Friday August 29th ~ York, England
Over the past couple of days we managed to get a few more places explored, and fun times squeezed in. One stop was to the Royal Theater where we took in a performance of “The Wind in the Willows”. This delightful story based on an English classic children’s book written in 1908 by Kenneth Grahame, was made all the more special by attending a matinée where we were surrounded by youngsters. Their laughter and squeals of delight certainly helped make this even more memorable.
Before the production started, we took a backstage tour where the living quarters for the animals portrayed in the play were reproduced in details to match the storyline. Many of the children attending the production queued up and quickly pointed out items they recognized from the story.
The most photographed street in York is The Shambles. Some of the buildings date back to the 14th Century. At one time there were as many as 25 butcher shops lining the street and merchants showed off their cuts of meat on the bench ledges facing the street. As no sanitation features were in place, the butchers threw the animal guts and offal into the center of the street, making for a putrid mess. This has resulted in the origination of using the word today to describe:
“…any scene of total disorganisation and mess is now referred to as, “a shambles” ~ Wikipedia
A few days ago I posted pictures of a couple of the yellow bicycles we spotted around town. I did find out that they, along with the many yellow flowers planted here and there were in fact placed to honor the Tour de France.
Another fun item we have also spotted about town are cats. Not real ones, but oversized statues placed on windowsills or attached to walls. The intent was to scare off rats, however the success of that is highly debated locally. Nowadays they are more a building fashion statement.
Another wonderful afternoon was spent slowly digesting room after room that was artfully and delightfully presented in this well done museum. There are four main sections and all are worth exploring thoroughly.
My favorite section was Kirkgate, the Victorian Street. There were individual rooms set up in great detail with artifacts from this period. There was also in-depth information covering all aspects of how life was experienced in Victorian times from giving birth to death and burial rituals and customs. Small shops replicated what a candle maker, candy shop, tailor, stable, jail, and school would have been like.
Other sections included 1914: When the World Changed Forever, York Castle Prison and The Sixties.
Right next door is Clifford’s Tower. We drove past it on our hop-on hop-off bus trip earlier in the week, but this time we climbed up the steep steps to the castle remains and then climbed further up the curved stairway to the top for views of the area.
And the view from the top.
Since we leave in the morning toward Ipswich for our final night in England, I will wrap up our stay in York with a couple of details.
Our hotel was well located, right on the edge of the river with wonderful views, however the housekeeping staff is woefully under trained. Our room was minimally cleaned a couple of days, and skipped all together one day. It would be with hesitation that I recommend the Park Inn Hotel.
Places to eat:
We found three places that we enjoyed and would be glad to recommend if you find yourself hungry in York.
- Pizza Express – more than just pizza, with a few healthy selections, and gluten-free options. The Leggera Superfood Salad and the Padana Pizza were two favorites.
- Bill’s – we had the grilled Hake that was very good. They have done a great job of marketing and offer candies, jams and other items for purchase with the Bill’s label.
- Barbakan Cafe – just outside of the main tourist area, it is a place where the locals go to enjoy authentic Polish cuisine.
Gratitude Moment: Today I am grateful for a comment I received from a woman who wrote:
Kathy, your kind words and special moments like this are what make the daily couple of hours I spend sorting through pictures and writing all worth while. Thank you!