Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve in York

Today’s walk was wet and slushy. I learned just how not waterproof my street shoes are. My feet were soaked after 30 minutes, so we started looking for a place to buy some good waterproof shoes. At the first store we tried, the young hip sales boy tried to convince me that the cool looking, thin leather high-top shoes were water proof. I said “these are good for slush and ice?” He nodded yes. I turned them over and the soles were slick, no tread at all. I said “And the bottom is slick so it’s easier to fall on the ice?” He went looking for another salesperson. The next young sales lady passed us on to a third sales lady who suggested an Army and Navy Store around the corner. That worked out great and Robin bought me an unexpected Christmas present of comfortable, warm, dry, waterproof shoes that also look great on slushy streets, in Minsters and Cathedrals, and also in pubs and on university campuses. Brilliant!

York Minster looms over York’s old city streets.
Photo tip: shooting photos in less than ideal light conditions sometimes makes for more interesting photos

York street scene. York Minster towers watch ghost-like over the city.

Cathedral towers and stove pipes. (Hmmm. I sense a painting coming soon)

The Old White Swan pub. One of the most famous and oldest pubs in town (the 1500s). Also haunted by ghosts. It was voted York’s best pub. Twice. We had an excellent Christmas Eve dinner here. And Treacle tart with custard for dessert, for those of you who know Treacle.

A pint of cider for the lady. I had a Winter Pimm’s (similar to spiced or mulled cider). Then a half pint of cider.

Another bridge over the Ouse River.

A foggy morning on the Ouse River.

Cliffords Tower is right on the edge of town, next to the York Castle Museum and the ice skating rink. It’s all that remains of York Castle, built in the 1200s. The tower was built on top of a mound where William the Conqueror built a fortress in 1069. How long does it take to build a mound anyway? Did they use MoundPro 10.6?

A family of geese cross the street, going to Cliffords Tower.

Ice skating across the road from Cliffords Tower.

Holiday fun.

The Lion in Winter.

Robin of York

Part of the wall walk is seen in the background.

A mysterious looking woman, window shopping in York.

Woman in a snickelway (a small alley that connects streets or courtyards).

We cross this bridge over the Ouse River to go into the town center. The tower on the other side of the river used to stretch a heavy chain across at sunset to the tower on this side, to prevent any boats from entering the city.

A York street.

York etc.

York Minster glows with fading light behind deep shadowed streets.

Monk Bar is not a place to get a drink. It's one of the entrances (a Bar) thru the city wall to the Town Center, the old part of town that’s surrounded by the wall. In better weather, you can enter a door on the other side and take stairs up to the wall walk.

The Ouse River flows along the southern edge of York.

A tourist admires a bronze model of the Minster section of town, on display across the street from York Minster.

York Minster from a pedestrian side street of shops and period architecture.

York, my kinda town, York is (la la laaaa)

Didn't Frank Sinatra have a hit song about York? If I remember correctly, he add the word "New" somewhere in the lyrics to make the song flow a little better.

Our hotel as seen from the train station entrance. If you make it to the small  octagonal building, you’re inside. A long, cold walk, but we made it.

Looking down the staircase that goes to the lobby and the lounge chairs below.

York Minster is fantastically ornate, a great example of Gothic cathedral design, including fabulous gargoyles which, as usual, are placed so high that ordinary citizens didn’t ever  know how grotesque and comical they really were.

Amazing. I’d like to know the story behind each one of these.

Get your own Gothic Cathedral design kit now. Build a cathedral in your spare time. Give your descendants something to do.

Catching up with the Blogger thingy

Wow. I've taken hundreds of photos since the last blog and now I’m going to try to catch up before I start another day of shooting photos and video.

Yesterday (Wednesday) was a cold but lovely day to stroll around York.

Remind me to try bacon buttes. If not this trip, next time for sure.

This bird and his ancestors have been hanging out in this window for about 600 years. The building of York Minster was started in 1220 and finished in 1472.

The ancient city wall can be walked, although most sections are closed now because of the danger of ice and snow (no handrails).

Constantine watches over York Minster, even though he was here a tad bit earlier; during the 300s. He was crowned emperor here, the only ruler of Rome crowned anywhere else besides in Rome.

This place has it all.