Chapter Seven - Brighton

Trip Start Sep 28, 2012
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7
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Trip End Oct 14, 2012


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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Today also dawns wet and windy, but the forecast looks more promising. Margarita decides to stay in Lenham today so Miryam, Cecilia and I decide to go to the seaside

It's a long drive from Lenham to Brighton, probably Britain's most famous and popular seaside resort. It's located on the sunny south coast, though the weather is not cooperating and moisture is still dripping from the heavens. Perhaps we should have visited museums today.

It's a most attractive entry and as we arrive in the centre, we see rows of elegant Regency town-houses. They date from the 19th. century when doctors prescribed breathing sea air as a cure for just about everything. Today Brighton, and most other English seaside resorts have declined, suffering competition from Mediterranean countries blessed with much more sunshine, warmer seas and very cheap airfares.

The man who made Brighton fashionable was the Prince Regent, where he built his splendid Royal Pavilion, which we plan to visit.

I haven't done my homework very well, and by mistake park in a NCP private car park at 4.00 an hour. Later, after some investigation, we find a municipal car park at only 1.00 an hour, and hastily swap parking spots. Interestingly it's exactly the same situation on Miami Beach. Municipal parking lots are $1.00 an hour, and private lots can be 4 or 5 dollars an hour.  

The Royal Pavilion is indeed a unique wonder. The Prince Regent, later to become King George IV, built this fanciful retreat, a fantasy of turrets, minarets and domes, on the site of a small farmhouse near the shore. The flamboyant and fantastically extravagant interior was designed by John Nash to represent Chinese scenes. George died in 1840 and the young Victoria became queen. She detested the place, considering it vulgar and in poor taste. In 1850 she sold it to the City of Brighton for 53,000.

We are prohibited from taking photos inside, but I've captured several views to give you an idea of the sumptuousness of the salons.

 Afterwards we stroll through "The Lanes", a warren of narrow streets that was once the original fishing village, but now filled with souvenir shops and restaurants, finally arriving at the sea shore. A blustery wind blows all our cobwebs away, though fortunately it has stopped raining. Brighton Pier juts out magnificently into the English Channel.

A pier is a structure built out into the sea from the coastline on piles or pillars for use as a landing place or promenade. A British seaside resort is not a proper resort unless it has a pier. Brighton Pier was opened on 20th May 1899 and had cost a record 137,000.
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Comments

Cesar Barroso on

Hi, Martin,
Nice post and photos.
That Jamie Oliver is the same one of the TV show, I assume.
Cheers,

greekcypriot
greekcypriot on

Thank you for the virtual trip to Brighton Martin. You surely found the way to show us what the pavillion was like inside!

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