Agustina A. B.

Archive for February, 2015

One Month One City – Brighton & Seaford

by on Feb.17, 2015, under Life Story

Because of recommendation of the man that his home I’ve visited 2 weeks ago, I have 2 destination to go: Whitby. And I also want to go to Lake District which is very famous here. But the itinerary is not possible since it is too far to London. I don’t want to spend money on accomodation, just one day out! So, my choice is Seven Sisters Country Park.

When I ask my friend a one day out, he wants to go to Brighton. I didn’t think it’s nice but no problem, I can still go to Seaford which is just close by. I was right. Brighton perhaps is very big but the touristy place is very small. We went to Royal Pavilion but it is not as beautiful as the picture from Google. We went to the beach. Beaches in my country is much more beautiful, with coconut trees (of course!). Brighton Pier is nice. It is a fun fair which I will consider as cheap here. The price of similar place in my hometown, called “THR Sriwedari” is much cheaper though. After 2 hours wandering around, we had a meal. Seafood, of course. I imagined it would be like seafood in my country, like real one. But everything is mostly fish & chips. I ordered crab but it was crab cake.

We had nothing else to do in Brighton. We went to Seven Sisters Country Park, around 1 hour by bus from Brighton. We bought Plus Bus which is very worth. The view from the bus is stunning! Do choose front upper deck of the bus if you go there. You can see cliff and sea in the right, while in the left you can see farm and beautiful old British houses, just like Whitby. One hour didn’t feel so long.

We arrived in Visitor Center and we asked the volunteer where to go. It’s better to drop here because they will tell you which track that you need to take if you want to see certain part, like for example classic view of Seven Sisters. The track is so muddy. I didn’t expect that since I thought it’s just a usual park, so I used wrong shoes.  It was white and it didn’t stay white. It’s  okay because the view is so beautiful there. Perfect! there is natural river, with farm, and little lake where you can see reflection. We chose “red route” to see classic view of Seven Sisters. It took around 2 hours return but we walked and stopped to enjoy the view. I can’t say much about it. If you want to go there without going to Brighton, Seaford has a station. You won’t regret!


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Being British in 3 Days

by on Feb.02, 2015, under Life Story

This edition of one city one month is so much special. Not only because I spent in more than 1 city, but because I had host visit! I applied in host visit, means that I want to be a guest in a British family for the whole weekend and I got somewhere in Hayling Island. Yes, it is an island! Sounds exciting huh? Indeed, it was beyond my expectation.

I spent 2 days and 2 nights with the Loveridge. They are so lovely. Mr. Loveridge picked me up at Havant station, nearest station from Hayling. They welcome us so warm (o yeah, I was with the other 2 students). We spoke a lot of things. Like almost all the time without any pause. They already traveled all around the world, they have more than enough story to tell. Very interesting since I really want to go somewhere around Europe. They did it sometimes with caravan or cycle. I can’t believe! They are so old, but with so much energy.

Hayling Island is located in the very south part of England. We can go easily to France by the nearby city, Portsmouth. This island has no train station, so the only way to go is by bus (if you don’t use car). There is only one bridge to go in and out of the island. The view from the bridge is so beautiful. There were a lot of yachts parked there. In summer, they should do something on the sea! This lovely-peaceful-quiet-small town is perfect for retired person. When I went to church with Mrs. Loveridge, almost all people are old, like really really old. One of her friend is 90s years old. I have a phrase for Hayling: a country for old men (and women).

