Each week we will be bringing you some hidden gems from around Guildford as part of our ‘Get Lost In…’ feature. Today’s post features Serra’s blog called ‘Passport, Camera- Words in my Mind’, this week entitled Welcoming March: A joyful walk around the Castle. Serra’s blog is a description of what it is like to be a foreign national living in Guildford and the different perspective that might give to one that has lived and grown up here in England.
As I woke up on the first day of March, I was feeling sceptical due to the gloomy predictions of “Eight inches of snow to hit Britain at the weekend” as described by the Daily Express. Luckily, the weather did not agree with the newspaper and the sun was shining idly in the middle of the sky, with some cotton-like clouds wandering more lazily around.
“This is a perfect day – this-is-a-perfect-day to go out for a walk and discover some hidden gems on the streets of Guildford!”
My inner voice was not mistaken and so I climbed up Guildford High Street. Suddenly I darted up a cosy looking street because an interesting name of a jewellery shop (‘Cry for the Moon’) caught my attention. Yes, we, as residents in Guildford, have a stunning imagination- even the names of our shops are inspiring!
After a five-minute walk, I was at the Guildford Castle- so close to the town centre that I was clearly mistaken when I guessed it to be outside the town. My second mistake was in thinking that it would be surrounded with empty, forgotten lands, but to my surprise, it was in fact skirted by amazingly designed gardens. This is just what we need after a long, long winter I thought.
The sun helped me by coming out of the clouds and the flowers were sparkling in front of my camera and I was not alone in snapping some pictures. Many people old and young had cameras and with me there were families with all their children running around on the footpaths. I hiked up to the castle itself, fascinated with the view of Guildford, the geometrical roofs, sleepy trees and hills around me. This was the first day of March, and I was enjoying the feeling of spring already!
Looking down from the top I could see there was a small pond and banks to sit on whilst having a peaceful time listening to the birds chirping, so I aimed to go back down. The hill of the tower has been cleverly designed with paths spiralling downwards, so I had more time to shoot the view as I meandered along.
In that moment, I caught the very picture which summarizes the spirit of the town in my opinion- a small plant that had grown at the edge of the bank and did not bother to hide in the shade. Sometimes taking a picture like that makes me feel so happy and I would describe this as the ‘photo that made my day’.
After walking further down, I could not resist kneeling down and shooting some pics of the shiny grass and flowers. Then I walked towards one of the gates, down a dozy lane (Quarry Street) and my mind was taking notes: “Here is an Italian restaurant, Olivo. Should come and try sometime. Here is a pub, The Kings Head. Should come back one day soon.” And then there was another beautiful Italian cafe and another one with a terrace. This was too much for my mind, but not for my determination!
I ended up on North Street after following a melody some young people were playing and singing Daft Punk’s ‘Get Lucky’. Yes we are lucky – and happy to live in such a beautiful town.
Written & Photographed by Serra Topal