I have had the most wonderful day. My feet ache and I feel ever so slightly pooped, but I have had a fantastic day in Coventry. When I say I, I should say we because Keith did come with me ha ha ha. The morning began early, so at 6.30am we were sat up in bed drinking tea, whilst discussing all sorts of things, including what we were going to do with our day.
Up and about by 7.30am, I was off the boat walking Paddy on a small patch of grass behind the Canal Basin. Thankfully Paddy did not want to be out long, I don't think he like the traffic, so we were soon back on the boat enjoying breakfast. By 9am we were leaving the boat for a day of sight seeing and shopping.
One of the first places we visited was the indoor market, which is huge and has everything you could wish to fine under one roof, including a cafe where we got a mug of coffee 75p each, which I would rather pay, than hand over extortionate amounts of money to some of these coffee shops. I bought a new butter dish for £1 (last of the big spenders). We marvelled at all the goodies on show in the market place, but there was nothing we really needed. Having done the market, we went into the shopping centres for a nose around and to get a few bits. I wanted to upgrade my T Mobile dongle, so we did that and we bought a grabber, so we can start litter picking a long the canal when we are moored up, this we bought from Argos.
Coventry is the 9th largest city in England and the 11th largest in the United Kingdom. Much of Coventry was destroyed in World War II by the Luftwaffe, the night of Thursday 14th November 1940 changed Coventry and its people for ever. The cathedral was left a shell after a direct hit from a German air raid. The Cathedral burned with the city, having been hit by several incendiary devices. The day after the blitz the decision was taken not to rebuilt the cathedral, but to build a new cathedral right next door.
The old cathedral is now a place for contemplation and reflection.
The cross over the alter was the work of the cathedral stonemason, Jock Forbes, he noticed that two of the charred medieval roof timbers had fallen in the shape of a cross. He nailed them together and a cross was born.
The new cathedral is stunning, but a £7 entrance fee put us off from going in this time.
We did go inside 6 years ago, when we got in for free because the BBC were doing a program from inside and people were allowed in for free.
Despite being bombed in World War II, there are still a few old buildings still standing.
The Lychgate Cottages date back to around 1414 and was restored and extended in 1856, repairs took place in 1997.
It was given its name after the lychgate, through which funerals once entered the Holy Trinity graveyard.
We then visited the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum. The museum is free to look around and was very enjoyable.
Another beautiful old building is The Council House which was built 1913 to 1917. It striking sandstone and elaborate carving makes it truly stunning to look at.
The Golden Cross dating back to 1583 also survived the Blitz.
We had an excellent lunch at the Red Panda Chinese Buffet, yet another one to add to our list of great places to eat.
I suggested after lunch that we should visit the Coventry Transport Museum again to see if there had been any changes. We were not disappointed.
This is the bus that carried the Coventry City Football Club players through the City when they won the FA Cup in 1987.
Field Marshall Montgomery's staff car. It was used by Monty from the D Day landings until the end of the war. It was known as the Victory car and it covered over 60,000 miles in just 12 months.
Women doing the work that the men had been doing before they went to war.
It is a fantastic exhibition and is free to view, so make sure you take the opportunity when your in Coventry.
Outside of the museum is Whittle Arch.
Whittle Arch is in Millennium Place. It celebrates the Coventry born Sir Frank Whittle and his invention of the Jet engine. On the ground is the Time Zone Clock, which light up at night. They represent time zones all over the world which are demonstrated by brass plaques with major city names let into the ground. Its a world clock designed by Francoise Schein. By the time we had come out of the museum we were bushed and our feet were telling us we needed a sit down, so we walked back to the basin.
When we arrived back we noticed we are on our own as the other boats have left. We walked around the basin to The Country Crust Tearoom where we sat down and enjoyed a coffee and teacake. We had a lovely chat to the owner of the cafe. She was telling us how this summer had been very slow business wise, mainly because a lot of the offices near her were empty. She is surviving by only just and is ever hopeful that things will pick up as she has been there 8 years. Before we left we wished her well and hoped that we would see her again when we come into Coventry.
We are now back on the boat and I am not doing anything this evening, well that is until I have to feed the animals, make dinner, stoke the fire and wash LOL. I think I will sleep well tonight. Chat soon xx