This weekend was our wedding anniversary and as we traditionally go away for the weekend, we left the boat at a junction where it could easily be accessed by Ortomarine, as Rob mentioned he might come and do a couple of jobs at the weekend.
We usually follow the alphabet as inspiration for a holiday venue and try to visit a place we haven’t visited before and having done an anniversary waltz round the whole alphabet, we are swinging round again and on C again. Neither of us had been to Coventry and this year it is the City of Culture so was a great time to go. Apart from a Cathedral I knew nothing else. Shane did booking and research so I remained ignorant until we got there.
Neither of us are huge art or music buffs but we had Culture coming in and out of our ears by the end. We crammed in a multicultural food fest as well with Caribbean, Lebanese and Egyptian cuisine as well as the traditional English Breakfast.
I found there were 3 cathedrals, excavated ruined and modern. We got enthusiastic suggestions of how to spend the weekend from a lady outside the ruined Cathedral and saw an art installation (normally not possible) in the crypt of the ruin and spent much longer in the cathedral than expected the first day. Another enthusiastic woman gave us the fascinating history of the largest tapestry in the world made in a single piece.
She also tipped us off that one of the artworks is better viewed at night and as our hotel was near the Cathedral, it was no detour to take it in.
I thought we might be treated to hearing the organist practising, when I heard a few notes being played, but it sounded like it was being tuned which was less than tuneful. The next day we did catch a choir rehearsal and this morning had to move aside to allow the dignitaries to process in, for a graduation taking place there. Glad we had fitted viewing inside into the first day!
The main highlight that Shane had planned was a visit to a music museum. We arrived promptly as the hotel website information on breakfast time was out of date and so we didn’t get breakfast on Sunday but we lucked out that the Museum was in a Two Tone village and had a thoroughly themed friendly cafe where Shane indulged in a Jamaican breakfast and I pinched tastes of his saltfish and ackee, jerk sausage and fried plantain.
More enthusiastic guides took us through the music museum where we voted on our favourite tracks and I tried out the Specials car.
Suit exhibit with Ghost Town video car behind Who is that gangsta? Shane at the village
Two tone began in Coventry so this is certainly a unique Coventry experience! It’s a very multicultural place and seems really friendly. We chanced upon a Turkish wedding at one point.
On the Saturday night we had spotted a Caribbean restaurant but it was very loud and busy, so we chose a quieter spot that night and went back on the Sunday to try again. We misunderstood the cocktail deal and were surprised when the 2 for one turned out to mean we got twice as many drinks!
Lady Godiva is a big feature and there were many celebrations of her throughout the town – a statue, a moving clock display and a gallery. We had two visits to the Galleries seeing the history of Coventry, the Godiva gallery and the Turner prize nominations on which we got to vote. We do feel we have taken full advantage of the City of Culture in our short visit.
The centre is pedestrianised over a large area and that made strolling around very relaxed and we spent quite a lot of time watching the mesmeric fountains with children playing in them and it’s friendly reputation was further enhanced when I managed to get my glasses fixed for free today – a screw had fallen out and the lens popped out while I was at a gallery so we prioritised getting it fixed soon as I didn’t want it popping out while I was at the edge of the canal and plopping in the water.
We can return to Coventry on the canal and we would enjoy a return visit. We are back on Bartimaeus. Shane was able to put the heating on in advance from the train, as there’s an app for that! It is just as well as the temperature is dropping.