Alex’ Adventures in Chesterland – An unexpected appearance of the Cheshire Cat and chasing squirrels

`Curiouser and curiouser!’ cried Alex (she was so much surprised, that for the moment she quite forgot how to speak good English)

(Lewis Carroll, adapted)

This quote describes quite well how I felt about many things we saw and experienced in Chester, which was a bit like Wonderland to me because I came across so many unexpected and strange – strange in a positive way – things. Read all about my trip to Chester in this blog entry.

I was very happy that I could actually go to Chester, since storm Doris hit North Wales quite hard – I went on a Saturday and on Thursday all trains were cancelled due to the weather conditions and even the University was closed for one day.

After arriving at the train station in Chester we went straight to the town center and found ourselves in the middle of a rather small but very beautiful town. Its houses give Chester a very special and unique charm, to me it felt like being in the middle of a medieval town.

On our way to the center we went through the town’s main shopping street – Foregate Street –we passed a number of great shops as well as the Eastgate and the Eastgate Clock, which is one of many sights.

Close to the town hall we paid a visit to the Visitor Information Centre, which surprised me by selling a number of Alice in Wonderland and especially Cheshire Cat products – Chester is located in a county called Cheshire. I bought a beautiful postcard there, you can see it on the photo below.

Right opposite to the town hall there was the next surprise waiting for us – a very cute statue of an elephant called Janya.

Our next stop was Chester Cathedral, where we were given a very warm welcome by an older gentleman and a lady. The cathedral is not as big as the one in Liverpool, but especially its windows are very impressive.

Chester Cathedral had many surprises to offer, one of them was the Lego Chester Cathedral. The building of a Lego model of the cathedral is a project supporting the cathedral’s education trust and a great idea in my opinion.

Another surprise were the small windows looing into the inaccessible inner yard of the cathedral.

Two of the larger ones were particularly interesting to me, they have one thing in common and this commonality made them special for me – have a look at the photos, the solution is provided at the end of this blog entry. 🙂

After visiting the cathedral, we walked a little bit through the town and saw the University of Chester, the city walls, the Queens Park Bridge and the river Dee – where we saw Mark Twain and Lady Diana – photos below. I also took a photo of a mouette (not a goéland) – in case I have not mentioned this before, in French there are two terms for seagull.

The town is very well known for its Roman past and therefore offers a number of museums and sights related to this part of its history, such as the Roman Gardens and the Roman Amphitheatre.

Close to those Roman sights we quickly went into St John the Baptist’s Church, maybe because of rather a strange appearance at its entrance.

Afterwards we went through Grosvenor Park and experienced something very fantastic: There were so many squirrels! While the first ones were rather shy, some of them were running towards us. The only thing you need to do is pretending you have some food in your hand. We then tried to capture some nice photos of them, which was not as easy as it sounds. It was very much like playing Pokémon Snap, this is real Pokémon Go I can tell you! I did my best in order to get the best photo possible: One of the squirrels climbed my left leg, one jumped on my right knee and another one gave me his right claw. Please find my rated submissions to Professor Oak and a photo of me being attacked below, as well as other impressions of this great park.

There is one huge and beautiful shopping center in Chester, the Grosvenor Shopping Centre. I found one shop particularly interesting, it was a shop called Build-a-bear where you can make your own plush: Fill it, dress it up and even give it a heart. Have look at the photo below to see the Star Wars section of the shop, you can even make your own Darth Bear or Bunny Fett. A Bunny Fett would be so tempting…I did not even glance at the price tag, I would not have recovered from the shock for sure…

Before leaving Chester we passed again the many shops close to the Eastgaste Clock and discovered many interesting things such as wooden Batman, Superman and Spiderman.

I am still amazed by the many interesting things we came across in Chester, I know I always say that, but I definitely want to visit Chester again! I forgot to share this but in Chester I saw the most delicious cakes I have ever seen in my life, the bakery I saw them in will be visited soon! And maybe Bunny Fett will accompany me home next time…

Best wishes,

Alex

I promised to tell you why I liked those particular windows in Chester Cathedral: The cats, of course. It is always the cats.

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