Following Richard, in the land of foxes

Good old days of De Montfort

Good old days of De Montfort

Today let me tell you a destination that is very out of touristic scope, unless you are a fan of Richard the 3rd, or Foxes – Leicester City Football Club.

Leicester is getting ready to the carribean festival

Leicester is getting ready to the Caribbean festival

More than 15 years ago, together with my husband we went to this Midland City of UK to do our master’s degree at De Montfort University. Yes you are right, UK is not one of our favorite destination to travel, because they drive from the wrong side, however, we were keen on to show our son where we lived and  studied, and I admit that, even though we can’t drive there, we love to visit UK, once in a blue moon.

Open market we used to shop every week.

Open market we used to shop every week.

Our first morning started with an exceptionally sunny Saturday morning in Leicester. Wow, no need to carry an umbrella or a rain coat.  So our day started in McDonald’s. not because we are a fan of it, but because it was the very same McDonald’s we used to love to eat Egg Mac Muffin, during our student days here. Than we did a nice walking tour around the streets of Leicester. Of course did not forget to stop at Open Market, where we used to do our weekly shopping of fresh fruits and vegetables. 15 years later it was lovely to hear the “ENGLISH STRAWBERRIES!” shouting still with a very English accent.

Of course not everything was the same as 15 years ago. In the last decade, Leicester found out that King Richard the 3rd died at a battle close to Leicester, brought to the city and buried here. The place where he was buried found out in 2012. Than came the marketing experts to the scene, and created a “Richard the 3rd adventure” to attract tourists here. A King Richard III, visitor center created with middle age stories.

King Richard III visitor center

Exploring King Richard III visitor center

So that’s how we ended up to attend a Richard the 3rd guided walking trail, starting in front of the Cathedral. Unsurprisingly, we were the only three people attending to the tour. So we enjoyed private walking tour with our Blue Badged tour guide Virginia.

The walking tour started in the Leicester Cathedral, where Richard the 3rd now rests. Then to a travelodge building, where there used to be a building that Richard the 3rd stayed for his last night.

 

Following Richard the 3rd

Following Richard the 3rd

Than we walked towards the river, where Richard the 3rd passed to go for his final battle, and finally arrived to the very same building that we did all our classes during our study here. It was a surprise to learn that, after Richard the 3rd died, he was brought to a tiny church here, to show people that he was certainly dead. Our Hawthorn Building of De Montfort University was build on this church, however a tiny wall of the church is still kept inside.

Looking inside of our building, unfortunately closed on weekends

Looking inside of our building, unfortunately closed on weekends

 

It was nearly the end of trail, so we thanked Virginia here, and went around the university. Unfortunately, many buildings were closed for the weekend, however, the Kimberlin Library was open and we went all around the inside. 15 years ago this building was brand new, with everything shiny. Of course many shelves and desks were really old now, but the smell was all the same.

Finally, we went around our home sweet home, just across the Kimberlin Library. We waved goodbye to our memories, probably the last time in our lives.

The walking route toward the city center totally changed. The tiny shopping mall of “Shires” where we loved to eat cake, is now Highcross, much larger than it used to be and more crowded. So we enjoyed our last hours of afternoon, looking at the shops and telling stories to our son about our days around here.

One final remark before finishing. Until this year many people outside UK probably did not ever heard about Leicester. Surprisingly this year Leicester Foxes are the leader at the premier league of England, followed by Tottenham, 7 pts below, as of today. We proudly follow the games and wish good luck to them  for the coming matches.

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