Saturday, September 4, 2010

4 September 2010 York

AA Road Service roadside box (NRMA/RAA/RACQ/RACV in Aus)

Juke Box in the museum and for 20p it will play a selected tune

Buildings sagging - quite common here

Police waiting for the fans leaving the football - last week there was a huge fight so they are ready

View from Cliffords Tower

View of a car park from Cliffords Tower

1950's room in the museum, there were lots of these and really well done

Giant Bull Weighed 1559kgs in the Museum

Giant Bull

Early weapons

Museum item - a young Mick Jagger

Clifford Tower

North Yorkshire Police Mitsubishi Challenger I think

Morris dancers in the town

York's finest

The River Ouse flows through York

Portcullis in the wall

Lyn on the city wall

Buildings often lean over here

No room for cars

Lyn shopping - no room for basketball players here

Guy Fawkes - remember him

York Minster front

York Minster


York Minster viewed from the wall

York Minster

4 September 2010

Today we decided to visit historic York. The weather was fine with patchy cloud and we left early as there was lots to see.

We took the A614 out of Bridlington turning onto the A166 at Driffield. Although the roads were single carriageway, they were smooth with sweeping bends, ideal for motorcyclists and there were a few about.

We made York city centre in about an hour and parked in a Coach/Car park which cost £7.10 for 4 hours. There was a very large coach park which was filling with coaches with many elderly folk amongst the passengers. Those that needed to go to the loo found that the there was a money collection booth at the entrance with the requirement to pay 50p (nearly $1) for the necessity of a wee. Bloody rip off.

We walked out of the car park and immediately found a sightseeing tourist bus waiting at the traffic lights which we boarded and after paying our £7 each started our tour. On weekends they come past their designated stops about every 15 minutes with the hop on hop off system. The whole circuit takes about an hour.

The breeze was cool so we decided to wear warm tops. The only problem was that Lyn had brought hers and Mick didn't have one. Still it was warm enough and Mick is pretty tough so he had to do without.

We decided to get off the bus at Clifford's Tower which stands high on a mound. The 11th century Clifford`s Tower is the last remaining part of York Castle. In 1068 William the Conqueror built a mound and the round tower, of wood, to establish his control in the North. which was a circular construction on a hill which provided a great view of the city.

Mick was keen to pay the £3 to climb the very steep steps to the top so Lyn waited below to wave to him looking over the parapet.

We then headed off to the York Castle Museum which is one of Britain's leading museums of everyday life. It shows how people used to live by displaying thousands of household objects and by recreating rooms, shops, streets and even prison cells. Cost £7.

It is best known though for its recreated Victorian street, Kirkgate, which combines real shop fittings and stock with modern sound and light effects, to evoke an atmosphere of Victorian Britain. Mick thought it was really well done but he would have needed half a day to do it justice so we had to move on.

We got back on the bus to continue the trip around the town and after about half an hour got off at a stop adjacent to Bootham Bar. York is surrounded by a huge stone walls with various entry/exit point into the town centre.

The Bar Walls of York are the finest and most complete of any town in England. There are five main 'bars' (big gateways), one postern (a small gateway) one Victorian gateway, and 45 towers. At two miles (3.4 kilometres), they are also the longest town walls in the country.

Also at the Bars you can climb steps to get onto the walls and walk around the outskirts of the town. It would obviously take a good while to do the whole walk so we chose the wall walk which gave the best views of York Minster. Entering at Bootham bar and leaving at Monk Bar.

York's cathedral, although known as a minster, is officially the "Cathedral and Metropolitical Church of St Peter in York ". By definition a cathedral is the site of a bishop's throne (a cathedra) but the word 'cathedral' did not come into use until after the Norman conquest. Mick explained some of this to you in the Grimsby Blog but include it just in case you had forgotten. In Anglo-Saxon times important churches were minsters, but not all were bishops' seats.

York Minster's history began in 627AD, when maybe there were a few Aboriginees and lots of kangaroos in Australia and not much else, and the building has gone through quite a few changes over the years since. (That would be an understatement). The Minster represents almost every stage of the Gothic style of architecture from 1230 to 1475.

After our wall walk we came down to street level and walked into the centre of the town which has the largest single pedestrianised area in the country. This area was very busy with people everywhere and we were surrounded by many beautiful old buildings which were mostly shops, restaurants hotels and bars. Lyn loved it there as she could step out of one shop and into another in just a few steps.

We had decided to make our way through the plaza area to get to Marks and Spencers which is four stories high and according to the lady doing the commentary on the bus, has the best view of York Minster in York from the 4th floor.

After spending some time taking in the sights and sounds of the town centre and watching groups of Morris Dancers, we found the M & S store and headed up to the 4th floor to a great view of the Minster which is huge.

After Lyn checked out some of the stuff for sale in the menswear shop, she was unable to buy some lovely shirts for Simon, our son, because she didn't know what his neck size was and in the UK they are in inches not centimetres. Oh, what a pity, said Mick as he hurriedly guided her out of the store.

We then walked to the lovely grassed area surrounding the Minster and sat down with an ice cream to look at this magnificent building close up. A portion of the building is undergoing renovations so there was quite a bit of scaffolding around it. We have found this a common sight around these buildings but I suppose they have been there for quite a while and their largely sandstone construction causes them to gradually erode.

As it was about 4pm, we decided to head back to Bridlington as we didn't want to get caught up in the afternoon traffic.

After an surprisingly uneventful trip home with dozens of motorbikes enjoying the smooth winding country roads and a stop in a lay-by for a cup of our 'free' coffee, we bought some fish and fresh haddock for tea.

Another lovely day and as Roy said, "You'll need 2 days to do York....". and we really would. Maybe next time.

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