Mammoth post alert.
Me and Tom went on a mini adventure down the road on Sunday, to the Harbour Festival.
I like walking down to the harbourside from our house because we get to walk across a really lovely Victorian bridge, and down past the old railway track, which is right by the river. It’s a really beautiful walk. I’m somewhat obsessed with Victorian engineering, so little things like this never fail to excite me.
We passed under the bridge and were making our way to the Buttery, when I heard the familiar puff and pootle of a steam train! I got suitably excited.
I really love trains.
This particular train was making journeys up and down the harbour all day; I would have loved to go for a ride but we didn’t have time.
There were more narrowboats than usual in the harbour; they were moored in little clutches like this along the length of the harbour. I’d never been to the festival before and was amazed at the sheer amount of boats in the water.
We got to the Buttery and the queue was HUGE, so we left our growling bellies and walked down the waterfront past the M Shed in search of sustenance.
There was a Victorian mechanical crane in operation, giving demos. As with the previous, I would have liked to stop and have a proper look, but we were on a mission!
The Mathew always looks beautiful, from any angle. I was lucky enough to go on a journey on the Mathew for my friend’s birthday a couple of months ago, it’s pretty awesome being aboard. Like a real life bona-fide pirate.
Then we found the Pyronaut.
What… the… ?
It’s a fire-boat! That is, it’s a boat to put out boat fires. It was made in 1934 (or thereabouts) and pumps out water from the harbour in chuffing great big jets! It really was impressive, considering it was such a tiny boat. I couldn’t get my head around how old it was.
The mist was reaching us slowly and drifting across the whole harbour, and had a welcome cooling effect as it was so hot that day.
It was REALLY sunny. Uncomfortably so. I think it was maybe at some point around here where I picked up the majority of my sunburn. Damn you, pale skin!
We walked a bit further along and got to Pero’s bridge, aka the trumpet bridge, aka the horny bridge. I have to admit that I didn’t know the proper name for it until a couple of months ago, when I was reminded how important this Pero guy was, and told to never forget his name.
I think trumpet bridge has more of a ring to it though.
This is the view from the bridge, looking over to M Shed. ZILLIONS of boats moored, and felt like even more so going up and down the harbour. The rowers were out in force too, we were accosted by a lady and asked if we wanted to have a go (I was not dressed appropriately).
We went to a sausage stand just down from here and had a massive baguette with a giant butcher’s sausage in it, I would have taken a picture but I was too busy stuffing it in my gob.
We finally made it to the amphitheatre!
So exciting. It was packed with people and stalls offering food and drinks (we obviously stopped for a beer), handmade craft items, a massage tent, a portable forest (it was a tree in a wheely bin), and a tent offering free workshops and seminars.
We didn’t stay here for too long, we were conscious of running out of time, plus it was too busy to enjoy properly.
On the way out I spotted some awesome fishy yarn-bombing. They were pleasantly oscillating in the breeze, and I wondered how long and how many people it must have taken to cover the railings like this.
There are a few examples of yarn bombing in Bristol, but this one was particularly awesome.
A little further along and I noticed a giant teapot.
It was the lovely people at Clipper, who were handing out free samples of their delicious beverage. I managed to score a box of 10 free teabags, which didn’t last very long in our house!
I have to admit that we never buy Clipper in our house, we are far too cheap for that. Along with the teabags there was a voucher for 40p off, and I’m considering buying a stash to take to work, considering the amount of tea I drink throughout the day. It’s FAR superior to whatever horrible teabags they buy in for the staff cupboard.
The ladies handing the samples out had the most awesome dresses on – 1950’s puffy skirted things in different pastel colours, with printed teaspoons down the length of the skirt. They looked amazing, and it was really nice to see that Clipper had put some thought into the ‘uniform’ that they were wearing, instead of just getting a load of plain old printed tees like most businesses do. I wish I’d got a proper picture.
They were also running a mini competition via a wheel-of-fortune style affair, to win a Clipper branded cup! Of course I had a go.
The queue was almost exclusively made up of families and children, and I felt a little self-conscious queueing up by myself. When it got to my go I thought I had completely fudged it up, and was ready to throw a strop if I didn’t win.
But here he is! Thanks Clipper!
I’m chuffed to bits – I’m currently sitting here drinking chai wondering where the lovely weather went.
Hopefully it will return in time for next weekend.