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Published: August 29th 2015
We took the train around 10 am. The journey was only an hour and it was nice to travel through the countryside. It looks so different to the countryside in Korea. The train was pretty busy, but it is the school holidays. We popped into the tourist information centre to grab some leaflets, we still really didn't really know what we wanted to see or do. As we were getting our bearing and figuring out which way we had to head to reach the city centre, we saw a red hop-on hop-off tour bus. We bought some tickets, they were bloody expensive, but lasted for 24 hours, so it would be a good deal if you were there again the next morning. You can tell I'm not used to travelling in Europe, everything is so bloody extortionate compared to Asia.
We decided to just to ride the bus for its full route, which lasts about an hour, and then at the end see where we fancied visiting in more depth. I really enjoyed the bus tour, it was interesting to see the different parts of York, and it gave us a good orientation of the city, which is quite small.
We drove past the Memorial Gardens, which were nice, but there weren't many flowers about, and over the River Ouse past the Museum Gardens, which as well as gardens houses some museums. I would liked to have done a boat tour along the river, as it would have given me a different perspective of the buildings, hopefully next time I visit. It was lovely driving along the traditional style streets. It is so different to Asia, and it was great to be back somewhere that felt familiar. I did have to laugh when we passed a sex shop, I'm so not used to seeing stuff like that out in the open, as Korea is so conservative. There were some gorgeous looking shops, and if only I had more money, maybe they would have helped me part with it. The weather was holding up pretty well, although there were some big dark clouds about.
The commentary on the bus was interesting and I did learn quite a bit. In places, we followed the city walls around the edge of the old city, and I would love to go back and walk them properly. I don't think it would take too
long, only a few hours. York is like any other typical English city, in that we passed plenty of pubs. We passed the Shambles area, which I had read about and wanted to visit later. York is a real mix of old and new, which is something I miss living in brand new city. We headed further out and we reached Clifford's Tower. Again, this is somewhere I would like to go back and visit properly. A real highlight for me was going past Dick Turpin's grave. I don't know if it would warrant getting off the bus for, but as I grew up watching the Carry On films and Carry On Dick being one of my favorites, it was great to see. I had no idea he was buried in York. Although what I know is probably all fiction from the film and I do imagine him as the legend that is Sid James. The bus headed back towards the city centre past more and more bars, and a couple of museums. We had been lucky with the weather and we had even been able to sit upstairs in the outside bit, but for the last ten or fifteen
minutes of the journey, it started to rain. It wasn't too heavy, but everyone moved pretty sharply inside.
We got off the bus near the Minster. It had stopped raining by this point. We walked along the cute street, and looked for somewhere to eat lunch, as we were all starving by this point. We headed into a York Brewery pub, the Three Legged Mare and ordered some drinks. I tried their Guzzler beer, it was nice. I definitely enjoyed drinking it. We would have had lunch there, but they didn't do food, so we left after our drinks. We wandered along the street, looking for somewhere to eat. We eventually found a nice looking French style brassiere called Cote. The restaurant didn't look too big from the outside, but when we went in and were shown to the rear of the restaurant. The restaurant was actually a good size, and it was pretty busy, most tables were taken. They had a special lunchtime/daytime set menu, which looked like good value for money, so we ordered off that. My starter was mussels, which were totally delicious. The portion size was good, but I could have definitely eaten more and
more of them. It had been ages since I'd eaten mussels. My main course was fish with ratatouille, again this was delicious! I had a few chips with it too. I was still a bit hungry, so I ordered a dessert. I had a peach crumble with ice cream. I think that they must have forgotten about it or the kitchen was really busy, as it took ages to arrive. I had even finished my coffee before it came. However it was delightful, I'm not a big fan of ice cream, but I really enjoyed the pudding. All in all, the meal was lovely. After doing some research on the internet at home, I found out that the restaurant was part of a chain. I would definitely go again, if I came across it in another city.
We headed to York Minster. It is pretty expensive to get in, and some people say you shouldn't have to pay to enter a church. But to me I don't mind paying. I happily pay to visit temples in Korea, although the entrance fees are a lot cheaper! When I was at the counter paying the lovely woman working there told me
the basic entrance fee was £10, but the combination ticket for the minster and the tower was £15. I was totally ignorant, as to what that was, but when she told me you could go up to the roof, I plumped for that ticket. There is a sign near the tills saying that the Minster costs £20,000 a day to run. With those kind of costs, you can understand why the admission fee is so high. I wonder whether it is busy for church services or if they have dwindled like so many churches across the country.
