Friday, February 20, 2009
Inside Clifford's tower, the last remaining part of York Castle
Me at Clifford's tower--with York Minster in the distance
The River Ouse
York's city centre--lots of narrow windy little streets
View from the top of York Minster
More views from the climb up the York Minster Tower (275 steps!)
York Minster from the ground
Had a great time in York today! We started off with a little walk around the city to get our bearings and see what there is to see, then headed back to York Minster to go inside. It's the main tourist attraction in town, and the largest Gothic cathedral in Britain (or anywhere this side of Italy, for that matter). The Minster is amazing--huge beyond belief--but there are some sections corded off that tourists can't enter. We did, however, climb the tower. You can only go up and down at designated times, because the spiral staircase is too narrow for 2 people to pass each other. The views from the top are great, but unfortunately you're sort of in a wire cage. I understand the need to prevent suicide, but it does get in the way of taking pictures.
After that climb (and a stop at the gift shop), we were ready for lunch. We went to the Three Tuns--exactly what you'd think of as a traditional English pub. I had fish & chips & peas, and Seamus had the scampi--I'd never ordered it before, 'cause I assumed 'scampi' was like the shrimp and pasta dish you get in the states. It turned out to be battered shrimp, served w/ chips and peas.
After lunch, we walked around some more. The Jorvik Viking Festival was supposed to be going on, but we didn't see many signs of it. The line at the Viking Museum was really long, and at one point we did see a man dressed (sort of) like a Viking pulling a cart that had a woman similarly dressed standing on it, but the image was a little ruined by the ABBA music the cart was playing...
We went to Clifford's Tower, where the views of the city aren't obstructed by a wire cage, and it doesn't take long to climb to the top. After that, we walked along the River Ouse for a bit and then along the top of the city wall. There really wasn't much else to do around the city, so we went back to Leeds fairly early--York's definitely worth a visit, but don't come specifically for the Viking Festival (unless you're really into Vikings and ABBA...).