Columnist Natasha Shapiro left the hustle and bustle of London city for a vacation on the Brighton Pier, where she also visited the Royal Pavilion.
Living in London is like living in New York City – the energy and nonstop activity is completely overwhelming. There’s a never-ending flow of things to do and places to go. Though I enjoy being swept up in the liveliness of one of the world’s greatest cities, the constant excitement sometimes becomes exhausting.
Brighton, located approximately two hours south of London, is a seaside “town” where Londoners have vacationed for generations. I say “town,” because it actually feels more like a calm, quaint city, which could be why it’s sometimes referred to as “London-by-the-sea.” People frequently trade in the bustle of London for the peacefulness of the seaside, and for a day, I decided to do the same.
I spent the morning at the Brighton Pier, enjoying the ocean breeze and crisp autumn air. Despite the chilling weather, people wandered everywhere, and the pier was alive with the sounds of children playing and the smell of hot crepes and doughnuts. The gray overcast sky added an elusive charm to the atmosphere’s mood.
I then visited the Royal Pavilion, home to the former Prince Regent, who later became King George IV. The more money and power he was granted in his life, the more extravagant his palace became. By the end of his life, the Pavilion resembled India’s Taj Mahal, and the inside was infamous for its ornate Oriental décor.
Walking through the Royal Pavilion was completely different from touring Buckingham Palace. Though the Queen’s Palace is incredibly luxurious, it’s decorated in the exact manner one would expect. The Prince Regent succeeded in turning his Pavilion into another world, creating a fascinating juxtaposition against the seaside town.
Upon leaving the Pavilion, I discovered the sky had somehow managed to clear. I headed back toward the beach in time to witness a beautiful sunset. Lasting almost an hour, it tie-dyed the sky with various pinks and purples, casting a soft light onto the beach and buildings.
Though I had wanted a change of scenery, I was not expecting the day to provide such an extraordinary sense of calm. Watching the sun set over the ocean, I realized that though I love every aspect of living in London, it was nice to sit back, relax and breathe a little easier.
Natasha Shapiro can be reached at email@example.com‘.