Gloucester, England... Thanks For Everything!
2020 has been full of strange arrangements, I knew I was missing out on something! Gloucester had the look that I wanted to see, snatching those train tickets a little while after the lockdown in the England had been lifted, I was off! From College Court, to the cloisters at the cathedral, those Historic Docks were set in my sights! Craving normality, how would my day out unfold? Go, GL!
Waking up before my alarm, I knew that it wouldn't do any good being late! Taking the West Midlands Metro I found myself at a COVID secure Birmingham New Street Station, mask in tow I adhered to those social distancing and mask rules. New Street was deadly quiet, for a major station on the West Coast Mainline the lack of passengers had me feeling that a lot of people were working from home? Masked up, my train pulled out of Birmingham at the right time, heading for Gloucester, I felt as if I had been freed! The empty train carriage that I sat in had me thinking, would my ticket even be checked? Stepping from my CrossCountry train at Gloucester Railway Station brought me back to my hungover visit in 2014, I would be seeing more than just the platform and station that second time! I had my plan for the day set in stone, it was tight! College Court to see the place that inspired Beatrix Potter to write the Peter Rabbit books. Secondly, the cloisters as featured in the Harry Potter films. Lastly, those docks! Yes, Glou'ster!
College Court found me, since coming back from China I've been feeling like a foreigner in my own country with a bad case of 'reverse culture shock' but Gloucester had me covered! The almost hidden alley had me impressed, I was appreciative to see that sight because lockdown had taken away any possibility to see anywhere outside of my Bilston locality! Some of the shops were open, I wasn't bothered about that one bit, it was the architecture that I was living to see! The period features had me feeling every inch of College Court's traditional English charm! Inspiring the legendary English author, Beatrix Potter it was great to see the secluded alleyway that housed its own Peter Rabbit shop! Keeping my distance, I didn't go inside the shop. The rain was a little bit annoying but with the opportunity to be standing in Gloucester within that College Court alley had me feeling thankful and unbothered by the semi-inclement weather. Brimming with independent businesses it was great to see them trading post lockdown! Go, go!
Upon walking through College Court I found myself looking head on at Gloucester Cathedral, time was on my side, for that reason I felt there wasn't any need to rush! Putting on my mask on once again, I proceeded into the cathedral to find the cloisters. Giving a reasonable donation, I found the one way system a little bit stifling so I found the cloisters and made a run for it! I couldn't see many people in that area, I was still socially distancing for my life so I hadn't broken any rules! Featured in the first of the seven Harry Potter films, I had been attracted to the cloisters at Gloucester Cathedral after finding out I could visit them freely like Oxford's Bodleian Library. Getting my snaps, I took my time to appreciate the detail in the stained glass windows. Locked down at home for several months, the only windows that I saw were the double glazed ones, not so appealing when the cloister offered an opulent design. Usually, I rush around places of interest with a sense of urgency and impatience, being thankful for that day out I took my time without haste. The cloisters were worth the wait! Miss Rona, I am winning! Victorious, no?
Finding some light within the security of the green, the stillness of the cathedrals central garden had me relaxed. With nobody around and it just being me, I took my mask off because I was well and truly more than two metres away from any other human being, the environment around within the cathedral wasn't going to give me Corona! Get your life, I was fine! Bringing it back, I found myself back inside the cathedral, the category was still 'social distancing' with everyone's best efforts we were all being mindful! Heading towards Westgate I was feeling hungry, I stupidly hadn't had any breakfast that day! Choosing Tobin's Cafe, the tables were all spaced appropriately in the cafe with a key emphasis on cleanliness. I was seated quickly and handed a menu, ordering a jacket potato with cheese and beans and a latte to drink. I had to pinch myself that I was eating my lunch inside a cafe as if everything was normal, so the media continues to scare us with fake news but it was amazing to feel a real sense of normalcy in that moment. Yes!
As my blog has progressed, I have been able to create my blog series that focus on my travels, Gloucester's Historic Docks had a part to play in a future instalment of 'Rollin' On The River!' It's a proven fact that Gloucester's Historic Docks stand as England's most inland port, connected to the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal and the River Severn. Many ships would transport cargo from Bristol via the River Severn, into the Historic Docks in Gloucester and from that spot the items would be placed onto barges to then reach Birmingham and the Black Country. Having such sophisticated trade links way back then, those Black Country barges would have been filled with goodies from the Empire! After visiting Gloucester it stands that I have been to four places along the River Severn, serving enough knowledge and resources to bring those calling points together in a future post even Proud Mary would be pleased with! The pace of normal life could be felt all around the dockyard. So, Britain has gotten back up again?
The docks were fine, keeping my distance I decided for myself it wasn't necessary to wear my mask whilst I sat in-front of the waters at the Historic Docks. People went about their business at a sensible distance, that allowed me to enjoy the view of the warehouses that became my then temporary afternoon vista. Gloucester's Docks gave me the impression that during their heyday, they were a feat of engineering for their time. Finding myself in a different place had me freed from the lockdown, my love for travelling hadn't waned throughout 2020s limitations, its left me wanting more and more! My mind and sense had been purified, Gloucester had brought me back to reality with a purpose to finally adhere to an alarm so I could catch my metro and train. The day had been smooth and with no delays or anxiety felt, my next trip to Sheffield will give me more life as I continue my wait to return to China. Taking my Birmingham train home that afternoon, the day had been a successful one! Most definitely, it was a great day in Gloucester!
Grateful For Gloucester!