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Other Bits of Bristol

Submitted by Bethany on Mon, 02/11/2019 - 10:00

I've already shared a couple of things from our trip to Bristol last week - the amazing street art everywhere, and our visit to the first Methodist chapel in the world. Today I want to finish sharing our trip with a few bits and pieces that didn't get talked about in my last two posts. 

The first place we explored in Bristol was an amazing block that contained City Hall (the beautiful building in the title picture) as well as Bristol Cathedral and the Central Library. The library looked amazing from the outside, and Steve and I were super excited to check out the interior. We were curious to see if the inside was still old-fashioned or if had been updated to something more modern. Unfortunately, the library is closed on Wednesdays, the day of the week we just happened to be there. Whomp, whomp. 

We left the steps of the library and set out to explore the cathedral instead. I don't care how many cathedrals I get to see over the course of our time abroad, I don't think I will ever tire of them. I am waiting for the day I actually get to attend a worship service in one, but so far the timing has never worked out quite right. (We were about an hour late for a daily Eucharist at this one, darn it.) 

The large, central worship space of the cathedral was stunning and almost overwhelming. I love the majesty of these grand buildings, and I find it all the more incredible when you consider the time in which they were built. It's not like they had modern technology and construction equipment in the twelfth century. 

I walked down the long walkway of the worship space to arrive at the place where the choir sits. Then I turned around to look back out at where I had come from, and where a congregation would sit. I could imagine this grand hall filled with worshippers and singing voices, it must be incredible. I especially love the circular stained glass window at the back. 

With such a large space, it would take quite the musical instrument to fill, and the cathedral did not disappoint with this organ. Again, I would love to hear this thing in action. (Note to self, start checking cathedral worship times online before going to visit.) 


Besides the main hall, there were other side chapels and various spaces for worship and contemplation. Check out our Instagram feed to see a stained glass window that depicted Jesus as a child. Additionally, this cathedral (like many) contained burial spots for various bishops, worship leaders, and prominent members who had passed long ago. This particular spot is the tomb of Bishop Bush, and I found it especially poignant that the accompanying plaque said he was here depicted as a corpse specifically to remind us of our mortality. Mission accomplished, I'd say. 

Once the cathedral was thoroughly explored, we stepped back outside to continue exploring the city. On the property of the cathedral was a tree which, while bare for the winter, was an explosion of color. As we got closer I realized it was covered in hearts and other various shapes that had been knitted and hung on the tree. A sign on the trunk informed us this was a "yarn bomb" to celebrate the community support and fundraising that had been given to the Bristol Heart Institute. The yarn decorations were to remain up until the 18 of February, and the sign gave information as to where further donations could be made. 

At one point in our wanderings through the city we came across this statue of Neptune, which is pretty cool. 

And we explored this mall area which was really more like a strip mall area until they put the glass roof overhead, making it all feel more like indoors. It was pretty neat!

Finally, on our way out of the city, Steve took a different route so we could go over the Clifton suspension bridge - which first opened in 1864! All these years later it's still standing strong (and looking gorgeous), in large part thanks to the £1 toll to cross which goes to fund repairs and maintenance on the bridge. 

We found a parking spot after crossing the bridge in the car so we could go back and walk across part of it. The view was incredible, although it wasn't the most picturesque day weather-wise. 

Well, all of that paired with my other two posts is a pretty full account of our time in Bristol. We got a lot done considering we were just there for one day. It's a really neat city and I would recommend visiting, especially if you are interested in Methodist history of any kind. Let me know if you have any questions about the city I can answer, or just want to chat about what I've shared!

XOXO, Bethany