Friday, January 25, 2008

Holiday Photos #28

We left Edinburgh on the train, next stop, York. York was one of the places we hadn't known we were going to visit when we made our travel itinerary. We'd intentionally only made a general plan and direction, with lots of open time so we could stay longer or add stops if we wanted. At that time we didn't have an inkling of an interest in or know we wanted to go to York.

When we were trudging up a hill with our luggage in Conwy, Wales, hoping we were going in the right direction to find our B & B, a man in a truck pulled over to see if we needed any help. He was able to assure us we were "almost there" and then, apropros of nothing except that we were travelers, he asked if we were going to visit York. No, we hadn't thought to do that. Well, we HAD to go to York, says he. We had originally planned to stop someplace between Edinburgh and London where we could visit Hadrian's Wall. That ended up being somewhat tricky to do by train, so we decided to give York a try instead.

This building is NOT in York. In fact, now that I think of it, I think we saw it on an earlier train trip, maybe between Wales and Blackpool, or somewhere before Edinburgh. I could be wrong. It might be somewhere between Edinburgh and York. Does anyone know WHERE it is and WHAT it is? And why it's never appeared in a Doctor Who episode because doesn't it look like it should? Actually, it might have and I just haven't seen that episode yet. Anyway, I'm curious about it.

Back to this leg of the trip, we arrived in York. We'd decided not to plan a place to stay ahead of time because we'd bumped into some friends in Edinburgh who'd just come from York and raved about a B & B that was a bit pricier than what we'd used so far. I thought we'd check it out and if it wasn't worth the extra money, we could find something cheaper. Up to this point, still pre-tourist season, we'd had plenty of choices so I wasn't worried about finding accomodations. What we didn't know was that we'd arrived in York on the weekend of THE RACES. Horse races. Apparently a HUGE thing. To quote a famous line - There was no room at the inn. Any inn. We ended up walking for what seemed like miles, dragging our suitcases behind us as they somehow got heavier and heavier with each step. Eventually a very nice lady at a very nice (and fancy) hotel took pity on us and we ended up with a discounted room we could afford. It was still the most we'd paid so far. But by that time we were just grateful to have some place to sleep.

As soon as we got our bags to our room we took off to see what there was too see. Not far from our hotel we found this very big church.

York Minster

Check out the awesome Gargoyles. Or are they called Grotesques. Can't remember which is which.

I was with William so guess what we did....huff, puff, gasp, gasp.... we climbed up to the very top of course.

My absolute dream job would allow me to travel all around the world photographing things. I can't say I loved photographing architecture more than I did the people and scenery, but I loved it just as much. Anyone want to hire me to go take more photos? I'll buy a fancier camera and take fantastic shots! Anyone?......... Well, while I'm waiting for an offer, let's continue on, shall we?

These support arches are mostly invisible from the ground but we saw them from above on a number of old buildings. I'm sure they have a name but I'm too lazy to research for it.

This photo screams for playing with - photoshop. Or using as the basis for an abstract quilt design. Hmmmm.

York is a city of layers. Now British, it was Roman before that and on the same site long before the Romans lay the ruins of a large Viking settlement. Just around the corner from the front of the cathedral is this sculpture of Constantine. I'm not sure if it's intentional but I can't help but think he looks like a haughty SOB, doesn't he?

Nearby, a roman column. Can't remember now whether it was originally on this site or moved here for display. It would be so cool if we had something like this in Susanville. What's that? Oh, that's just our roman column. Sigh. We do have some ancient petroglyphs nearby apparently, but they're on private ranch property and I haven't found anyone willing to show me where they are yet.

If you've been a long time reader you know the rule - William (or any one of my children who are handy at the moment) gets his picture taken with all his plastic or stone friends.

This means turn around is fair play....

We discovered a large history museum. It was the type of place that was probably a favorite with school groups as it gave an overview of English history all the way up to the present. It was probably nothing new to the average Brit but since it was all new to us, we loved it all. I wish I could remember the name of it. It was either The Yorkshire Museum or The Castle Museum. I Googled it and descriptions and photos of each look like where we were... anyway, there was a re-creation of an old jail cell. William locked me in.

I had to make a pathetic, sad face before he'd let me out. Eventually. After he'd stopped laughing.

You could dress in common Roman attire. We both robed up. Can't find his photo though, just mine.

Along the river (what river? Uhm, ..... a wet one?) there was a park with meandering walkways, gardens, shady copses, a museum, park benches, old walls, and these beautiful old ruins which I'm showing you with true Vanna-esque style.

I don't know why I didn't think of this before now, I should have been linking these photo posts to my orginal travel posts all along. Oh well, better late than never. You can go here and here if you'd like to read the York posts from when we were actually on the road.

We enjoyed everything we did and saw in York but my absolutely favorite part of York, hands down, is the Shambles. It was like turning a corner and finding yourself in Diagon Alley.

More York photos to come.....

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Blogger LoveAnna said...

The big shiny building is The Sage at Gateshead; a big music and arts centre. it is the most fantastic building and definitely a "wow!" venue for concerts etc. It's over the river (Tyne) from Newcastle, so you will have seen it if you were travelling on the train between York and Edinburgh.

Constantine does look an arrogant SOB, doesn't he? However I suspect he had to be to fight his way to being Emperor; those Romans were a ruthless lot. The ruins you saw were St. Mary's Abbey; an old monastery destroyed in about 1539 when Henry VIII decided that he needed the monk's treasure more than they did and dissolved every abbey/monastery/nunnery in England (OK, so there was a lot more politics behind it but I haven't room to go into it now *grin*) St. Mary's was one of the greatest abbeys in England but I always think the whole episode is really tragic.

Oh and the river that York stands on (as it were) is the Ouse - pronounced like ooze - really!!

I'm still really peeved that I had to work the day you were in York and couldn't meet up. Funny how some things get to you!

2:04 PM  
Blogger Jaye said...

AH! York! Your photos bring back good memories. We went to a lot of the places you visited with MY Wm as a 3.5YO (we didn't climb to the top of the Yorkminster - no interest in carrying a 3.5YO). We stayed at the hotel across from the YM. They loved Wm.

2:30 PM  

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