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The Olllllld City of York

York, United Kingdom

You can either drive into York and pray you find parking or you can use the Park and Ride! We opted for the Park and Ride... cost us 5 pound to park, then ride the bus into York... not a bad deal! Owen loves riding city buses anyway, we have found.
Using the Park and Ride also reduces pollution in the very old city.

We rode through York on the bus, past huge stone homes, some of them converted into businesses or medical practices. We got off at Clifford Tower.

We quickly found the Jorvik Viking Centre after walking through the busy streets... apparently York is huge for shopping, there were so many shops! The Jorvik Viking Centre was rated in our England guide book as a "must see" and Derek has been there numerous times. We crammed ourselves into the "time machine" and rode through time through a reconstructed Viking city. This viking city was discovered below ground level and a lot of the items in the reconstruction were dated from 948 - 1067 BC. They even had smells to go along with the exhibits from woodworking to leatherworking to bathroom smells! Derek said they used to have one of baking bread...mmmm! The headrests on the seats have speakers and you can choose which language to listen to the tour in. There was a kids' version, so we put that on for Owen, although we're not sure if he could hear since his head was not even close to the headrest! After the ride, they had many items they found on display from lumber to bone combs to entire skeletons of vikings. There was a video showing the facial reconstruction of one of the skulls they found. Very cool! Unfortunately it was too crowded to stick around and read all the signs and plaques.

After Jorvik, we walked through the busy streets again and found lunch - pizza hut! 10 pound for a large pizza and 2 pound for a Pepsi!!! So about $32 Canadian for us all to share a pizza and have some drinks. We ate our ham and mushroom pizza quickly and made our way to the awe-inspiring York Minster.

From further away, seeing it was amazing, but when you get closer up and see the detail of the architecture, it is really spectacular. Inside, Jenn was impressed with the enormity and elaborateness. Everywhere you look, there is something to read, inspect and wonder upon.

The stained glass was certainly the highlight, although one of the windows was removed for maintenance (a wonderment in itself, since the windows are huge).

Owen fell asleep pretty soon after we started our tour.

Derek told stories of his time in York and at the York Minster cleaning the organ there. We proceeded to the crypts underneath the York Minster and unlike Yorvik, we spent the time and read most of the signs and plaques. There were displays of leather, tools, parts of buildings discovered - many of it not found until recently, which begs the question of what else will they find? It's so neat to walk through such displays of ancient times. Jenn came out feeling very relaxed and serene.

We came out of the York Minster just as Owen was waking up (good thing he was free!) and made our way to the Shambles, a very narrow old street in York that used to be used for hanging meat, but is now used for all kinds of shops from jewelers to souvenirs to butchers. We stopped and had a cream tea, which is tea with scones (in this case, raisin) with clotted cream and jam. It was to die for! Owen mostly enjoyed licking the jam off his buttered scone and wasn't interesting in eating (as usual). As we left the tea house, it began to rain and we stopped under shelter to wait for the rain to die off. Probably 15 minutes later, we were on our way again. We got to our bus stop about five seconds after the bus left, so we went down to the River Ouse. Owen loved watching the water and the boats.

It took forever to get back to Bromborough due to slow downs in traffic on the motorway, but when we made it back we had some amazing fish and chips! This was Jenn and Owen's first ever English fish & chips.

permalink written by  jennderek on July 23, 2009 from York, United Kingdom
from the travel blog: UK Tripper
tagged York, Jorvik and YorkMinster

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