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The Journal of a Journey,
UK and Ireland 1999


Day 5—Monday, October 4
Glasgow to Chester

Our Edinburgh B&B provided another a full English breakfast to get us to Chester. We got a taxi to the train station and were soon on our first leg of the day, to Glasgow. In Glasgow we had to change train stations for the next segment of our journey, via Carlisle over the border in England, then on into Liverpool and thence to Chester. The walk from one station to the other, only a few blocks, enabled us to get an upclose if superficial look at Glasgow. One of the two Glasgow rail depots It is a very fair city with an attractive city square and mostly modern buildings, one of its main streets closed to all but pedestrian traffic.

Once at the station for trains to Western England and Wales, we learned that the rail line from Glasgow to Carlisle was being repaired and we were put on a bus. Our Britrail passes weren't even checked for this leg of the journey.

And a beautiful journey it was through gentle mountains, rolling farmlands, and scenic river valleys. The bus was spacious and uncrowded and the highway was "dual carriageway" almost entirely. Carlisle, too, was a very attractive city, but we had no time to sightsee as our train to Liverpool was waiting to depart when the bus deposited us (it seemed we almost always caught our trains in less than half an hour after our arrival in a station).

Even Liverpool, which has a reputation as England's second-largest and most working-class city, appeared well trimmed and worth seeing as we went into it on the train, but again we had no layover time before our conveyance to Chester. The final train of our day started out in the second city as a subway of only a couple cars, so it was crowded and a challenge to our ever-present rolling luggage.

I found a recommendation for a B&B in Chester in the tour book, Let's Go Britain and Ireland, that I was using, and called it from the train station to book. There was a room available and it was a very short taxi ride from the station and a nice though not fancy house. The canal from Chester's Roman Wall; four views of Chester Cathedral; Roman ruins We checked in, asked recommendations for restaurants, and headed inside the city wall where we found an inexpensive French bistro which provided an excellent dinner, our first meal since breakfast in Edinburgh.

After dinner at dusk we made our way around Chester's venerable and highly attractive Roman city wall. Chester is one of my favorite English cities because of its restored walkable wall and its excavated roman ruins, along with an overall neat and clean look—a true gem.

—jon

Next station: Chester to Dublin

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