Monday, July 13, 2009

The Fascinating City of York

The Alexander House
Bed & Breakfast
94 Bishopthorpe Road
York, YO23 1JS, England

When you visit York, STAY HERE I SAY!

Our hosts David and Gillian Reynard

They were just LOVELY!

The stairway down from our room.

Our room even had a name, "Walmgate".

The Breakfast Room

Matching Spode "Italian design" China everywhere!

This was simply a TREMENDOUS B&B with warm hosts, great atmosphere, fine location and a quaint, comfortable room. STAY HERE, I SAY YET AGAIN!

As we walked the ten minute path from our B&B to the historic center of York, we passed some disturbing sights that were obviously leftovers from Saturday night's revelry by the assembled multitudes.

A solitary high heel shoe

A Pair of Sun Glasses

All of which, I'm sure, kept this fellow warm and fuzzy inside!

Interestingly, he sits only a block and a half from York's Minster Cathedral.

Pexton's Hardware

Laurie worked in her father, Bill Gardner's Montrose Hardware store as a youth, so quaint stores like this one always are a source of fond memories.

York's ancient City Wall at the top of the hill

I'm sure that the invading hoards always had trouble getting past this gate before storming the City Wall 20 yards behind it.

Walking Guard Duty on the City Wall

As I said, we saw some disturbing things. . .

Sorry Magnum P.I. fans.

York St. Mary's Mini Cemetery

This one must have somehow slipped by the gate and the guards!

Fortunately, I saw him just as he was about to strike and my yelling as I ran to defend Laurie made him run. We were lucky this time but it was obvious that we needed to beef up our protection on what we were just now realizing were York's mean streets.

So. . .

Laurie bought a helmet and practiced striking a fierce pose!

I followed suit!


Shambles is a great street for shopping

In medieval times, this was the street where all of the butcher shops were located. In the 1400's, hunks of meat would be hanging by hooks in the eaves and the blood would drain into the gutters you see here. This scene is what gave rise to the expression "this place is a shambles" for a spot in disarray.

It's very nice today.

Laurie and her "Flower Hat"

Another York Street Scene

It was now time to tackle some serious sight seeing. We picked three things to see during the day.

First up was the Jorvik Viking Centre. By 975 A.D. the Vikings had established a thriving community in what is now York. This center starts you off with a Disneyland style ride through time as village scenes are set up based on what archeologists have uncovered. Afterwards there is an intesting museum of the artifacts. