My friend and her boyfriend usually go out on Saturday evening so they asked if I would accompany them. They decided we could visit the town of Rochester. Apparently it was just about half an hour on the motorway, so I decided yes. During the day I was occupied with my dad, but in the evening I was ready to go. Rochester is a town on the River Medway in the county of Kent, South of London. I remembered it from my childhood days as a place famous for its traffic jams. We would spend our annual holidays on the Kent coast and Rochester was a traffic bottleneck, so it had remained in my memory as a place where the coach spent many hours crawling along.
Of course, today we have motorways. The route lead over the Queen Elizabeth bridge crossing the River Thames and afterwards the motorway. It was raining again, but we English people are immune. Just put up the umbrella or be a hoodie and no problem. Sorry again for the poor quality of the picture, pixel storm, but it was dark and I only had my little Lumix camera with me. You can see the streets are cobbled, keeping in the fashion of the olde worlde town that Rochester was in the center.
Rochester is for me today the Charles Dickens town. Memories of The Pickwick Papers came to my mind. The whole area is Charles Dickens World, the scene for Great Expectations also being set near bye in the old naval port of Chatham. I felt quite at home, being a Dickens fan, and saw that some of the shop windows had Dickens decorations, it being the 200th anniversary of his birth this year.
Rochester also has a Norman cathedral which is illuminated at night (thank goodness otherwise I could not have taken these pictures).
It seems Charles Dickens wished to be buried here, but his wish was not fulfilled.
As it was Saturday evening, the local youth were on their way for their customary meetings in the various pubs. It was quite a cool evening, raining and I was glad to be dressed in a warm jacket. It seems today that the younger generation are toughened up and immune to cold weather. That the was the impression I had from the clothing tenue. Short skirts (were they skirts or longer blouses?), high heeled shoes making them all a head taller than myself and I am tall and of course the absence of nylon stockings. It seems that the winter coat is a thing of the past.
We took a stroll around the town. I would so have liked to visit Rochester during the day as I am sure it is worth it. A well preserved town, no shicky micky, and I could imagine the Dickens characters pulling in at the inn in their clothing of the day.
This is Eastgate House which features in two of Charles Dickens novels.
The rain decided to continue and we decided it was time to leave. The Queen Elizabeth bridge crossing the Thames is a one way road, so we drove through the Dartford Tunnel on the home drive, which passes beneath the River Thames. It was an interesting visit and Rochester is well worth it.