I had a little while before my tour to the tower. You cannot visit the tower whenever you feel like, you are given a time and it is printed on your ticket. We had a wander around the main part of the cathedral. We waked down past the nave. It is a nice cathedral, pretty but not too ornate or ostentatious. I love the high ceilings, no wonder the bill for its upkeep is so high, it must be a bugger to heat in the winter. I bet it is freezing! The first structure was built in 628 AD. But over the
years, the cathedral has been burnt down and rebuilt and suffered from other events in history. It is the largest medieval Gothic cathedral in Northern Europe. I walked into the North Transept, which houses an Astronomical clock.
It was almost time for my tour so I headed to the South Transept, where the tour would start. It was nice as it wasn't a guided tour, it was chilled, just show the attendant your ticket and you were free to head up the tower. Although you do have to keep going not to hold up the queue. There are 275 steps to reach the top of the central tower, which offers views of the surrounding area from the highest point in York. The stairs weren't too bad, it wasn't too tiring heading up, but the staircase was quite narrow, hence why they have the tour system, people couldn't go up and down at the same time. At about the halfway point, I emerged outside, there was a narrow walkway. The views from there of the minster were beautiful. The architecture was just gorgeous. I could have spent ages there taking photos, but the lass behind me was having a bit
of a panic attack about being up high outside, so I didn't want to hold her up. Then it was back inside and the final push up to the roof.
The stairs heading up to the top were getting narrower and a bit steeper. I reached the roof. It was quite a big area, with lots of space to wander around and there were also benches so you could sit and have a rest and admire the view. There is a large wire fence around the roof top, I presume it is for health and safety, to stop anyone purposely or accidentally meeting their maker. The views from the top were absolutely gorgeous! I did the whole circuit a couple of times, taking about a million pictures. It was better the second time as a lot of people had already gone back downstairs, so I could take my time. This area is pretty flat, and you could see for miles in all directions. I eventually started my descent. The stairs were a lot worse going down. They were so narrow, and because it was a spiral staircase, twisting and turning, I had to be careful where I placed my
Back in the main part of York Minster, I headed to the Quire, there was a choir practicing there. They sounded beautiful. I could have listened to them sing for ages. I headed down to the crypt, which was located under the quire.it was interesting to wander around, I especially liked the Doomstone, with its depiction of hell. Further back there was a gorgeous mosaic/picture of a saint. I really enjoyed my wander down there. I headed over to Chapter House, which is an offshoot of the main building. This room as beautiful with its stained glass windows. I also saw the Kings' Screen, which is in front of the organ and quire.
After leaving York Minster, we took a wander along some of the streets. They are mostly cute and old fashioned, a little slice of Ye Olde England. We wandered along to where the chocolate making place was, but we already knew that we were too late to make some chocolate. We had a wander around the gift shop. Oh my God! The bars of chocolate were so expensive. I definitely wasn't buying anything. There was a big crowd outside watching some entertainers on King's
Square. We headed along to the Shambles, which is a pretty famous street in York. The building date back to the 14th and 15th century. 'The Shambles' is used as a way of describing a winding maze of small streets, and York certainly has plenty of those. This, The Shambles, was originally a street of butchers' shops with houses above them. The higher floors overhang the ground floors, and the building are all so tightly packed together that it is possible in places to touch both sides of the street with your arms outstretched. I popped into one of the shops as it had been converted into some kind of museum/monument to some dead lady. A great description I know, but I really can't remember anything about it.
We wandered the streets for a bit longer, and we decided we should head to a pub for a drink. However as we started to walk to where we needed to be, the heavens opened. Typical English summertime! We sheltered under a tree for a bit until the rain went off, it had been coming down pretty heavily. We headed to another York Brewery pub, the Yorkshire Terrier. It was a
really nice pub, too. It was tucked away behind a shop, and it was a little walk down the corridor to reach the bar. I ordered an Otherside IPA, that was really nice and I enjoyed drinking it. We sat in an area, which had a glass roof and watched the rain come down. There was some artwork on the walls for sale, and we tried to figure out who all the different celebrities were.
We headed back to the train station. It was raining a little bit, but not enough to soak us. We had decided to walk as it wasn't that far. It took about 15 minutes. When we got to the station we had about an hour to kill before our train, so we headed to the pub. There are two pubs in the station. The one by the entrance is pretty rough I think, so we headed to the other one, the Tap House. The bus was choc-a-bloc with people waiting for their trains we managed to snag a table and ordered some drinks. I had another IPA, Jaipur, which was delicious. We bought some food for the train journey home. I was starving by
that point. The train was about half an hour late, which is kind of annoying when the journey is only an hour. However once on the train, I happily tucked into my Thai red chicken curry pastie, it was delish, and even the people sitting on the table across the way commented on its lovely smell.
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