i have adventures (sometimes)

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

We COULD Go to Bristol. I Believe People Do...

If the title makes no sense to you, then you obviously haven't been heeding my frequent exhortations to listen to Cabin Pressure.

LISTEN TO CABIN PRESSURE. LISTEN TO IT NOW. You'll like it. It's got a lovely suspension bridge.

Wait, where was I? Oh right, Bristol.

So, I went to Bristol!

And despite Douglas's reservations, Bristol is awesome.

I didn't see the famous suspension bridge, because I mostly went there to eat food. Which I suppose makes this my very first cake travel. Cake travel is something I've been meaning to do for ages and for reasons of time and money have never got around to. Essentially, cake travel is travel based on confectionery (or other food). And VegFest seemed like a perfect reason to go cake travelling to the South West, where the people sound like pirates. Apparently.*

Bring me the cake!
Piratey vegany joy.
It was also a beautifully hot and sunny weekend in Bristol, and so all the English people took off their clothes and got drunk and sunburnt. Somewhere, Pavlov is feeling smug.

I stayed with Geoff and Jordan, a lovely couple from New Zealand, who showed me around Bristol and fed me excellent food. I arrived on Friday evening, and after spending a bit of time at VegFest, met up with some of Geoff and Jordan's friends and went and drank cider in a park.

Let it be a reflection of how grown up I'm not that it made me feel totally grown up.

"1... 2... 3... Everybody look faintly bemused!"

The next day, Geoff tour-guided (tour-guid?) me around a bit, and showed me some of the cool things in Bristol. The city's full of street art, including some by Banksy before he got upgraded from "vandal" to "artist" and posh people were allowed to like him too. There's a whole street near the city centre that's been given over to local street artists, and it was awesome to see a really grim, grey street transformed into a great big work of art.


Looking like Neptune in the city centre.

Nelson Street.

Tree cosy!
We also headed up the hill to the university and the posh part of town, where the shops were fancier and the houses were bigger and there was the prep school which I swear must originally have been built as a castle. Or several castles.

And we found some Banksy.

Plus defacement.
Then back to VegFest! It was a pretty small festival, and I could really have done the whole thing in an hour or two, but dammit, if I'm going to spend that much on train tickets to a festival, I'm damn well going to spend the whole weekend there.

Especially when "there" is where the food is.

So I did laps of the free samples, and bought some food, and then did more laps of the free samples and bought some more food, and basically did that until I was full, and then once more for luck.

Yeah, rebranding is for the WEAK. You will call them braai sausages and you will like them.
The food! The food was so exciting! I tried about a dozen different fake meats and cheeses, some of them disturbingly convincing (Vegusto and Wheaty, especially), and chocolate, and more chocolate,  and free licorice, and a cupcake and also another cupcake, and smoothies and hot chocolate and cold chocolate and burgers and strawberries and cream and I would totally have had fish and chips but I didn't discover their stall until Sunday, and they weren't open in time and so I never got to have vegan fish and chips but otherwise everything was awesome.

*deep breath*

I spent far too much time at the Sheese stall, not because I actually like Sheese - having tried it before, I'm pretty sure I actually don't - but because it turns out that just about anything on a Ritz cracker is delicious. By my eighth visit, I was starting to reflect that I should have brought a stock of disguises with me. Or maybe just my own stock of Ritz crackers.

So basically? I ate a lot. Like, a lot. And that was essentially VegFest. None of the talks particularly appealed and I wasn't around for the cooking demos or the comedy, so I just ate a lot of food and took even more away with me to eat later. I attracted some funny looks on the train platform as I worked my way through an enormous Ferrero Rocher cupcake in about ten seconds flat.

Haters gonna hate.

It's a Panda Licorice panda!

My three favourite things!

What? I'm not showing off my excellent hairdo. I'm just eating delicious strawberries and cream.

Millennium Square on a summer evening.

They might attack at any moment.
And so that was Bristol. As a cake traveller, I thoroughly approve of it.

To finish off an excellent weekend, some of my favourite friends came over and we had an impromptu picnic in the last of the evening sunshine.

Because the sun shines at night here. Call me foreign, but I still find that pretty fantastic.

Sensible basking.
We sensibly basked (with our clothes on, even though one of us is English) and drank chocolate milk and played Bananagrams and talked about boys, and then some friendly men talked to us about shrooms for like half an hour, even though we gave them our grapes in case that would make them go away.

It was a pleasing interlude between the life-eating lab report of last week and the looming dissertation proposal of this week, which I'm doing my best not to think about, because I understand that this is a sensible grown up approach to problem solving.

The next person to ask me about my topic is going to be subjected to a prolonged outburst of frantic screaming. Consider yourself warned.

*I didn't meet enough actual South-Westerners to be able to verify that.


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