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Exeter Stories

Exeter folk and friends in their own words - 1890's to the 1990's │ << Previous storyNext story >>  │

Elisabeth Meloni Vieira - Sao Paulo, Brazil


A medical doctor and a lecturer at the Medical School of Ribeirão Preto-University of São Paulo, Brazil, Elizabeth has a Ph.D. from the University of Exeter, where she lived from 1990 to 1994.

There are places I remember in Exeter


"It was almost 30 degrees Celsius the day I arrived in Exeter, and Nina Simone was in a concert to which I never went. It took me four years to realize that this weather was an exception for English standards. Despite the weather I had a lovely time living in Exeter for four years.

Exeter has everything; romance, history - Roman ruins and concrete memories of the blitz during the war - a lovely river, plenty of gardens and lovely flower beds and pots in the spring, and if you are lucky it can snow in the winter. Not heavily I must say. You can also have a glimpse of the sea if you go to a high point of the city and watch Exmouth from the distance.

There are lovely places to visit around Exeter like Dartmoor, Dawlish Warren, cosy country pubs and villages.

It is quite difficult to tell which places in Exeter I like more. Each place I used to visit depended on my mood.

I could go walking along the river to the Double Locks Hotel on a winter day or during the summer if I wanted nature and solitude. Or to be in an opposite mood, when I wanted a walk with a group of friends just for lunch or dinner. I loved an English 'bitter' and I found the food more interesting than I expected - my favourite was their treacle tart. A visit to the garden behind the City Library could be a meditation especially in the summer with all the flower beds defying your eyes and asking: are we real?

I also enjoyed the walk behind Danes Road (the Hoopern Valley) or from the train station (Saint David's) in the direction of the prison but sometimes it would give me the creeps. If I wanted people, noise and diversion, there was always the High Street, Cathedral Yard or the lovely Cathedral Close.

I liked Fore Street with its vegetable market, small galleries and charity shops all around. A lunch in the Art Center would raise my spirit for the rest of the day. Not to mention Devon's style of cream teas anywhere, or a walk down to the quay.

To approach any cat in Exeter was a surreal experience because they were very outgoing with me and most of them seemed to want to adopt me as their human. All my experiences with cats were very nice. For years I had in my mind that maybe cats from Exeter could be different than English cats. Although I am sure there is not any scientific proof of it.

For me Exeter has the meaning of being more than a city or a geographic place. It was a challenge I faced with pleasure and a home when my home was out of reach. It was a time of enjoyment, discovery and achievement. I tasted every minute I spent there."


The push arms on the lock gates are made from the mast of HMS Exeter, the York Class cruiser that took part in the Battle of the River Plate in 1939.

Exeter quay Exeter quaysideDouble Locks The Double LocksFront of Double Locks The front of the Double LocksFore Street, Exeter Fore Street

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