Tuesday, August 11, 2015

We woke up the next day, which was Wednesday the 29th, to a glorious, sunny morning. Wouldn't you know, the morning we leave Keswick was as dry as could be!  But it gave us hope that maybe York would be dry too.  Once again we took a more scenic route from west to east, entering the York Dales.  I really wanted to stop and get a photo during this part of the drive: we were on a country road, with hills right up to the road, dotted here and there with pretty stone houses that rolled right along with the landscape.  Large shrubs and flowers lined the street.  Of all the places we drove through, the Dales was the place where I would love to live the most.  The streets were winding and narrow, however, so it was too hard to find a place to stop to take any pictures.  We did see some interesting things though that we were able to capture, such as this beautiful bridge (above) and squirrel sign, which Eric thought was quite humorous.  We did see lots of squirrels.

I have some fascination with old churches.  Every time we saw one I wanted to climb out of the car and investigate:  how old was it?  Was it unlocked so we could go inside?  How old were the gravestones?  This was the first church we saw; I couldn't find any information about it online, it was locked, and the gravestones weren't as old as they looked.  Later in the drive we passed through a town called Kirk Hammerton, which advertised an "ancient church."  We drove to it, and ended up discovering that Kirk Hammerton was a pretty little town with brick homes, painted doors and hanging flowerpots.
The church was called St. John the Baptist Church.  It was empty and open so we went inside and had a peek.  It was beautiful; it had medieval paintings on the wall and stained glass windows.

I felt a little guilty taking pictures of the inside but it was so amazing I had to.

We looked into the church online and discovered that its Church of England and that it dates all the way back to the ninth century.  The tower was added around 950 AD.  Not too shabby!
We eventually made it to our B&B in York, Abbeyfields guest house.  It was a quaint townhouse just blocks from old York.  They make 3 loaves of bread every night for breakfast the next morning.  And Al, who owns the place, told us all the great spots to visit in the town.

Old York is surrounded by a stone wall that lays on top of another wall built by the Romans.  You can walk all around the city by the walls, and see great views you would otherwise miss, such as back yards and gardens.
This one's a bit blurry but here's Eric on the wall.  You can see that a railing has been added to the open side.  Its scary to think at one time that wasn't there!
Going back to ground level.

A few more views from the wall.

The first thing we did when we got inside the walls was take a tour.  It was 2 hours long and fabulous!  We did get a little rained on during the tour, but not much.  I've posted some photos of the architecture here.  York wasn't bombed during WWII, so there are many structures that still remain after 700 years.  Its amazing!!

The streets are narrow.  We wanted to come to York for 2 reasons:  York minster, and the Shambles. The Shambles is a street that used to be lined with butchers, who would hang their meat in front of their windows.  The narrow street provided plenty of shade, keeping meat cooler.
   You can see this building bowing.  Yikes!!  I wouldn't want to be working in that shoe shop.
1434.  I like that its posted right there, so you don't have to wonder.
This is actually the oldest row of buildings, dating to the 14th century.
The coolest part of York are the snickelways; narrow alleys between buildings that hold so much to explore!
Here's Eric in front of a snickelway, 
and me through one.  These can also be used for shortcuts, which Eric and I thought was pretty cool.

There was so much history in York Eric and I were going nuts.  I could go on for a long time about all the fun things to see there; we never got bored, that's for sure.  
 Excuse me.......I'm on the tele......
Oops, on my way out, thank you!
Ivy, how I love thee.....and want thee covering my house.....
Eric got this side by side double scoop of ice cream, and I chose to get some fudge.  Every night we grabbed some chocolate bars to taste when we got home that night.  There were so many different kinds, and every grocer we went into had different ones.  So of course we had to try them all!
After treats we headed to York minster for an evensong.  We tiptoed inside, sat down, and listened as hymns were sung, mixed with Bible reading.  Most of it is unchanged from the way it was done in the 16th century.  We were there for about 45 minutes, and it was such a neat experience!!
In the evening we had some dinner and then roamed the streets.  Things were quiet (we learned this on our trip; by about 6:00 things settle down and you can walk around pretty much alone).  We loved everything we saw; every house, every chapel, every square, everything.
Good night, York!
The next morning we sped through breakfast and dashed to York minster for a 60 minute tour.  We got there at 9:00 but it didn't start until 10:00.  Doh!  So we dashed to Clifford's Tower (which has an amazing history), and then back to the minster.
Clifford's Tower
post box
It was magnificent.  It was amazing.  

We loved our tour, and then explored the museum in the undercroft (basement/crypt).  The history there is so old and rich; we saw marble caskets of several bishops who were laid there to rest in the 13th century.  We were there for 2 1/2 hours and could have easily stayed longer!  But there was just so much else to see.
Teeny tiny car.
Al had told us about this great place to grab (beer, but since we are dry folk here) lunch called the House of the Trembling Madness.  It was somewhat hidden, very old, and very rustic.  You can see all the animal heads on the walls.  I wish I would have snapped a photo of our lunch:  a platter with some salad, meat, two types of cheese (one was black and called charcoal cheese because it was smoked.  It was sharp with a bit of grit.  I loved it), a pickle, some bread, two mini pork pies and apple. It was delicious!  And so simple.
 That afternoon we checked out Merchant's Hall, built in the 14th century.  
Sorry for the crooked photo, but look how beautiful the Hall is inside.  When we paid to go in we chatted with the receptionist there.  She was from New Jersey, had met her British husband at a bar in Poland, and now she was living in England, most likely forever.  I wonder if that is hard for her.

Holy Trinity Church was tucked away behind a busy street.  I hadn't even noticed it before but Eric had and made a point to come back to check it out.

We decided to go to the Black Swan for dinner.  We walked through the town to get there, again with quiet streets.

 The minster
As you can see, the Black Swan is an old building, once a home.  I tried the pigeon pie.  The crust was marvelous, the pigeon not my favorite.  But the mustard mashed potatoes were really good.  Eric ordered his second Yorkshire pudding in two days.  He really liked the dish.  We were sad to be leaving York in the morning.  How could Wales be as incredible as York?? I was a little worried, but I had no idea what was waiting there for us!!


Bethany Fegles Photography said...

Aw, what charm and beauty in York! I loved that pic of Clifford's tower! Wow! All of your architecture shots are so lovely, Chelsi! Well done.
The last couple sentences of your post sure drew me in... Oh boy, I can't wait to see your Wale pics!! :)

Chelsi Ritter said...

Haha awesome that's what I was going for ;)

Leslie said...

Clifford's tower and the Minster look so cool/interesting! I'm cracking up over the squirrel sign.

My dad served his mission in England and used to make us Yorkshire pudding when we were kids. Yum! This makes me want to make it now!!

Sasha Cornelius Eggli said...

I love the pic of the ivy and you with your umbrella. So cute! I love all the old buildings. Jealous!