Sunday, 26 September 2010

Bristol pub crawl

This weekend didn't quite go as planned, but it still worked out rather fantastically! The "plan" was that Lucy, Carys, Amy, myself and later on Andy would go into Bristol city centre and try and do the Monopoly pub crawl (since there's now an official "Bristol Monopoly"). This started by us all getting a taxi to the train station (my first taxi in probably 15+ years?) and then getting a train into Bristol (last train I went on was January 2009 so not quite as exciting). Sadly we had no idea what time the train was leaving and it turned out we missed it by a matter of minutes and we had to wait half hour, but that didn't really matter, we were all in high spirits! When on the train we bought tickets and asked the ticket man if we could drink alcohol on the train and he gave a very emphatic YES - Hurrah!

We're on a train with alcohol!

Oh and you know how I wrote about my Kindle a few days ago? Well a woman on the train had one too - Double hurrah! (I didn't ask her what she was reading though!) After a fairly short train journey we arrived in Bristol Temple Meads (the main station) and departed and headed to the first pub on the Monopoly board... and that's where it all fell apart - yep we didn't even make it to the first pub! Although we had a map and we were trying to follow it, someone bright spark came up with the idea of going in the first pub we saw and we'd just go from there... so we did that and entered "Ye Shakespeare". I saw some really interesting Strawberry K2 alcopop behind the bar so I tried that, but to be honest it wasn't very nice. We attempted to play "21" card game, but I kept messing it up :( I've played it before, but the rules were slightly different (we didn't have reverse direction or skipping people) but soon we all finished our drinks so we moved on to the Llandoger Trow (or the Smugglers bar as one of the entrances was labeled!)

After the previous disaster of a drink I decided to stick to "brand name alcopops" so picked a WKD Blue. Yep they're sickly sweet, but I do love them! Technically I prefer the red ones more, but no one ever seems to sell those - boo! Soon though it was time to move on and we were all feeling a bit peckish so we entered the awesomeness that is... SUBWAY! :) I've only been in Subway once before and this experience was just as great. I ordered as 12inch Italian BMT (or at least I think that's what it was called) and had it on cheese and herb Italian bread or something like that. I'm not really sure, but it had pepperoni, salami, ham, melted cheese and I added onions and jalepenos to it and it was extremely tasty!! :)

Stopping in Subway

After some wandering round we ended up in a massive open area next to a festival that was going on and we were debating whether to pay to go in or not and decided against it in the end so headed to find another pub, but on route we found the Planetarium instead! It was closed at this time of night (or at least I assume it was closed), but it's housed in a large sphere so much hilarity ensured with us all taking pictures of our reflections in the silver ball:

Reflections in the a giant silver ball

Next we headed into some bar next to some sort of waterfront/marina, however that didn't work out too well. When asked "What cocktails do you do?" the woman behind the bar looked at us blankly "We don't sell cocktails" and sure enough the entire bar had zero spirits, alcopops, coke or anything you'd normally find in the bar fridges, just tons of WINE. Oh. At this point Lucy's boyfriend met up with us and we headed to the "Bristol Ram". I drank a Redbull and Vodka and we all had a shot of Sambuca and listened to the live music for a while... but it's a pub crawl... can't stay still for too long! And then we went to the place called "Illusions Magic Bar" and it was BRILLIANT. It was your stereotypical pub/bar layout inside except for in one corner there was a little area with a guy doing card tricks and he was REALLY good. We all managed to get on the seats right in front of him so not only did we get to see his tricks up close, but we got to be part of the act too!

Illusionist in the "Illusion Bar"

I'm not sure I've ever actually seen magic up close (only televised?), but this guy was really good and not only were us seated people captivated, but the 20 or so people stood behind as well! I know this is obviously what they're supposed to do, but his ability to turn one card into another, even when he slowed it right down... fantastic! Aside from cards he also got out some sponge balls that split into multiple balls, but he did this WHILST other people were holding them. Carys had to hold one for him and even though he didn't touch her hand, when she opened it again it was a completely different shape/multiple balls AND completely different sized object... WOW. Can you tell I was really impressed? :) After the "show" ended (~15 minutes with 5 minute break before he starts again) we left those seats so someone else could watch the next one up close and went to get a drink. I'd already switched to soft drinks though by this point... Apple and Raspberry J2O - I'm not really that heavy a drinker, especially not when I'm actually out/not at home. After we'd finished our drinks we moved to "Ha Ha bar" (what a name!) and once inside Lucy and Amy bought a some sort of cocktail between them:

Some kind of a cocktail

I can't remember what it was called, but watching them create it with all the various things going in layer by layer was really interesting! We stayed in here for about 30 or so minutes until they told us they were closing so off we went to find somewhere else!

We initially went in Wetherspoons, but after being in there only 2 minutes we left to find somewhere better and we ended up in Coolers Nightclub. It's no secret that clubs really aren't my thing (I don't dance and holding a conversation is impossible), but at the same time I find it quite fascinating to watch all the social interactions going on around the club and how people behave, especially to the different music. Like for examply there was a lot of alternative music playing and all of a sudden they switched to "We are your friends" (Justice Vs Simian) which is very much electronic/dance and the whole dancefloor just STOPPED. It was like people had no idea what quite to do... but within 30 secodns it got moving again. I'm probably explaining it really badly, but little things like that amuse me. I think everyone else was a bit concerned that I wasn't enjoying myself, which was kind of them to worry, but it was all fine and although we were apparently in there two hours it certainly didn't feel like it! Although when we came out my ears were ringing for about 10 minutes afterwards!

Carys, Amy and Lucy

Feeling it was time to call it a night we headed to the taxi stop and fairly soon managed to get a taxi all the way back to Lucy/Andy's where people collapsed off to bed fairly soon. Personally I wanted to read for a little while, but that turned out to be a huge mistake... I'd bought my Kindle along (love it!) and started on "The Da Vinci Code" and was hooked... two hours later it's 5am and I'm still awake... Oops. I did manage to read nearly half the book though, it's gripping stuff! Eventually though I went to sleep and had about 4-5 hours sleep, poor Andy though had to go out early to play/teach hockey so probably had less!

Sunday morning the rest of us got up (Andy left ~8am or so!) and Lucy made us bacon sandwhiches. Everyone got themselves sorted and Amy headed off home. Lucy, Carys and myself headed back into Bristol and Cabot Circus (no real plan, just having a look around) and eventually we ended up at "Patisserie Valerie" Café. I've never heard of them, but it seems they're a bit of a chain and there's 3 in Bristol alone!

The original plan was to get a drink and some cake (the cake is what they specialise in), but we all decided to get a portion of chips first. I had a lovely chocolate milkshake too, but sadly as I expected it went way too fast:

Patisserie Valerie the next day!

So I also ordered a strawberry one :) Carys didn't want a cake by this point and the cake Lucy wanted was sold out so I ended up eating cheesecake all by myself... but I didn't care... it was yummy. Although I think I was laughed at for the way I ate it haha. I always maintain that the best bit about cheesecake, is the base. Sure you could just make biscuit crumb type base, but unless it's actually had cheese soaking into and softening it up, it doesn't taste as nice :) So basically I try and eat the entire cheesecake leaving the base until last. Or at least that's the plan, it didn't go so well this time! After this we headed back and all said our goodbyes and went our separate ways!

Spent the rest of the evening just chilling with the TV (The Day After Tomorrow was on), harvesting my crops on FarmVille and basically being unproductive lol. :)

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