Chester, England – Weekend Trip
After our brief yet bustling trip to Manchester, we went with bright and high hopes, and wide eyes (though slightly tired) to the train station which would lead us into the surprisingly quiet royalty of Chester. I knew that Chester was small from the amount of recommendations I received in which I was told to walk on the famous Roman wall which surrounds the city and could be completed in one hour. I thought to myself, okay – Roman walls, ruins, and a city small enough to fit within it which could seemingly be encapsulated in a whole hour, hmm – I guess I thought of my home town! ‘The country’. Kind of ‘dead’. Regardless, on the train we went with our hearts filled with excitement and astonishment from the trip we already had, open to whatever the little villages had to whisper to us in amidst the leafy views.
Yet it was completely on the contrary – Chester is alive yet peaceful, quaint yet royal, historic yet vibrant. It’s a place you go into and you understand immediately that a large part of the population must go to private school, and though you might have opinions on that, the sight of its natural yet reserved and well groomed beauty is so astonishing that it blows out the remainder of every other assumption you may have had. As we watched from our taxi on the way to our hotel (uber’s here have not yet taken over, yet the taxis are so luxurious and uniform) it seems like little elves come out in the middle of the night to keep the place, because despite how gorgeous everything is, and well kept, in the day it is so undisturbed by unnecessary presence. Only what needs to be there seems to be there. And there we were, making us feel rather special! Now I understood why every single person, regardless of its small size, had so many good things to say about it. (That’s what she said)
Many of the things that we experienced in Chester cannot be captured in only words, thus a video has been made of our trip to the Fair and Chester Zoo, in which our dreams to see a Sloth was finally fulfilled (among other amazing experiences). Along with our trip to the Cathedral and the centre of town surrounding it, and a gorgeously authentic French restaurant featuring. However I can tell you this – that night after the fair, when Laurence had won for me all those toys (which was my first ever Fun Fair teddy!), and we had seen the incredible race course which was open to the public, vast, and glorious, and after we had walked by the river with storks and medieval painted town houses, which had doors barely big enough to accommodate us, and some with colourful walls – we decided to walk all the way back to the hotel rather than order another taxi. It was a 40 minute walk, and lucky for us it was still incredibly warm. The sun had just set, the sky was a soft yet deep navy. The stars just twinkled through, not deep or dark enough to fully showcase them but enough to sprinkle them on top. It had gotten slightly chilly, but the kind which is refreshing to a long humid day finally and gently coming to a state of rest. It’s strange that when the world comes to that state of rest, there is so much which wakes up and seems to be more alive than in the day. There we were walking back, me cuddling my obscene and perfect amount of toys won at the fair, wearing also a smile which hurt my cheeks from its elasticity. I couldn’t stop smiling. It was a smile that had stewed, like a real stew, cooked for hours, and hours, with the result so incredible and enduring that it is hard to ignore. That was my smile, because that was how I felt. You ever been so happy that you can’t even hide it anymore?
Perhaps that was the weather, and perhaps it had a lot to do with the company, but I think, like that supposed ‘rule of threes’, being in Chester on top of it, on that road, with that fair, and those trees, and little bridges, it created the perfect evening for me which made me feel like I was on the last day of camp, with so many wonderful memories overflowing behind it. Yet it was only the first night. That’s how wonderful it was. And perhaps, a place which allows for an experience like that to flourish rather than ‘directly causes it’ is a place just as special if not more.
Laurence – When we arrived in Chester and took a walk through the ‘high street’, it immediately reminded me of the main town in Shetland (Lerwick), where I am originally from. Since I grew up in the country, I’ve always had a soft spot for ‘cities’ that are a bit more on the quiet side! Walking through Chester, you can really see the influence the Romans had on this town. I have to admit, much of the architecture in Chester reminded me of old tavern villages you experience in video games such as The Witcher or the Elder Scrolls Series. From my point of view, this was absolutely fantastic.. but I am a closet geek!
As we took a taxi to our hotel, we spotted a travelling fun fair setup across from the Chester racecourse. We quickly dropped our bags and walked back to the makeshift amusement park. I am not a fan of roller-coasters (why take the risk?!).. so I am probably not the best person to take to an amusement park! However, they did have plenty of games available for the less adrenaline-fuelled like myself. After we won our fair share (pun intended) of stuffed animals, we headed for a walk across the Roman walls and canals. This was extremely picturesque and unique – they even have old steamboats you can book in the evening to sail down the water! Chester is a small city, packed with charm and great sites to see. It is ideal for a quiet weekend ‘getaway’ for couples, and I would highly recommend it 🙂
Check out the video below of our trip!