I want to introduce you to Bristol, a city in the south west of England, and about 30km away from my hometown. If you ever go to UK and want to visit another city outside of London, here are the six reasons as to why you should visit Bristol.
1/ Bristol was voted by The Sunday Times in March 2017 as the best place to live in UK. They described Bristol as “a small city that feels like a big city, handily placed for seaside and scenery, but hardly cut off from the rest of the country”.
2/ The iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge, designed by Isambard Brunel, is in Bristol. Completed in 1864, it has a 214m span, the longest in the world at the time of construction. You can drive across the bridge for £1, and all the toll charges are used to maintain the bridge as there is no government funding. There’s also a law that levies a 5p pedestrian toll but this is not charged so pedestrians go free of charge.
布魯內爾 設計的著名地標建築克利夫頓吊橋就在市內。這於1864年建成的吊橋全長214米，是當年全世界最長的吊橋。吊橋並沒有任何政府資助，所以車輛會收￡1（NTD 40)過橋費，全數用以保養及維修吊橋。其實憲法容許管理機構徵收5p（NTD 2） 行人路費，但他們選擇不收這費用, 所以行人可免費遊覽。
Brunel also designed the SS Great Britain. When launched in 1843 she was the largest ship in the world. Built in Bristol, the SS Great Britain is regarded as one of the most important historical ships in the world and one that changed maritime history. After over a century of voyages, conversion, delapidation and finally restoration, she has finally returned home to Bristol as her final resting place. Visitors who are brave enough can even climb up the 25m rigging for a breathtaking view of Bristol.
布魯內爾 同時也設計了SS大不列顛。這艘船的歷史價值非常重要，而當年更被譽為是航運史上一個突破和轉戾點。船隻在布里斯托建造完工，於1843年初次航行時， 是全世界最長的船隻。經過超過一個世紀的航運，然後再改造，一度被荒廢，至最後經過仔細維修保養，她現在已回到布里斯托家鄉安享晚年。勇敢的訪客們還可以爬上她的20多米高的索具，從高空眺望布里斯托的美景。
3/ From historical structures to modern art. The world famous anonymous grafitti artist Banksy hail from Bristol and is famous for his satirical anti establishment works. Many of his works can be found scattered around Bristol city.
The worlds largest free, street art and grafitti festival, Upfest will be held in Bristol again in July 2017. 300 artists, from over 700 applicants, from over 30 countries will paint live on 30,000 sqft of surfaces around 35 venues over the weekend. Banksy isn’t on the list of artist, but who knows if he turns up?
全球最大型的免費街頭塗鴉藝術節 Upfest ，將會在2017年7月重回布里斯托。從超過700名申請中，大會今年挑選300位從世界30多個國家的藝術家參加。他們會在市內35個不同地點，超過35000平方英尺的平面，即埸創造街頭塗鴉作品讓大家欣賞。名單上並沒有Banksy, 但有誰知他會否出現呢？
4/ For aviation enthusiast, the new Aerospace Bristol will open in the summer of 2017. Bristol has a long aviation history with the first commercial aeroplane factory opening in 1910. It was also the home to Concorde. All Concordes used to make their maiden flight from Bristol, and during its last ever journey it flew above the iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge and eventually back home to its base in Bristol . That aircraft will now form the centre piece of the exhibition。
5/ On the second weekend in August every year, Bristol hosts Europe’s largest hot air balloon festival. Having lived in the area for literally all my life, a couple of years ago I finally went for the first time. The morning ascent at 5am is said to be the best time to go but of course thats way too early for me! I arrived late afternoon for the evening ascent, and it was already packed with people just like a festival should be. I watched as the balloons were set up on the grounds, then slowly took off one by one and gradually disappeared far afield. Spectacular !
6/ And finally, commuting to Bristol is easy. Its just over 200km west of London, takes less than two hours by car from Heathrow Airport, and about the same amount of time if you catch the train from central London.
Hey, what are you waiting for ?