Birmingham or bust

This excellent graffiti mural is opposite where we are staying. Most of the graffiti we see isn’t nearly this good.

We caught our local train to Victoria Station, then hauled our stuff about a block and a half to the coach station.

We made it, of course. We are staying in a backpackers that is very like the backpackers we used to stay in, before they became more like hotels. I’ll take some photos of the common room tomorrow when we have breakfast. Our actual room is in an annex, which is more modern, but still shabby. Still, we have our own room with en-suite and it is roomy enough, with modern windows.

The outside of the main building/

We go through the purple door to get to our room at the rear of the hostel

We had two cases, my duffle, plus small backpacks and shoulder bags, nothing very heavy since the weight was well distributed, but we were very happy to have help getting the cases upstairs to our first floor room.

Birmingham as we came into town is very dingy and almost deselect looking. Our backpackers is close to the centre of town in a dingy street. But, we walked up to the town centre this evening and found an extensive modern shopping centre and some older buildings further along. There were lots of people around, in fact it was bustling. At the Town hall there was the obligatory protest about the present political situation, with police looking on.

This, believe it or not, is the Apple Store.

We had tea at a place that specialises in pies, and had traditional English style with mushy peas and mashed potatoes. The other clientele were young and stylish, the prices moderate, and as we were very hungry we felt we had made the right choice.

After a few days of doing very little (going up and down stairs in the Croydon apartment surely counts for something) I have done about 15,000 steps today, not too bad.

We watched the protest from a distance.

The beautiful Town Hall.

This area is called the Bull Ring. We need to know more of the history to know what it means.

Old and new.

The young woman on reception is a bit of a history buff and was able to give us lots of information on local attractions, particularly with regard to historical sites. The Tourist Information Bureau has closed, but she could run it by herself. One of the places would interest Eversley, the local town of Bournville where the Cadbury Chocolate Factory was built by Quakers. She said that in Britain chocolate factories were usually started by Quakers. I theorised that chocolate is an addictive substance that seems to be very safe, something that doesn’t contradict their ideas of living simply. The original owner built a beautiful village for the factory workers, based on the usual English style of little houses in a row. I hope we have time to go there, and to some of the other places she mentioned.

The weather did change yesterday, as promised. It was still a bit stuffy overnight las night, but definitely cooler today. We wore light jumpers when we went for our evening walk. Tomorrow should be dry and about 22 degrees, very good for exploring.

We felt a bit of an affinity for this restaurant because of the name.