Sunday Apr. 2nd, 2000 York
6C/42F cold and dry until 10:30, then rain, sleet & snow
Len & Kel
(Ugh, up at 7:15.. on our vacation too!)
Had a full English Breakfast to start the day. Our first on this trip. Yum!.
Then we walked into town to take a
"York Walk". It met at the museum entrance on the far side of
town (from us). At least it wasn't raining.. Yet. Our tour guild showed up a bit before the
start, as well as 2 other couples, one from Exeter and the other from Canadia. This was the "City
Walls" walk, a 3 mile journey around the perimeter of York.
Our guide was very nice, but not as entertaining as the London Walks guides we've had. He kept
stopping in odd places (meaning 10 - 15 foot short of a bit of shelter, and always facing with
the rain in our faces) and we got really behind schedule-wise. It also kept getting colder, to
the point Kel lost feeling in 3 fingers, even with gloves on. We'd likely have left early if it
weren't for the fact we were too embarrassed to admit the 72 year old guide could outdo us. he had
many more rivulets flowing down his face than any of us. But Kel was sure glad of the warm muffler
she'd purchased in London when we went bag shopping.
We saw the entire wall structure, all the bars (not the fun kind) and quite a bit of the city.
bars are "barriers" or gates to the city, "gates" are streets - from the old viking gatje (sp?).
We also saw the ruins of the
St. Marys Benedictine Abbey,
destroyed in 1530. Behind the side of
the museum are the diggings of the old
Saxon and Roman burial grounds, and the Kings Manor. It
was built by King James I ,mainly out of rubble form the abbey and early brick. It's interesting
to see the carved curves of the "rubble" from the abbey arches being used as door stops and to
mark pathways, they way we would with chunks of concrete.
Our guide pointed out the Forsythia and asked if we were familiar with it. I mentioned we
had one in our front yard. He was amused at the fact that we have "yards" and they have
"gardens". Until he went to point out what we were looking at and realized it was the "Deans Yard"
and thought about it a bit. We all had a nice chuckle. But the
daffodils all along the banks of
the walls were breathtaking.
I think he began to notice how miserable we were all looking in the terrible weather as about
3/4's of the way around (when the sleet started getting thick) he stopped on a bench to fill out
our "completion" certificates. Likely so we could sneak off and still have our souvenir.
We were pretty wet and miserable by the end though. As we were rushing off for some tea and
scones and to get warm the couple from Exeter became chatty. Which was disappointing as we'd have
loved to talk to them, but our teeth were chattering so badly we could hardly speak intelligently.
We scooched off to the nearest tea room for a cream tea. A HOT cream tea and eventually warmed up
enough to head back to the warm hotel for some dry clothing and a feet-up break.
We've been trying to find shot glasses to bring back home but the ticky-tacky shops are harder to
find here, and the weather hasn't helped. Tea Rooms and Pubs are much warmer than souvenir shops!
The doorways in the older parts of town bother Len, but I don't see any problem with a door thats 5
foot 6inches tall.
We wrote postcards for a bit and went out again for dinner about 7:30. Ate at the
Royal Oak for
old times sake. (Our fave pub at home was called the Royal Oak). Our dinner [I had the roast
pork, Kel the roast lamb] came to less than half the cost of the night before.
We trudged home in the cold, windy rain, thinking "Tomorrow we'll hit the Minster, the Bus tour
and the Jorvik Centre. The weather HAS to improve tomorrow!"