At last it's the summer holidays here! My youngest has just broken up and, as I work in a school, I have too. We stayed in yesterday as it was a day of downpours and thunderstorms, but today we decided to go out as it was warm and sunny. We headed over to Bristol for this weekend's Harbour Festival. It was at times quite overcast, but very hot and packed with people.
It's spread along the banks of the river Avon and into the old harbour area. Bristol is a very vibrant and busy city, and there's always lots going on. There were rides available on lots of boats, like this old tug boat.
This boat's named after Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the famous Victorian mechanical and civil engineer. His connections with Bristol are great: he designed both the Clifton Suspension Bridge and the the SS Great Britain in Bristol, and was the chief engineer of the Great Western Railway.
Today there were rides along the harbourside in an old steam train.
I think this wooden ship is called the Kaskelot.
The river was very busy indeed, and it was not always easy to get an unobstructed view.
There were lots of lovely harbourside bars and restaurants to choose from.
And even Latin-American dancing on the deck of this boat.
At this point my attention was caught by the arrival of the Matthew, a fabulous replica of John Cabot's ship in which he sailed to Newfoundland in 1497.
Such a beautiful ship, I could look at her all day.
We then headed away from the river towards a square where there were music stages and lots of stalls. My favourite was this one selling Provencal soaps. The stall holder even spoke to me in French, so I got to try out some of my rusty A level French.
I chose two - lilac (of course) and cucumber, which smelt very refreshing.
Back by the riverside again, we wandered along under the trees beside some relaxed-looking bars.
A speedboat sped past as we were walking.
Here's a pretty floating bar, and lots of bicycles. Bristol's a very cycle-friendly city, with lots of cycle paths to explore.
Almost back to where we started, we took one last look at the river before heading for home.
We really enjoyed our taste of the Harbour Festival in the sunshine - a good start to the holidays.