We had a failed trip to see the Banksy in the museum and art gallery in Bristol. Having got there we saw the queue at a notice saying 'estimated time 1h 30m (or come back before the end of August). The queue was wide and not moving, so we had some lunch in the Folk House café, which had the sort of things that by law all such places have to serve i.e. vegan tapas. This was very nice and we stole the smokers' table on the balcony to viciously sit outside and not smoke. Inside three chaps were having a heated debate about something political / philosophical. When we left I deduced from something on the notice-board that this was probably the Bristol Free-Thinkers, who Free Think at 2 p.m. on Saturday in the café. All welcome, so we could have joined in if we had wanted to which, of course, we didn't.
We then went back to Temple Meads by means of a boat from the waterfront, or whatever it's called, which went via the SS Great Britain which made it about 25 minutes and quite scenic. I rather fear that some of the property developers will have come a cropper, some of the new flats had what looked to me like classic fake balcony furniture to make them look lived in.
Despite having been to Bristol quite a lot back in the day (to use a phrase I seem to remember someone on here hates but I can't remember who, so there), mainly to see C WINOLJ (IIBOE (*)) (AIRCCE (*)), I am rather vague on its urban topography, I don't think C was much of one for exploring the gritty inner-city. Also, back when we lived near Birmingham we occasionally went there on our own to go to the sadly now shut up-market (by our standards) veggie restaurant so I must have known how to get there, but I suspect it's a matter of knowing how to get to 2 or 3 places from the end of the M32.
The train went on the northern route past Bristol Parkway and then down into the centre due to engineering works. The fact that there are two routes past Swindon is one of these things that I forget until I am reminded of it, like the roundness of the Earth. This did, of course, mean we had a trip on a route I haven't been on before. One of the stations looks quite attractive in a 'makes you wonder what was so terrible about this area at one point to get the money to do this up' sort of way.
The area round Temple Meads is clearly a redevelopment area in the sense of 'we've knocked lots of stuff down, now there's been a property crash'. The South West Regional Development Quango posters looked rather desperate to me, but regional development policy is a mystery at the best of times, let alone the pre-apocalyptic global financial OMFGWAGTDBBQ times in which we live. Somehow I suspect things will be heavy going, I don't believe London will lose its financial capital status, but presumably most things in Bristol are likely to be 'back office' things and therefore end up in Bangalore etc.
Anyway, it was a nice day out, and it's probably quicker to get to the centre of Bristol than the centre of London from here, though more expensive.
(*) Indeed, is barely on email
(**) And isn't really called Cecil anyway