I took my first trip out of London yesterday to sunny Brighton! Or so I thought it would be, until I arrived there to find rain and gale force winds. All was not lost, however, for a stormy Brighton had its own charms. I walked along the deserted promenade to the pier and saw all the empty attractions, which was singularly strange. There's something unsettling about a deserted fairground; needless to say, I loved it. Here's a shot of the pier.
As I left the pier, I looked out over the water and saw the English Channel churning with frothy whitecaps. Some distance from the pier stood the shell of the old West Pier, which burned in 2003. There was something so lonely about the image of a shell of deserted iron standing amidst the pounding, incessant force of the wild waves that I took a picture; and I think it turned out pretty good.
As I walked back to the entrance of the pier, I spotted a woman standing at the head of a breaker, looking out over the waves. I found the scene to have a certain poignancy, so I took her picture.
Upon leaving Brighton Pier, I wandered over to the Royal Pavilion, Brighton's most famous landmark. The beautiful building used to be a royal palace and is now owned by the city of Brighton. The exterior architecture shows obvious Indian influences, while the interior is decorated in chinoiserie. Unfortunately, photos were not permitted inside the Pavilion, but here is the exterior.
After I toured the Pavilion, I found a cozy coffee shop in which I could do some of my rather copious class reading. All in all, I enjoyed the day; I got to see a side of Brighton that most visitors don't observe. When people think of Brighton, they think of tourists sunbathing on the beach and playing on the pier; but their absence during my visit brought out a certain quality in the city that I appreciated. I'm trying to travel every weekend, but I don't know where to go next week. I'm sure I'll figure it out.
In other news, I went to the British Museum today. I hate to say that I was underwhelmed, but it certainly wasn't as enjoyable an experience as I had imagined it would be; I chalk this up to my preference for art museums over other sorts of museums. I did get to see the Rosetta Stone, though! I have SO MUCH reading to do for my classes next week that I expect that tomorrow and Monday will be largely given over to academic pursuits. If all goes well, however, I may go see Love Never Dies on Monday night.