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Published: June 22nd 2017
Geo: 53.9577, -1.08229
Due to last night's investigating, we were pleased to enjoy a full and tasty English breakfast (no haggis) at the cheapest rate yet paid. Even better, it was right next door to our hotel. Mom and Rich were a bit squeamish about the giant mushroom, but Jake just turned it over and ate away.
Next we walked through the sunny shambles to the Minster. It was almost a different place with the sun shining through the stained glass. We bought the "Do it All" ticket for nine pounds, which let us see the undercroft and crypt as well as the Minster itself, plus the 275 stair tower. We "did it all." The undercroft was like an archeological dig, showing the ruins of the Romans, the Normans, and how the medieval people built right upon top of those beneath. When the Minster caught fire in 1984, the water from the fire brigades dropped right into the original Roman sewers (which still work) and drained right out into the River Ouse. The central tower was in danger of collapse in 1967 and in response a Swiss team of engineers ran 27,000 feet of steel rods in a crisscross pattern through the
tower foundations and into new reinforced concrete barriers.
From the Minster, we walked along the city wall, entering it through the bar. In York, bars are gates, gates are streets, and bars are pubs. We like learning new things about the English language. Along the wall, we viewed the gardens of beautiful residences and enjoyed a day of sun.
From the wall it was back into the city centre. We wandered around a bit, Jake bought a limited edition print and met the artist, and then it was off to cross the river and tour the York Brewery. The brewery was hot, informative, and thirst-quenching. We were able to taste the raw ingredients of brewed ale (not lager, they made sure we knew that) as well as look down upon the brewery equipment. We sampled a few resident brews, picked up a few things to bring home, and then found the place that seemed to bring our trip together. Thus far, it has been pubs and churches, churches and pubs. Today, we found "The Parish." It was once a church, is now a pub, and provided us with a hearty lunch of ... nachos. Nothing like local cuisine.
Parish" it was back to the hotel, briskly, and then off to Evensong at York Minster. The choir was visiting from Chester. It was a beautiful service and we were surprised that no collection was taken.
From York Minster, it was back to routine... church then pub. We wandered back to the Golden Fleece, this time sitting outside so as to avoid the supernatural spirits and still enjoy the liquid ones. Nothing really special here, just good friends enjoying the much desired sunny afternoon.
On the way home, we ran across one of the true cultural highlights of York. Over 600 years old, we came upon the Red Lion. (That's the Red Lion, not us.) We planned on sitting outside, but encountered Jack from Lancashire and Mr. Friendly bartender. Enjoying a lively discussion with them, we learned: 1. The UK is England, Wales, and Scotland. Great Britain also includes Northern Ireland. 2. Lancashire and Yorkshire are still fighting the War of the Roses. None has yet converted the other. 3. Union rugby and league rugby are two different things. We aren't really sure the difference, but union rugby is better. 4. Never trust the frogs. In the words of
the English: "You might be 6,000 miles away, and France is 22 miles across the channel. But we could never joke and enjoy their company like we can with you." 5. We had a talk about the Packers, Bears, Cubs, AA and AAA leagues, and the various international meanings of "football."
After enjoying company, John Smith's Ale, and Magnet (also known as John Smith's daddy), and the ladies tasting black currant and lager, we made our way home to Travelodge York. Unpacking the laptop and back to Wetherspoon, we enjoyed cottage pie and some blog time. Until next time, may your coffin be made from a one-hundred year old oak tree which we shall plant tomorrow.
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