Last evening we met Chris and Steve, who are having their boat AmyJo built by Fernwood. Steve is an blog reader and had been in contact with me via my blog, so as we were coming to Chester we thought we would meet up. Having shown them around our boat, we headed off to The Lock Keepers Inn by the canal for a couple of pints and a jolly good natter about boats and their plans for their boat. It was nice to swap stories and ideas nd wonderful to see how keen they are to begin their life afloat. Before we knew it, it was 10.45pm and it was time to say cheerio to Chris and Steve, as they had to get up for work..... Oh that nasty four letter word ha ha ha.
This morning I woke to the sound of ducklings and the early morning traffic along the main road, but I had enjoyed a good nights sleep. After walking Paddy to a small park and back again, Keith and I had breakfast and then headed off into Chester to become a sightseer, like the thousands of others we would see throughout the day.
Our sightseeing was to begin with a walk around the city walls which were started by the Romans when they established the fortress of Deva Victrix between 70 and 80 AD.
We had our first glimpse of the beautiful Cathedral as we strolled along the wall. From about 100 AD they were reconstructed using sandstone, but were not completed until over 100 years later.
The red sandstone is showing its age and in places along the wall work is being carried out to restore some of the wall and the towers. If you come to Chester you must walk around the walls.
There is a good view of the staircase locks and Chester Racecourse.
The wall then took us along the River Dee.
Which looked stunning in the morning sunshine.
The River Dee is about 70 miles long. The trip boats can do about 14 of those 70 miles, they were hoping to get a few people on board today.
Having been down to the river, we climbed steps back on to the wall and walked above the city.
The city was beginning to get really busy, we came into contact with a few sightseeing parties who were on guided tours, and noticed a few school parties as well.
The Eastgate clock is really stunning. The clock's faces and mechanism were paid for by Edward Evans-Lloyd, a local solicitor and freeman of the city. The official opening of the clock was performed on 27 May 1899, which was Queen Victoria's 80th birthday.
The wall then took us to the Cathedral. We paid our £6 each which included gift aid and stroll around this vast place of worship. The cathedral, formerly St Werburgh's abbey church of a Benedictine monastery, is dedicated to Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary.
I am not really a religious person, but I do enjoy looking at Cathedrals and Churches, this one is beautiful with its ornately tiled floors, painted ceilings and the wood carving are incredible.
In the Cathedral garden there is a kind of inner peace.
After leaving the Cathedral, we carried on with our wall walk, which took us to the Bridge of Sighs.
The bridge was built in 1793 to link the Northgate gaol to a chapel in the Bluecoat School. It was built to allow condemned prisoners to receive the last rites before their execution. It was built at a cost of £20, which was a lot of money in those days and it would of had railing to stop prisoners escaping. It is said that sometimes you can hear the sighs of the condemned prisoners, I have to say we did not hear anything today, but then we did have the traffic to contend with.
It was time for some lunch, so we made our way back to K1 a Chinese Buffet, we found out they only do the buffet on a Fri/Sat/Sun now, but we could have a three course lunch for £6.50 each, which we thought was pretty good. The food was exceptional and well worth the money. After lunch we decided to find the market, which was in Princess Street. The market is inside, but there was nothing we really needed, I did buy a new zip for my work trousers for a pound (last of the big spenders). One of the stall holders told us that the market is getting small and smaller and they feel like they are being squeezed out.
In the centre the shops are very ornate, and something we have never seen before anywhere else is the two tiered affect with shops on two levels, this makes the buildings very tall.
I personally love Chester, it is a stunning city with a long and varied history. Having walked our feet off, we are now back on the boat, with the TV on and a cup of coffee to hand. I have had a wonderful time here so far. The only downside to my day was to come back to the boat and find a tornado had been through it in the names of Paddy and Marmite. I have no idea what they got up to, but there were books on the floor, rag rugs in a heap, Paddy's bed in the middle of the floor and one of our cameras on the floor, which now has a broken screen grrrrrrrr. I have an awful feeling it maybe expensive to repair grrrrrrrr again. It looks like Marmite knocked it off of the cupboard, so I guess I can partly blame myself for putting it there, but it has been there for a while and been quite safe, but it seems no more. I will have to see if it can be repaired when we get back to the Leicester Line later this year, well that's if there is any water later in the year.