Alessandro explores: Clifton Observatory

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Hello, my name is Alessandro Castaneda and I am 17.
In Switzerland I am a business student and my dream is to be an english teacher.
I am here because I won a scholarship and for a total of 5 weeks I will stay in Bristol and work in the Visitor Centre of the Clifton Suspension Bridge.
While I am here I want to improve my English and improve as a person, living 1400 km away from home and not having anything familiar around me. I also will use this experience to enrich my curriculum and extend my work skills.

Today I went out to explore the area around the Suspension Bridge...

The Avon Gorge is a gorge placed between North Somerset and Bristol. The difference between high tide and low tide is 15 meters, which is really high.
In the past it was used as a defensive gateway to the city, due to the importance of the port.

The view from the Observatory Hill is truly amazing, unfortunately the weather was not perfect so I did not admire the whole beauty of the view.
However, from the top of the hill you can see all the Clifton Suspension Bridge and also, in the background, the city.

The gorge is similar to the gorges we have in Switzerland, but the thing that reminded me the most of my home is the view from the hill, in Switzerland we have a lot of views like that, even close to the cities.

It looks familiar but it is not in the Italian part of Switzerland, you can see a lot of houses like this if you go the countryside or just in the cities in the German part of Switzerland.

I have visited the Clifton Observatory, a building on the top of the hill next to the Clifton Suspension Bridge. In the past it was a windmill for corn and later became a tobacco mill.

Inside it you can see the Camera Obscura, the Camera Obscura is a complete dark room and it has a 360 degrees lens on the top of the room. It allows the visitors to watch the view from a 360 degrees perspective around the building. There is a handle and you can rotate the image that the lens in the top of the room reflects on the table. I have already seen a thing like this before, in Switzerland and in Peru too.


You can also see the Giant’s cave, the corridor to reach it is 61 m long and you have to climb a lot of stairs and you will arrive in a cave where there is a platform (max. 8 people at a time), if you go on the platform you can see all the Avon Gorge, the Bridge and the Avon River.
You feel like a Giant, it is really small and I’m not even so tall (1.80m), when you go downstairs it is fine and the cave is pretty cold, but when you have to climb it up, it is really a challenge. The view is beautiful, I personally preferred the view from the hill because you see more things, but from the Cave’s view you can see the Avon River and the Gorge from a closer perpective.


The story of the Bristol’s Giants talks about two brothers, Goram and Ghyston.

They fall in love with the beautiful Princess Avona. The Princess, who doesn’t know who she should marry, so she gives a task to them and the first one to complete it will win her hand. The task is to dig a channel from the Bristol Centre to the sea.
At the end, Ghyston won and named the channel Avon, as a wedding present for her.

I would recommend this visit to all the people who want to see something new and experience new things, also to the people (like me) who love seeing beautiful views of the environment.


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