bunn (bunn) wrote,

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To Isca Dumnoniorum...

We had a Day Out today, and went to Exeter. Exeter has come up in the world so much in the last 25-odd years, it is barely recognisable now as the sleepy, run-down city I knew, full of appalling 70's concrete, yellow brick and random pretty ancient buildings scattered among it all. Now the 70's concrete and yellow brick has been partially eclipsed by prosperous monstrous buildings, all glass and polished stone, which give the distinct impression of having been built for a taller (and thinner) species. The elderly buildings look as though they are squinting at these tall, straight newcomers dubiously.

We had lunch in an Italian restaurant, from which I could see the tents of the Occupy Exeter movement huddled under the walls of the cathedral, like very small raggedly chicks snuggling up to a very large and elaborate hen.

It looked very, very cold and windy, and the protesters had clearly decided that being in a relatively sheltered spot down the side was worth the sacrifice of not being in the most prominent area right in front of the cathedral. Even so, several tents had blown flat. 

I was amused to notice a town hall (I think) building with the proud message on the front "80AD-1980AD". ( It was a very twirly building with lots of pillars and frilly bits, so I'm sure it wasn't built in 1980.  Or 80AD, for that matter.  I guess that 1980 is when the letters were attached.)

We nipped round the back and found the Red Mount where the original Roman fort was built, and we even found a Roman bit of the town wall (No, I would not have spotted it, there was a sign). And a Saxon bit of wall! And lots and lots and lots of Norman wall, and a whopping great Norman gatehouse. It was hard to see how the land might have lain before the Normans, (and whether a chariot charge could ever have worked near the walls!) as the Normans had built a ruddy great moat around the Mount (or Rougemont), but there were some lovely views west to the moors - lots of misty, fading hills with the sun hanging low - and over the town.  

Apparently the Royal Albert Museum is open again after about 5 years being renovated. Annoyingly, we didn't realise this and therefore failed to visit. We went and drank hot chocolate in a venerable tea-room instead.
Tags: devon, holidays

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