Sunday, August 19, 2012

Daytrippin' in York

While I hit the ground running with work, everything else is moving slowly.  Our housing pick (as discussed in the last post) fell through, so it's back to the drawing board and we're still living in the hotel.  On the plus side we got a UK mobile phone plan set up, so now Kerry is not wondering where I am each evening.  

We've booked weekend trips to London and Barcelona coming up, and while we look forward to that, we are looking to fill the other weekends up with shorter day trips.  So, I gave up half my paycheck to fill the Peugeot with 60L of diesel petrol, and Saturday morning we hit the road.

In the ancient walled city of York, the red brick jungle where dreams are made of, for £9 you can drop the car off and explore all day.  
Very old, old and new intermixed into a see of red bricks.

There's something about stepping inside 800 year old buildings in England that make my 1956 split level home back in Indy feel brand new.  Hey, at least the walls are plumb.  

The York Minster is breathtaking twice. Once when you emerge from an alley for the first glance at its spires;
As we approached the Minster, a man was playing the harp.

And again when you first step inside the massive cathedral.

Our necks started to hurt.

There's so much intricacy and attention to detail to the design that I could hardly appreciate.  My mind was so saturated by the greatness it went numb.   I tried to imagine what this place must have been like in the Gothic days with archbishops, kings, wizards, and hobbits having important meetings, but then I realized my history knowledge is very poor indeed.

The tickets are good for a year, so we can go back in the spring when they open the crypt (currently being restored).   I think this will feature even more ancient Roman ruins that the minster was built upon.

We also went up the narrow staircase to get some views of the city.

Then I ate 3 pasties.  I only meant to eat two but I ended up eating Kerry's because she hated it.

We walked down small crowded streets and really enjoyed the people-watching.   We're finding the clothing fashion to be highly entertaining; York is a quirky town and used to heavy tourism.  We walked to many different attractions, and managed to be content with what we could do for free.  A short play was put on by local actors in the middle of the park.  I can't say I understood any of it, but I admired their confidence.  The weather was perfect, and the one thing that is different here is the lack of bugs.  We could lay on the grass and nothing would crawl on you or buzz around your ears.

It was Saturday, and the partyers were just gearing up.  It was too bad we weren't really prepared to for the nightlife, because I had the parking spot until 8 am the next day, and who knows where the night may have taken us.
Stonegate was the opposite of the Minster.

Instead we had leisurely dinner and made our way back home.

I imagine a similar sign would be in the US if the Civil War had a different outcome.

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