.  Loved the latters cheery disposition, "You alright there?" and "Cheers!".

#3:  Places of attraction in Bristol:

Clifton Suspension Bridge

The Clifton Suspension Bridge is a famous landmark of Bristol.  It is one of the many works of Britains's "Father of Engineering", Isambard Kingdom Brunel.  The SS Great Britain was also designed by him.

SS Great Great Britain - photo by Mattbuck (Wikipedia)

This majestic ship is now permanently docked at the scenic Bristol harbourside.  You can take a tour of the ship with a small fee.

4 tiang yang nampak tu tiang kapal SS Great Britain

Another landmark of Bristol city is of course that tall building near my school, The Wills Memorial.  It's situated at the top of Parks Street.  The Bristol City Museum & Art Gallery is just next to the building.  They've got a permanent Egyptology exhibition (I bet better than Muzium Negara's Khazanah dari Kubur in the 90s:)).  Admission is free. 

The Wills Memorial Building

Bristol City Museum & Art Gallery
- photo from Wikipedia

Another landmark near my school - Cabot Tower - is currently undergoing restoration work.

Cabot Tower - Spring of 2010

But you might still want to take a stroll up Brandon Hill (where it is situated).  Nice place for summer picnics with squirrels.  Don't forget to bring those nuts!  

Picnic at Brandon Hill
To be continued...