Brighton

This morning we got an early start so we could make the 9 am train to Brighton which is a seaside resort almost due south of London. The train delivered us in just over an hour. We wanted to make an early start in order to get a jump on the tourist.

This is the train station at at Brighton.

This is the train station at at Brighton.

Christina wanted to show me the Royal Pavilion.  I hadn’t a clue what that was but assumed it was some temporary structure created for a significant event in the history of the town or country much like the Great Exhibition of 1851.

The pavilion it turned out was a royal palace built by George IV during the very early years of the 19th century while he was Prince of Wales, then Regent and finally King. The palace was his main residence and eventually went to his brother William IV and finally to Queen Victoria who felt it was not suitable for her growing family.  She sold the property to the city of Brighton and removed all the furnishings to other estates. The city has over time restored it and made it available for tours.

The palace is somewhat hard to describe and I can only say it is magnificent in its gaudiness and gaudy is putting it mildly. The architecture is Indian in nature and the interior is some kind of distorted Asian/Chinese aesthetic that is luxurious but a bit unsettling at times.

The Royal Pavillion at Brighton.

The Royal Pavilion at Brighton.

This is the side entrance to the palace.

This is the side entrance to the palace.

Many of the columns had this lotus blossom decoration at the base.

Many of the columns had this lotus blossom decoration at the base.

This stone work detail was beautiful.

This stone work detail was beautiful.

Me in front of the Royal Pavilion

Me in front of the Royal Pavilion

I couldn’t photograph the interior but took a number of pictures of the building.  Judge for yourself but trust me no photograph will ever capture the splendor of this palace. Inside, for example the grand dining room which is grand (to be expected) has a shallow central dome with a 30 foot chandelier (weighing in at a ton). The center of the chandelier is fairly traditional cut glass but there are six dragon heads coming out of the glass exhaling giant lotus lamps. The chandelier is suspended from a silver winged dragon with a 12 foot tongue. The rest of the room is just as extravagant. The music room has many serpents coiling down painted columns and sculpted ones coiling down actual columns. I did take a few photos of interior items from the guide book to give you an idea.

This is the dragon holding the chandelier in the Grand Dining Hall.

This is the dragon holding the chandelier in the Grand Dining Hall.

Dining Room chandelier. The flying dragon is clutching this in his/her claws and it weighs a ton.

Dining Room chandelier. The flying dragon is clutching this in his/her claws and it weighs a ton.

Music room chandelier.  Note snakes coiling down the painted columns in background.  Well, there were some kind of snake/dragon creature.

Music room chandelier. Note snakes coiling down the painted columns in background. Well, there were some kind of snake/dragon creature.

After our visit, we headed down to the beach, toured the pier and enjoyed an hour laying on the beach. We went up to restaurant with the “best fish and chips” in the city for lunch. I got in the obligatory fish and chips meal. Done and done.

A view as we walked down the board walk (which was paved not wood). These are typical structures along the beach front.

A view as we walked down the board walk (which was paved not wood). These are typical structures along the beach front.

This is one view from the pier. The stone jetty were serious construction and beaches are rocks with some sand underneath.

This is one view from the pier. The stone jetty were serious construction and beaches are rocks with some sand underneath.

Not attractive but hey, it was my only chance. So I leave you with this image.

Not attractive but hey, it was my only chance. So I leave you with this image.

The trip back was uneventful and I have managed to relax a little this evening. Still trying to get some laundry done. Now that the facility is fixed, the lines are long. Tomorrow we go to Hampton Court.