I went to Blackpool on Tuesday. I've been wanting to go since I heard about the place, especially since people seem to have very strong opinions about Blackpool, mostly negative. I wanted to know what people talk about when they talk about Blackpool, when they compare other places to it what does it mean, and I wanted to know why people were always so negative about it.
The weather was absolutely beautiful when I went, the sun was shining and it was nice and warm. I hadn't realised how much I missed the smell of the sea until I smelled the saltiness of it when I stepped off the coach. I wish I had stayed overnight or at least late to see the Blackpool illumination, which seems to be the only positive thing people associate with Blackpool, but it will have to be another time.
Every other store facing the sea is an arcade in Blackpool, and although I found out I love the 2p machine when I was in Scarborough I don't understand why there had to be so many place offering it. People seem to associate seaside towns with arcades in the UK and I can understand why, I just don't understand how it started and why…
When you go to Blackpool you can see that it has been the way it is for ages. The piers are old, the buildings are old and some of the rides at pleasure beach are old. There are some lovely old lampposts and benches there but other ways you can tell it's old is the paint peeling off, rust showing, wood falling apart (slightly worried about the piers). I can understand that maybe Blackpool feels like this is part of its charm, that you can see it's old by letting the rust show a little, but it also makes it look like no one looks after the place, like it's becoming a ghost town. It's not like they don't have the money, random very modern things are being thrown up on the promenade.
The piers are kind of like carnivals or fun fairs, they've got rides and games and the stall holders try to hassle you into playing their games. I think my favourite thing about the piers are the old benches along the edges of it and the little buildings on the North Pier.
I also went to Pleasure Beach, I liked that instead of having one set ticket price I could pay for a "cheap" ticket that didn't include any of the rides, just so I could go in and experience the atmosphere and see what it was all about. It was like any other amusement park really… Not much to say about it, I've got a feeling it wasn't very busy when I went since it was in the middle of the week and not during a school holiday, and I'm very happy about that. It's very cramped as they've tried to fit a lot of rides into a fairly small space, I can imagine that during summer holiday you probably struggle moving around.
Then there is Blackpool tower, I went up it as I've heard they've got a glass floor that you can walk on and I wanted to check it out. Disappointed after "the Edge" in Melbourne I really hoped it was better than that. When I got up in the tower the glass floor is right outside the lift. It's only part of the floor so that if you don't want to walk on it you can avoid it. The glass was much clearer that it was at "the Edge" and I quite enjoyed standing on it and looking down.
Blackpool was an experience… I would like to go back and see the illuminations at night but other than that I'm not bothered at all, if I go to the seaside I much prefer a beach without the tourist traps and people nagging me to spend money every 5 meters. I can see why most people have negative opinions about it.