Chester Travel Blog› entry 43 of 129 › view all entries
Sometimes, I go touristing in places very close to home. Today, I went to Chester. Chester is a very nice city, although very little about it is as it seems. For example, most of the gorgeous, medieval looking houses in the city centre are Victorian. The pretty city gates? at least one of them is built in teh 1930s. But they are well enough established now not to feel too Disney world, and Chester is definately worth a trip out of Manchester at least once.
Cheshire is a very rich part of England, and this shows almost as soon as you get off the train. There are big cars, and designated pigeon feeding places, but beggars like something out of Dickens around the Cathedral.
The cathedral was lovely, but the loveliness was slightly damaged by the number of signs that say don't - don't touch, don't come too near - it got a bit tired after a while. Still, the courtroom from the middle ages was interesting and there was some lovely woodcarving.
I wanted to go and see the Roman Amphitheatre, and wandered along the river looking for it. I almost missed it. Just past one of the fake bridges, there it was - and it is being refurbished by English Heritage and has no more atmosphere than any other building site. It looks to me like they are going to build a reconstruction, so it might be cool in a year or two. But not right now. Dissapointed, I went into St John's church.
St John's church is far more interesting, and lovelier even than the Cathedral. It is older, adn has elegant Norman arches and a reconstruction of the shrine of the holy cross, which was one of the most holy relics in medieval Europe.
Afterwards, I had an icecream on the banks of the river and a walk in the park. England does parks extremely well, and the flowers were lovely. Then I went home.