There is a reason why I’m writing about beaches in UK. Actually I have a few reasons, here they are: It’s officially summer. I don’t know what made it official really, but I’ve been hearing it since a few days ago. Summer and beaches are synonymous to me. Here you are beaches: Portobello Beach and Brighton Beach UK.
When the sun peeks out for 5 minutes in London, people hop on the train and head for the beach in Brighton. It takes 1.5 hours and costs around GBP10-15 return, depending on the day, time, or which train you get. So one day when the thermometer hits 30, well, when in Britain…
The beach is not what you expect of a beach. From afar, it looks pretty normal, but up close, you get pebbles for a beach. I was actually very fascinated by it that for a minute, was more interested in it than my company, haha. The water is cold even if the sun was blazing hot. But still you can see brave bodies dipping in their swimming costumes. I am glad that water in the Philippines is only 1 degree colder than the air.
Brighton is a vibrant place with a happy vibe. The beach is clean and as you can see, people don’t mind the pebbles. I also laid there for a few getting tan. The boardwalk has a lot going on: street performers, vendors, and plenty of open air cafes where you sit to get a pint or two or…
Brighton is not a new town; it has history that goes way back and has remarkable landmarks such as the Royal Pavillon, the Brighton Pier, clock tower, and a couple of museums. It is great for a day trip but definitely worthy of a couple of days stay.
You’ve been to the Castle Rock, walked the Royal Mile, into the Palace of Holyroodhouse, joined the Literary Pub Tour (not your ordinary pub crawl, mind you), library, cemetery, hill, pond, church, cafe, pubs, etcetera. My point is you’ve seen and been to all the glory of Edinburgh (read:EDIN-bur-ra). Then someone mentioned to me that there’s a beach 20 minutes away. Naturally, I’d hop on the bus (#15 or #26) and head for it.
Getting to Portobello beach is like walking into a faded old photograph. The dependable Scottish overcast certainly help paint the picture. The beach is so long and so wide that it made the place seems deserted. The wide space all over muffles the sound of the waves and occasional voices of children playing. I didn’t think it was sad, but it made me a little thoughtful. I was 2 months into my round the world and I was still in disbelief, happily.
Portobello Beach has certainly seen its hey days. Walking the promenade today, you’ll see families with little children, old people with dogs, occasional cyclists, joggers; you also see Tower Amusement and Fun City arcade which could be part of a lively boardwalk amusement park in the 60’s; and there’s me sitting on the outside table of one of the 2 food places jotting away my thoughtful thoughts before it rains.
If this were a movie, this is when some guy stops by to ask me to look after his belongings while he goes get tea. He would try to start a conversation by asking if I’m writing a best selling novel. He would be someone with an exciting job; a treasure hunter, a secret agent or such. He would be interesting and engaging; he would ask me to dinner at a fancy restaurant called Tigerlily, but after a few drinks at this tiny pub with live music. He would hand me an antique russian pill box he found while scavenging for treasure. If this were a movie, he would look like Matthew McConaughey!
I love the beach and have been to a few in Europe: Barcelona, St-Malo, Ibiza, Portugal, Nice, Cannes, Holland. It boggles people that I would still go to the beach in Europe when I’m from the island paradise that is the Philippines. Oh well.