The remains of what was once the playground for ancient battles and Britannian conquests seemed to be a suitable setting for an impromptu tour of Chester. When I woke in the morning, I didn’t plan to spend my day on a self-guided tour around the city but I got lost (not literally; I’m not that bad of a tour guide) in the beauty of the city walls and the rich British history behind them.
I stared up in awe at the prominent Eastgate Clock. It broadened my mind to think that I was standing on what used to be the original entrance site of a Roman fortress. After reading that it dated back to AD 70, I paced the outskirts of the fort and admired the Georgian architecture that was still in great shape, despite centuries gone by.
Chester was also a heaving trade port back in the day so it was interesting to solely stroll under the arches of the towers that were once bursting with vendors haggling their prices and eager shoppers frequenting their favourite markets.
The Roman buildings were the perfect backdrop for my spontaneous excursion, and I considered them a welcomed change from the skyscraper-studded views of Sydney. My eyes traced the unique pieces of sandstone of the building, appreciating the craftsmanship that had gone into arranging each stone in such a precise way. My admiration of the ancient buildings escalated to a whole new level as I came across the Chester library.
As a freelance writer, I spend a lot of my time in libraries and I like to compare the differences between them when travelling around the world. So, basically, being the giant nerd that I am, I got excited about a trip to the library! I walked along the cobblestone-paved path and entered the grade 2 listed building. The structure was rich in history and captivating in appearance. It also had a cinema and theatre all under one roof!
I found a quiet corner to finish off a blog article and with my writing done for the day I went in search of a new book. After a skim through the classic novel section, I decided to have a blind date with a book by asking the Librarian to pick one for me. That goes to show the extent of my love life.
Suddenly I realised that my little history tour had gone off course by entering the library but I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of records that the library had. I entered the local history department and spent the rest of the afternoon reading about my British ancestors and got a glimpse of topographical maps dating all the way back to 1860. All in a day in the life of a travel blogger.
Read part 2 of my Chester travel blog here: https://jenantipodean.com/2019/08/15/an-antipodean-in-cheshire-england/
Antipodean [ anˌtɪpəˈdiːən ]
1. Those who dwell on the opposite side of the globe
2. An inhabitant of Australia or New Zealand