Monday, July 17, 2006

Travelogue Pt 3 - York

Polite Notice: Lots of pictures, may be slow to load.

Incidentally, Blogger is only letting me upload a single picture at a time, hence part of the delay in posting.

Getting to York was a little bit of adventure. There had been a fire just outside King's Cross station in London (the main rail station), so we were herded onto the tube, sent to Finsbury Park, and packed onto trains for Peterborough, which turned out to be about an hour north of London. Peterborough is a 6 platform station, but they plainly weren't used to as much traffic as they were getting. Since schedules were all off, they were constantly reassigning platforms, which would cause huges masses of people (and their luggage) to surge up and down stairs in panic. (When we started walking and I watched sheep for awhile, this scene came to mind.)

Eventually, we made it onto our train for York, which was completely packed. The passengers were generally good humored about it - I heard a guy shout to one of the conductors "We can still breathe - you could send in more!"

We had booked our York B&B before we left for England, which was a good thing since York is very popular in the summer. We stayed at the Romley House B&B for two nights, a charming (and small) place with professionally cheerful hosts.

We had one of the best dinners of the trip at The Hole in the Wall pub in York. We both had giant Yorkshire puddings, mine with Cumberland sausage and Trent's with roast pork and stuffing. The beer was darn tasty too. We got a little dish full of sauce packets, and I was staggered by the sauce selection.

York is incredibly beautiful. Every time you turn a corner, there's another completely amazing old building. Here's a selection (clicking will make these bigger, by the way.)

We visited the Minster while we were there, and Trent took zillions of pictures.

If you ever get to visit the Minster, be sure to tour the undercroft. They excavated under there at some point because the foundation was collapsing, and they found that the present cathedral was built on the remains of a Norman cathedral, which in turn was built on an old Roman fort. They found an aqueduct under there, still draining water. Photography is forbidden in the undercroft, so you'll just have to take my word for it - very cool.

We also went for a walk on the city walls. Well, really it was two walks because it was pouring during the first of them.

I found a yarn shop, Sheepish, in an old section of town called the Shambles. This turned out to be one of the very few yarn shops I saw on the trip. The woman working there said she'd be coming to the pacific NW this fall.

Another York highlight was an absolutely amazing pub called The Maltings. They had a staggering selection of hand pulled English ales and select foreign imports (Leifman's Kriek! On tap!)

We began to really enjoy language in York, too. We had our laundry done, and the nice lady at the laundrette called us love about 8 times while she took our money and handed over laundry. The barkeep at The Maltings stumped when he asked "anythinkelse?" But the it was the signs that never stopped amusing us. (We forgot to take a picture of our favorite, "Polite Notice: No Parking At Any Time" which has inspired me to post polite notices at work, "Polite Notice: Leave me the hell alone" or "Polite Notice: Whiners will be shot.") Be sure to read the fine print on the Red Boats sign; apparently, the lads get unruly.

York is beautiful, but it's absolutely heaving with tourists during the day. I prefer the evenings, when you may encounter actual locals.

In Part 4, we go to Ilkley, drink more beer, and actually start walking. Stay tuned.


Blogger Camera Obscura said...

Notices in Britain always struck me as polite. "Way Out" seems so much more genteel than "Exit". I really enjoyed the "Mind the gap" on the recordings in the Tube stations.

You think York's packed now... Be glad you didn't go in August.

I do love me some cathedrals and castles.

3:29 PM  
Anonymous Karen said...

I am loving your travel log. I would love to know how those lightly packed backpacks worked. Could you _please_ share your packing list? Did you have everything you needed? Did you bring anything you never used? Please share and help out the luggage impaired!

8:28 AM  
Anonymous Diana said...

So glad you saw the Undercroft at the Minster. Did they tell you about seeing the ghosts of the Roman soldiers come through?? I did a "Ghost Walk" in York one night and it was fabulous -- scary, but great fun!

3:30 PM  
Anonymous Ryan said...

Enjoying the photos and the travelogue bunches!!

4:11 PM  

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