Trip Start Nov 27, 2007
Trip End Feb 18, 2008

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Friday, December 7, 2007

Tonight (6th Dec) was late night shopping in Lewes.  It had been raining all day so I hadn't been out doing much, just sitting around and reading and writing.  The special thing about Christmas late night shopping in Lewes is the whole town comes alight, with Christmas lights, fireworks, and entertainment.  Every shop is open till 9pm or so at night which makes for a great evening of shopping, and some shops cook Christmas mince pies, or other sweets, accompanied by drinks. 

Myself, my Auntie Jane and a couple of the younger kids headed in to watch the fireworks at 6pm at one of the higher points in town, Lewes castle.  We stood around in anticipation for about 20 minutes before they started letting them off, but we weren't disappointed.  After 5 minutes of enjoying the fireworks we headed off into down to devour the eagerly awaited Christmas pies and check out the specials for the night.  The great thing about such an event is the whole town gets involved, and they make an occasion of it.  I haven't experienced anything like that in New Zealand, which made this really nice. 

We wandered around and brought a few things, but the main attraction for me was all the Christmas lights lining the streets.  Kind of got me all excited about Christmas, even though I haven't been that excited in years, I guess New Zealand's definition of Christmas is a lot different to what it is in England, where its winter, dark, snowy etc.  NZ has warm weather, the beach, and BBQs.  Oh and the local brewery were giving away beer samples, and heaps of food, which I had heaps of, it was awesome.  And then I brought some local ales.

The following day was actually nice weather, so I finally decided to check out the Lewes attractions.  Now for most of you reading this you probably think, why the hell am I talking about a small town like Lewes and why bother to go into the detail?  Well I used to live here till I was 2.5 years old before moving to New Zealand, so it's quite interesting for me to walk about Lewes and discover the town I can barely remember.

I walked around the centre of town and onto the Lewes Castle where the fireworks were the night before.  I brought an admission ticket and starting working my way up the narrow stairs to the keep.  Once I got inside the keep at the top of the hill, the staircase leading up to the outdoor roof was tiny.  Now this was either because they really sucked at making staircases back in the day, or before people were smaller back in the Victorian age and earlier.  From the top I had a great view of Lewes and took some nice snap shots of the town.  I stayed up there for about 5-10 minutes before heading back down to check out the town's history in the museum. 

After entertaining myself here and I went around local shops that I had not visited the night before and peered at some of the novelties and what not, before meeting up with my Grandma for lunch and heading home.  It was quite remarkable walking around the small lanes that I have mentioned before.  The roads and lanes half the time are made up for bricks, rather than paved like everywhere in New Zealand.  Exploring some of the smaller towns is definitely worth it even if only for half a day, and I would recommend it to anyone who comes over to the UK.

I have uploaded the best pictures I took of the fireworks going off onto facebook along with some of the lights in town, plus the pictures of the town from the Castle.
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