Last Tuesday I went to Bristol, the first time I've ever visited.
Throughout university, and since as people moved away from Swansea and Cardiff, I've often heard "you'd love Bristol, there's more going on than Cardiff and it's not as massive/impersonal as London" etc.,. Not only is it strange that the only noteworthy virtue of a place seems to be that it's slightly different to other places (surely all cities have this claim to make to varying degrees and extents!), but comparing somewhere favourably to both London and Cardiff (cities I'm very fond of) is also silly because it sets me up for disappointment (unless it's Amsterdam then it's fine because it's almost uniquely alien a city, and rather fantastic to boot!)!
I had a fine day, my Aunt drove, my cousin (her daughter), my grandmother, my mother and myself were the very grateful passengers. A very female voyage, complete with slapstick humor, foul language and toilet gags a plenty! It was a very amusing and pleasant day. I am sure though, that we would have just as easily managed a great day in, say, Hull, Croydon or Grimsby, neither of which I've ever visited (but have oft wanted to), all of which are blessed with wonderfully unglamorous names (and thus equally unflattering connotations are drawn up in mind)
Maybe when the sun shines Bristol smiles? Either way, I'm sure I'll visit again, not just because, for £8, I found 2 Roberto Bolano books I've not read, a lovely book of Le Corbusier drawings and quotes as well as "How Proust can change your life" by Alain de Botton, hands up who loves Alain I