August 21, 2009

York

Another quick blog entry today to mention something I've not had time to mention until now.

Earlier this month, Roy and I went on a day trip to York. The most convenient way to get almost from our doorstep to the city gates at York was via coach, so we set off at about 9am on the 8th, 2 weeks ago tomorrow. The coach took about 2½-3 hours to get there. Being the tech addict that I am I had to go with a heavy-duty battery in the phone so that I could listen to music most of the way while following our progress on its GPS without the battery running low before we even got there. I wanted to be able to take plenty of photos once there too.

Anyway, the first port of call when arriving at York was obviously York Minster. It's a truly impressive building. Construction of it as we know it today commenced around 1080 when Thomas of Bayeux became Archbishop. It was built on the site of the Minster originally built in haste out of wood for the baptism of the Saxon King, Edward of Northumbria, on Easter Sunday 627. So, while the building that we can see today has "only" been around for about 900 years, the site itself has been a Minster for nearly 14 centuries. More information about York Minster on the official website.

Unfortunately, they charge £6 to get into the Minster itself, or £8 should you want to look at the basement or the tower as well. While I understand the need to fund the upkeep of the building, I do think that they're asking quite a bit.

Food was next on the agenda. We didn't have our obbligato fish and chips the day before because Roy knows a place in York where you can get very good stuff. So, here's a tip: if you're in York, make a point of ducking into the Petergate Fisheries. It'll cost you about £7 per head but you get a soft drink and a round of bread and butter thrown in. It's not bad value for money in a place where nothing comes cheap. To be honest, York is a bit of a tourist trap.

After lunch we had a wander round the city and a friend of mine who's been before recommended we pay "Shambles" a visit. Shambles is certainly the oldest street in York and one of the oldest in the country. It is sort of contemporary with the Minster since it's mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086. Nothing's straight in that street. The buildings often lean outwards and almost touch at the top in some cases. More information about Shambles is available here.

From there we went to the other main attraction that I wanted to see. The National Railway Museum. Given the size of the exhibits, there was much walking involved in order to cover the 300 years of railway history ranging from the Rocket to the Bullet via the Mallard and the Eurostar. I took plenty of photos while there, this one of yours truly propping up the Duchess of Hamilton is far from the only one.

Come late afternoon we walked back to the city centre, ate a vastly overpriced sandwich (2 slices of bread with a slice of cooked beef and some red onion between them for £4.25? Get real!) and made our way back to the coach park just outside the city walls.

We left just before 6pm and got home about 8pm. The return trip was quicker because there was much less traffic on the roads. Needless to say we were both shattered after 6 hours of traipsing around York and 5 hours spent on a coach.

The sum total of photos I took are available on my share.ovi.com page.

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