Wednesday, 26 November 2008

York - a tourists take

I arrived back in Milton Keynes this afternoon. I was 8 weeks in North Yorkshire, the last four days of that in York itself. I loved the isolation of the country, but I was excited to be back in a city again when Bertie drove Ellie and myself to York on Saturday. Those four days were full and wonderful, I may even love York more than London. Here are my photos, all scrambled up and with no order whatsoever.This is what is left of Saint Mary's Abbey in the museum gardens. I walked past these gardens every day for three days without realizing there was an abbey. The garden is filled with pigeons and grey squirrels and is very pretty. The museum I was told, is crap.
A much better museum is the York Castle Museum by Cliffords Tower. It was a very big museum which also had the best souvenir and gift shop in the whole of York. The last display is themed 'The Sixties', and I thought it was awesome.
At this time of year, York has an outdoor ice skating rink below Cliffords Tower. It was freezing and I bought myself a Peruvian style hat. It was all very pretty and festive.
Another angle of York Minster from the sight-seeing bus. Such a tourist :)

A festive shop window at Betty's Tea Room.

The's Wikipedias explanation, so much more articulate than my own: The Shambles is an old street in York, England, with overhanging timber-framed buildings, some dating back as far as the fourteenth century. It was once known as The Great Flesh Shambles, probably from the Anglo-Saxon Fleshammels (literally 'flesh-shelves'), the word for the shelves that butchers used to display their meat. As recently as 1872, there were twenty-five butchers' shops in the street, but now there are none.
The Shambles again. The second most visited street in England besides London's Oxford Street. Carissa believes that this isn't intentional at all, but due to the fact that all streets lead to the Shambles and whenever lost, you always seem to end up there. I do agree, though, mostly, all of my trips there were intentional...I do like a shambles...

I visited the National Railway Museum nearby the station. It was pretty big, apparently the largest in the world. Naturally, there were a lot of trains. This display was in one of the halls, the entire length of the hall was all display cases like this. I thought it was rather nice.

A street in York, all decorated and lit up for the season.
The great big clock on the street. It was a good street with some of my favorite stores - New Look, H&M, HMV and Zavvi. There were also some pretty cool gargoyles on the wall by the clock.
Inside of York Minster. Very impressive and decorated which only goes to show that people back then had far too much time on their hands. No one ever bothers to go to so much trouble with buildings these days. Which is quite a shame.

York Minster again.
A total rip off at £1.50 per tiny plastic mug, I went back twice though as it was so warm and comforting, so maybe not such a rip off after all.
The shop windows were really done up so prettily, I had to have photos of them...and of me admiring them.
I had lunch at Betty's Tea Rooms. It is the done thing to do when in York. It was well worth the both visits and the queue outside in the rain.

Tea at Betty's.
The first morning in York it snowed, by the time I got out of the hostel though, most of it had turned to muddy sludge. It was very cold and the average temperature was 3 degrees Celsius, which was more like -6 with the wind chill. Each day I had to wear at least 3 warm tops as well as my heavy duty coat just to stay warm enough to keep my organs functioning. I was like the Oros man, barely been able to bend my arms and legs. I had great fun though and did pretty much everything that a tourist can do in a city. The open topped sight-seeing bus, the museums, city walls, tea rooms, dungeons, minster, shopping, ghost tour, the viking centre, abbey ruins, gardens, made some friends, drank a lot of beer in pubs, including the Golden Fleece, York's so called 'most haunted inn' which features on all these 'Most haunted' programmes on the telly every so often.

The Dungeons. Not recommended for those of a nervous disposition or under the age of 15. From the moment we entered, I can't be sure who grabbed whose hand, but Peta and I clung to each other the whole way through. It was a real comfort having her there! It was very well done, and although I knew it was all fake, it was tense not knowing who was going to jump out at you and when. The lights kept going off, doors slamming and actors coming out of trap doors unexpectedly. I had to 'stand trial' accused of witchcraft and Peta was 'operated on' by the plague doctors assistant. It was all very gory and nasty, but fun. I was relieved when I found myself walking through the last doorway, which led to the dungeons gift shop and then, back out onto the street.

But now, I have a whole lot of things to do and sort out, such as laundry and suitcases and the like...

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