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A trip back in time

Today I went to Bristol with my wife and my pal Chris. To be frank I wasn't looking forward that much to it as I had made several trips to European cities recently where guidebooks and google served to make us lost and confused and AWARE OF TOO MUCH ELSE THAT COULD POTENTIALLY BE DONE- plus, rushing to destinations we had decided from internet searches instead of just looking while on the ground. Then, quite fortuitously, the day before, I found for £2 a 1979 guide to Britain. It had two pages and a street map of Bristol. Suddenly my qualms evaporated. Navigating round Bristol using a 40 year old map was deeply reassuring. The lack of information- very comforting. There was the 'then and now' effect and also the fact that many things had gone...but not as many as you'd think. It was easy to navigate by churches, the river and bridges. Deciding what might and might not change added to the challenge. We did a fair bit asking as my wife wanted to see some galleries and we did find three...eventually. It was worth the wait- and we had a few pitstops at coffee shops along the way. The most gratifying part was when Chris tried to use google maps to usurp me...and my 40 year old street plan got us there faster and in better shape (on a phone the view is so narrow you can make egregious errors quite easily). So, a bit of experimental travel worthy of La Tourex, but also a lesson that less is more.

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