After ticking off all the key things to do on my list, I was left with approximately six hours to fill however I desired. Had it been a sunny day, I’d have done the obvious: Birmingham has 8000 square feet of public parks. However, the day I chose to visit was cold, wet and blustery and so I was stuck. I took the obvious option to begin with and went and recharged – myself and my phone – at the Starbucks just along from the museum and used the free WiFi there to look up what I could do.
What I found as options online was a gigantic list of things that I would love to do, but that maybe needed pre-booking, or more time than I had, or more money than I wished to spend. So I changed my Google search from “things to do in Birmingham” to “vegan shops in Birmingham”. And the results led to a fruitful visit to Natural Healthy Foods where I managed to purchase a number of products I can’t buy in Wigan as well as the wondrous Vego bar. It was a nice walk out of town, back in the direction of the coach station, and it gave me the opportunity to see a bit more of the city than I otherwise would, especially as I went down a street that there is no way I would have gone down otherwise! It looked like the kind of place people go to get murdered or something dreadful!
Walking back into the city, I took the ‘scenic route’, stopping off to browse in Waterstone where I spent an unnatural amount of time reading the spine of just about every travel book that was ever written! By this time, it was tea time and I already knew where I was going to go!
Being vegan, it’s often difficult to find something on the menu that is suitable for me to eat, but city centres across the UK are brilliant hubs for independent vegan eateries. It was a Facebook recommendation that led me there, and I just asked my server to give me what he thought I should have. And that is how I ended up eating the most delicious vegan hotdog in existence!
I stayed in there for quite a while, nursing my latte, but eventually it became time for me to go for another wander. Daylight had disappeared when I left the café, so I decided it would be best to spend my remaining couple of hours in the city somewhere that was both familiar and safe: The Bullring. Birmingham’s city centre shopping centre has a lot of shops that are brilliant for browsing and buying, and by that I mean there’s the Disney store! I wandered around the shops for about an hour, achieving a combination of a competitive step count for the day (got to have the brain on those challenges!) and some inspiration for different birthday presents that are due in the coming weeks and months.
Before I knew it, it was time to go home. I cashed in my free Starbucks and sat and waited for my platform to arrive. And then, I was on the train reflecting on my day and craving the comfort of my own bed.