Thursday, October 20, 2011


When I wrote about my visit to York, several folks mentioned how wonderful Chester is. I finally got to go there, but only for a few hours on my way to Wales. Still, they were right. Chester has this incredibly cool, lively, and yet relaxed vibe. Here's a picture of the center of town, basically, taken from the city walls.

The city walls felt less massive and more part of the town in Chester than in York. There were some shops that had ramps from their upper stories leading to the wall, which I found very inviting.

One part of the city walls (from the East Gate, if I recall) goes along side the ruins of a Roman garden walk thing, which is just beautiful.

If you keep going along that wall, you reach the River Dee, which looks exactly like a peaceful river through a smallish city (Wikipedia says it has just under 80K people) should look.

(It's strange, but in the US, I'd expect to see several species of birds. Here, I tend to see either some crows or jackdaws, a gull species or two, and pigeons. I rarely see LBJs just hanging around. Certainly, on a river like this at home, I'd probably see some swallows and a shorebird, maybe a Killdeer or something. I sort of feel this in a general way here, like I'm not seeing nearly as many birds, nor as many species as I'm used to seeing. I do try to keep my eyes open for them, too.)

If you go towards the center of town instead of towards the river, you get to see the remains of a Roman amphitheater! (Here, you can see one of the city wall gates in the background. Double whammy for your photographic pleasures!)

And just to the side of the amphitheater is a small shrine to Nemesis. I guess Nemesis isn't really as scary as I think of her, since she's not just about revenge and such.

Chester also has ruins of an old Norman cathedral which was pretty much closed down after a Tudor era cathedral was built more in the center of town. Then a parish church was build against some of the ruins. The main cathedral looks big, and really does sit sort of right in the center. But I didn't go in because we were on our way to WALES!

Still, I think Chester would be a good place to spend some relaxing time. And I would especially like to figure out how to take some sort of river or canal cruise.

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