The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review


Tuesday we drove into the magnificent walled city of York to find both liars_dance and friede -- the latter an uncanny experience for me since I first met her online at the tender age of 13, though I didn't know her age at the time! I am pleased to report that she seems to have survived corruption by myself, beckyo, madlori and others and it was so much fun to finally meet her across the Atlantic from our homes. We all met up at Clifford's Tower, built by Henry III after the original was burned during riots in 1190 when the Jews who had taken refuge in the tower committed suicide rather than being taken alive by an anti-Semitic mob. The views from the tower are amazing, but knowing this history, it was hard not to feel ambivalent about the tower itself and about York Minster, the spectacular medieval cathedral with the most beautiful, stories-high stained glass I have ever seen, and with huge Gothic western towers that are seen most impressively from the city walls, though there's no clear view for a photograph without trees or roofs in the way. Many people had said that we should walk around the walls, which we did, with liars_dance and friede pointing out the architecture and important buildings.

We had planned to eat lunch at the pub above the ruins of a Roman bath, but after touring the museum below the ground with the artifacts from the baths themselves, we ended up eating in the Italian restaurant in the renovated Grand Assembly Rooms, where we had pizza and pasta amidst gilded marble columns. From there we walked to the Yorkshire Museum, which has a collection of Anglo-Saxon, Roman and Viking artifacts from the area, plus part of the ruins of St. Mary's Abbey whose larger structures remain standing outside, by the River Ouse. We had tea and scones (well, some of us had scones and some of us had ice cream sundaes) at one of the many local places serving afternoon tea, then walked to the National Railway Museum underneath the tracks by the York station. This place is fabulous -- in what little time we had, we saw the Mallard which once set a world record for steam speed (and was the basis for the Thomas the Tank Engine train that Son #1 called "tipped blue diesel" in his extreme youth), a big green train on the roundabout, mail and military cars and -- most importantly to the kids, who have outgrown Thomas -- a sign for Platform 9 3/4 in a huge warehouse of train memorabilia.

liars_dance and friede had both departed earlier and we wove our way back across the city to where we had parked, stopping at the World War I memorial obelisk, different spots along the walls and bridges and a quick look at the amusement park beside our parking spot near Clifford's Tower. Once again, though it was overcast for most of the day, we saw no rain. Because we had had a big lunch and afternoon tea, we came back to the cottage and made sandwiches for dinner. Tomorrow we have had a change of plans: originally we were going to go to the art museums in Leeds and Nottingham, but we decided to skip Leeds and go to Sherwood Forest on the way south on Saturday so that tomorrow we can go to the east coast of northern England and see the sea at Whitby and Scarborough Fair!

Heading into York beneath the city walls.
Tags: britain 05

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