To begin, As I said it is 12 months since that amazing day in New York and, Ok, I will admit it I am a little weird when it comes to things like this, as much as I am happy I get sad at the same time too, I am the same at birthdays and Christmas too. I think it stems from the fact that that day was just everything I ever dreamt our wedding day would be and more, and that it has happened and is over is kind of sad! What makes it special is that it is a one off, it’s supposed to be the best day of your life, but I guess I am someone who always wants to one up myself, I mean, after getting married in New York I was determined the honeymoon would be in Tokyo! I think being stuck in the UK on landmark days just makes me feel a little unsatisfied but I know that in years to come we WILL be travelling on our birthdays, anniversaries and Christmas’, but for now I am concentrating on my MA and saving for said travelling.
The last 12 months however have been, on reflection, a whirlwind of adventure, hard work and realisations. Since the 13th June 2013 we had another 6 days left in NYC, took a day trip to WASHINGTON DC, had a honeymoon in TOKYO, Travelled to beautiful BUDAPEST, Visited Ireland for the first time with our recent trip to DUBLIN and conquered mountains, multi-pitch climbs and needle ridges doing both THE THREE PEAKS and our adventures in SNOWDONIA, WALES, not to mention countless other adventures both climbing and urban exploring. All this whilst still studying for my Masters part time and working too.
Along the way came the realisation that we in fact want to travel for much longer and our outlook on work, the 9-5 and mortgages has changed dramatically, deciding that once shorty finishes his college course and we have saved enough money we will be quitting our jobs to travel indefinitely, searching out our own path and trying to make a career out of blogging, publications and freelance work as well as volunteering and finding out what is out there along the way. I feel I have picked up much more direction in the past 12 months and a lot of that is down to the fact that shorty always offers me an alternative view point when I get myself stuck in a rut, together we work well as a team in overcoming the challenges we each face and can’t wait to travel the world together!
So, On to our day in CHESTER! We have spoken about heading over year for a whilst now since our trip over to YORK a few years ago, and you know we are suckers for history and culture so being only an hour and a half out of Manchester we though it would make a nice change of pace for the day. Chester is also somewhere we have never been before, so although it is still in the UK, which is always a little bit rubbish, it is still someone new, and that is always exciting!
Chester is a small city and can be walked around at a leisurely pace which makes a change to dashing around the bright lights of Tokyo or New York! The City Walls are around 2 miles long and allow you to see the different features and layers of this roman fortress city. They are in fact the most complete the most complete Roman and medieval defensive town wall system in Britain. Building of the original construction started in around 70-80 AD with mounds of earth, the sandstone structure was then began around 100AD and took 100 years to build…which makes it pretty old! This history of the walls tells the history of the city, being started by the Romans the fortress of Deva Victrix, being improved to protect the city during the Norman conquest and being completed during the Medieval period of the 12th century, only to be then further improved during the English civil war of the 17th century. There are numerous towers and features dotted along the track too and they give you a great vantage point on which to see the city.
Being an English city in the proper sense Chester has a massive Cathedral right in the middle, and an impressive building it is too. We both noted how funny it is that we both hate religion and yet when we travel we always seen to visit at least one holy building! For me it is always the history and architecture I love, most cities histories are entwined with religion like it or not and so these places become a monument to their changing political landscape over the years. Chester Cathedral is also a grade 1 listed building and like many churches contains sections built over a lengthy period of time, the building itself dates from between 1093 and the early 16th century but the site has been used for worship since the roman settlement. The cathedral itself is free to enter and is great to wander around with many hallways and the garden too. You can pay for the “Cathedral at height” experience but it seemed a little steep for us so we gave that a miss.