So, my original thought was to make a trip down to Portsmouth (seriously! and I don't even know why), until my bro-in-law Ari suggested that I gave Brighton a go instead. And so last Sunday, I just did that. It's pretty convenient and cheap, I must say...
I took a train from London Bridge station which is about a 20-min walk from my apartment and the return ticket was GBP10. The journey took just a little over an hour but the bummer part was that I basically had to stand the whole time. So make sure you stand by the platform really early and be ruthless about getting a seat. Haha.
Upon arrival at the Brighton Station, I picked up a couple of brochures including one on the hop-on-hop-off bus which was to be my main mode of transportation. But before that, I just went with the flow and followed the crowd down the hill and towards the seaside.
And really, when I finally got to the beach, I was just blown away by the beauty and vibe of it all. My expectation was on a smaller scale, so it was a really pleasant surprise.
This was a proper seaside town alright. And the Sunday that I was there, an estimated 200,000 people were also there as summer made a comeback with temperatures up to 28 degrees celcius. Unlike other resorts famous for its white sandy beaches, Brighton is known for its unique pebble beach. And coming back to my earlier point of cheap and convenient, the ticket for the hop-on-hop-off bus was only GBP10, so really, you can have a decent time here for as low as GBP30. Anyway, enjoy my snaps of the sights around town.
I was also well-impressed by the Marina which was a hive of activities. But seeing how I only had a few hours there, I grudgingly had to skip that particular area.
BUT I did get down at the final stop near Brighton Pier. And what a sight that was. With the Brighton Eye standing high and mighty amidst all the revelry, it's made even more awesome by the presence of hundreds of big bikers. Indeed it was a strange but interesting mix of big bikers, singles and families crowding the beach, eating fish and chips and taking their kits off for a swim (hehe).
After that, it was time to do some shopping at The Lanes, as well as people-watching; I mean, Brighton's a really colourful place, literally and metaphorically (look it up yourself).
And boy was I glad that I decided to stop by and visit the Royal Pavilion, as it turned out to be the most magnificent building I've ever been in. Built by King George IV, the mixture of Chinese, Indian and English influences basically made for a bizarre splendour not seen elsewhere. Unfortunately, photography inside the Pavilion is prohibited, but I did buy a guide book, if you're interested :)
After the Royal Pavilion, I had a quick dinner (kebab, of course), and headed back to London. Brighton's not a place you go for a short visit, so I'd recommend at least a one night stay there. But my first nine-hour visit there was awesomely a memorable one.
P.S.: No, I was nowhere near the nude beach