Guest Blog: Visiting Exeter by Lisa Schindelholz
My name is Lisa, I’m 20 years old and I come from the French speaking part of Switzerland. I’m living in Exeter for 5 months to do a work placement and to improve my English skills.
During my stay here, I’m going to write a blog about my first time in Exeter and describe different experiences I will have, such as outside or inside activities I will try, foods I will taste or places I will visit. The main purpose being to give an external point of view of what’s going on in the city. Hope you enjoy your reading!
See you soon,
Exeter’s Red Coat Guided Tours
On Tuesday I went on the Red Coat Guided Tour “Introducing Exeter” which was free and lasted 1 hour. It was a nice experience to get a good and concise summary of Exeter’s history. As soon as the tour started, I quickly felt the guide’s strong passion for what he was doing, this was really appreciable.
What I learned about Exeter is that tourism represents 25% of the city’s economy. Also, in 1942, Exeter was bombed by Germany (25 bombs felt in the city centre) and 77% of the city wasbeen completely destroyed. Most of the buildings haven’t been rebuilt as they were before.
The wall built by the Roman people, which some parts could still be seen around the city, is 3 meters wide and 10 meters high and it was made of volcanic stones.
Exeter’s Underground Passages
I visited Exeter's Underground Passages with one of my work colleagues. Our guide, Gina, was definitely brilliant and passionate about her job. Through her words, we noticed she was keen on what she was talking about, what made the visit even more interesting. The visit lasted around 40 minutes including a visit through the passages and a short introductory film about the history and the reason why the underground passages were dug.
After putted our safety helmets on, we finally went within the passages. It was so quiet inside that for a moment I felt we weren’t on Earth anymore. No car noise, no sign of human life, there was not even the slightest humming. The only living organism I found underground was a few green plants which survive with just enough artificial light and dampness.
History wise, the guide taught us that during the Second World War, thousands of residents from Exeter took shelter in the passages. Unfortunately, as a result of the massive German bombing, a large part of the underground passages were destroyed at that time and a lot of people lost their lives.
It was a sunny autumn afternoon when I first visited Exeter Cathedral. Fortunately for me, the place wasn’t crowded as usual. The atmosphere inside was quiet and peaceful, so that I could quietly discover this magnificent monument. The rays of sunlight were getting through the stained-glass windows, what made their colours even more stunning. I will let you imagine how gorgeous it was.
Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery
I visitied the free RAMM & Art Gallery, it was a nice indoor experience which enabled me to increase my knowledge about Exeter and the county of Devon through the history.
When I first arrived in front of the museum, I saw an old well-maintained building and thought “Oh no, it’s going to be a museum like every other one…” But actually I noticed I was completely wrong as soon as I entered the museum. Inside, I was really surprised to find a modern and perfectly structured place. I found it amazing how the exhibition is organised.
I definitely think RAMM is more than just a museum. Of course you can see different collections of objects with descriptions, but it makes you think further than what you expected, by asking yourself some interesting questions. I recommend it to everyone who is searching for a different and peaceful activity to do!
For sure, you wouldn’t go out of that museum thinking it is the same as any other one… There is obviously something more in there. But I will let you have the chance to discover it by yourself!
Exeter Street Food Night Market
The atmosphere at Exeter Street Food's Night Market was absolutely great. The market wasn’t as big as I thought it would be. However, in my opinion, the size of the market fits perfectly with Exeter’s way of life. The atmosphere was welcoming, people who work for the food stands were warm and kind, and obviously the food I tried tasted delicious. I’m still amazed by all the different kinds of people who were there. International students, British people, citizens from Exeter and also visitors from other countries.
The Quay was crowded and bustling, it was a great experience to just seat, eat and look at everybody around me. I strongly recommend going to the street food night market to everybody!
Queen St Dining
From the outside view, I love the contrast between the historic side and the modern side of the buildings in the new Queen St Dining destination. The huge columns in the entrance look really impressive. They make me think of a Greek monument. I also like the different sort of restaurants decoration you can find and also the fact that the restaurants are really glazed makes them look even bigger than they actually are.