The Loveridge’s house is only 10 minutes walk from the beach. I took a little walk there just before breakfast, to see how’s the beach here compare to my country. It is stony, very cold, not really nice. But they have small hut for people who do sport here, to put their equipment. Good thing: very clean. Just beside the beach, there is a golf. I needed to go back soon because we would have a big day. We spent the whole Saturday afternoon all over the place by car. I remember some towns like Portsmouth, Emsworth, Chichester, Havant. They showed us every interesting places around, I mean literally showed, like we just stopped a minute and go to other places without stepping out of the car. If we had more time, it will be nice if we can take a little walk. The main destination is Weald & Downland Open Air Museum. It is a museum about how old village looks like. They brought houses from all over the UK to this museum. It is very interesting since I liked to play Travian, a game about building a village. It is so much like that (or you can name other similar games)! So I found it so fun. I imagined being a chief with all those building like cottages, village meeting point, hall, market, horse stable, farm, stone mason, blacksmith, woodyard, flour mill, everything you name it! And what was more amazing is that they showed us the activity! So in the blacksmith, there was a person who made horseshoe. A person crafted stone on stone mason. And real bull and horse, as well as pigs. The garden is there but it was nothing because it was winter. Now I realize why British like to conquer other places. They didn’t have heating facilities so that it must be very cold at that time. It was very cold as well when we went there. I didn’t prepare suitable clothes because I thought that it wasn’t that cold.

Amazing stories behind some English phrases which comes from medieval era. Like how phrase sleep tight comes from. It is because in the old time, people use rope under their bed and they needed to tighten it up before going to sleep. The phrase kept in the dark is from the story that unimportant people being excluded from the meeting in the dining table. The dining table is right in front of fire.  Those who were excluded stayed in another room which was very dark (of course there were no light at that time). I’m sorry I can’t remember all the story because I had dozen of English words.

We went to have a lunch in (they said) a famous pub. I searched about them just now. The Fox Goes Free, a fancy name. It is 400 years old (whoa!). I had fish and chips because I wanted to feel very English. After full of meal, we drove the car all over the places again. We went up and down of the hills (just found out that that was in the middle of forest). Mr. Loveridge showed us so many interesting places: Goodwood Racecource (first time I saw horse racing circuit, I felt like a wealthy person gambling for the horse), Goodwood Motor Circuit (unfortunately it was so quiet), Rolls Royce factory (the factory itself is underground, so we barely see anything there), Chichester Cathedral, and the most interesting is Portsdown Hill Viewpoint. Unfortunately no one went out of the car although we stopped few minutes. It is a hill where we can see the whole Portsmouth from top, and a bit Hayling island, Isle of Wight, and some other ports. It is so beautiful! I really wanted to go out of the car but I couldn’t ask for more. It was getting dark and they wanted to show us an old church, St. Peter’s Church, in Hayling Island. It was okay. I saw so many big cathedrals but seeing something like small church is also interesting.

Beside having chit chat, we played timber. So we put 3 pieces of wood above the other 3 pieces until the woods are over. Then, we roll the dice, see what colour coming out, then we take one of the piece and place it above them. I was about to be the champion with 3 wins in a row, but then I screwed it up with 2 loses in a row. Mr. Loveridge thought I would be unstoppable because as a pharmacy student, I could concentrate well with tiny object. Funny!

I must talk about the food that they cooked. My friends were worried about me because I can’t eat Western food. I find it so plain, and some are sour which is so strange for me. I don’t eat sour food for meals! First night, I was so worried and my nightmare came true. It is because the starter which ruined everything. The main dish was risotto (of course without wine) and the dessert (some sweet-sour thing, I can’t remember) is fine. But the starter, some cheese, I didn’t like it. Mr. Loveridge said it is like rubber (he meant in a good way) and I said yes (but in not a very good way). We had afternoon tea as well, some scones and cakes, with tea of course. Very British. The second day’s supper was good. Mediteranian food they said. I don’t remember the detail. It was vegetables, baked, covered with eggs and yoghurt. It was a bit sour but stronger taste, so I kinda like it. Because the purpose of this visit is to know English life more, they really tried to do everything in English way. Like dinner in the table, the meals, etc. Mr. Loveridge said that it was just because there are visitors, if not, they will eat just usual like us. The last day, we got roast chicken! Very British! Mrs. Loveridge can’t find halal meat because Hayling is more like homogen, most of people are English (or at least White). I ate it by the way. It was nice. With potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnip, spinach, and red cabbage.

It was so unfortunate that I need to go back to London. First because they were so nice, treated us like their daughter, which made me homesick right after I leave them. Secondly, I needed to go back to college life.

Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Loveridge. This was amazing!

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