Karl and Jill came over Friday evening as we were setting off at silly o’clock in the morning. I was working until 20:00 but just for a change had packed everything so all I had to do was sit down and watch TV and go to bed at a reasonable hour. Unfortunately started to watch Dancing with the Stars – so didn’t get to bed early! We got up at 03:30 and packed everyone into cars – and watched Dan drive off through town – when WE ALWAYS GO DOWN HERMITAGE LANE!! Didn’t see them again until we got to check in at Eurotunnel – we were relieved to see the Honda in front of us! We had a good journey down from Calais – we had breakfast together at a Relais, then arranged to meet at the Parkside Diner for lunch.
Phil and I stopped at Lidl and a fantastic supermarket called Frais – which was packed full of every sort of vegetable and fruit known to man – many of them we hadn’t even heard of!
When we got to the Parkside Diner it was shut – and there was no sign of any of the youth element – we wandered around aimlessly for a while, and then had just sat down in the bar at the Hotel New York when they turned up. We went to eat at Annettes Diner – a great dinner!
We then went to the park to buy tickets – which was a bit of a challenge as we weren’t given all the discounts we should have had – so had to traipse back to the main gate to get it all sorted out – saved 150 euro though so it was worth it!
We all went to book in at the hotel – then separated for the rest of the day. Phil and I had a relaxing afternoon in the hotel, and found to our delight that Strictly was being shown on the Hotel TV – so cracked open some beer and settled down! We didn’t watch it all, but went out to the Newport Bay Hotel for dinner. We had to queue up for a while – the couple in front of us had two very young children who were just TOO tired – one was sat on the floor and was falling asleep – and the other was sobbing loudly- it was well after nine o’clock – silly time for children to be eating.
The queue was next to a tank full of dinner – lobsters with their claws taped shut – I wonder why they don’t have herds of lambs outside to choose from?
Picture of a happy man in his favourite restaurant. I had cream of asparagus soup and swordfish in sesame seed crust, and Phil had oysters and a stack of bream. It was gorgeous – especially the soup.
On the way out we passed Nemo and Dory!
This is the view of the Roman amphitheatre from our travelodge window – they appeared to be either rebuilding it or concreting it over – possibly making it easier to clean up after the wild beasts.
We left our bags in the car and went for a walk around Chester’s walls – every 100 yards or so there was a sign telling us that these were the most complete city walls in England – Great Britain – possibly even the world. They had only been rebuilt about 3 times – and the gateways completely remodelled. I still fly the flag for the walls around York!
There was a view of more Roman remains – but we’re not quite sure what the remains were of, as despite all the notices about the completemess of the walls, there weren’t any to tell you what you were looking at at this point.
On the other side of the wall were rows of neat terraced houses – and a corner pub which we noted for later.
These houses fronted straight onto the wall – not sure how they moved furniture in and out – hope they had a back alleyway.
Fantastic view though.
Two examples of architecture – how is it when people were building with only hand tools they produced magnificent and beautiful buildings – and then when they had every power tool and assistance known to man they build pink boxes?
There were boats on either side of the main bridge into Chester – but just next to the bridge was a weir right across the river – we still have no idea how they got from one bit of the river to the other. There was no lock, and when the river was high enough to cover the weir- boats still wouldn’t be able to go through as the arches on the bridge wouldn’t be high enough. Maybe the river there has special boats built to climb weirs.
We carried on around the walls, past the racecourse and onto the canal. We spent ages in a bookshop built right onto the walls – despite the woman at the till who sniffed constantly which was really annoying – I had to restrain myself from saying “BLOW IT!!!” We were comparatively restrained and only bought 3 books – though saw about 10 more I would have liked.
We stopped for lunch in the oldest pub inChester, very cheerful landlady.
Afterwards we went up to the Cathedral – but it cost £5 each to go in, so we peered in through a window and walked around the outside instead.
We had a wander around the town as it was getting dark, Phil bought a fairy in Hawkins Bazaar for reasons known only to himself!
The windows in the cathedral were beautiful – like tapestry – but either my camera couldn’t cope with the dim light, or the dim woman using it hadn’t bothered to read the instructions on how to take photos in the dark.
Above is heavily doctored photo!
There were some lovely alleyways – and – double decker medieval shops! Obviously the shops themselves weren’t medieval (hose and chainmail were not available) but the buildings were.
The Christmas decorations were quite pretty.
We finally got to go for a drink in the pub we saw earlier – the Albion. It was a gem – a re-enactment of a first world war pub – but cleaner and more expensive. I would like it noted that I only had a pint and a half of guinness.
The trees were beatiful in the light. Walked back to the car park – and went in through the main car entrance balancing on the kerb along the edge. Unfortunately I didn’t balance too well, and tripped and fell heavily into the road onto my shoulder. It hurt! It must have been quite spectacular as had one man offering to call an ambulance and a waiter from the restaurant across the road rushed over to offer me a seat and water etc. Of course, being English, I starched my upper lip, refused all offers and retreated to the car, where I cried like a baby!
Nothing broken although went and got it checked out in casualty next day.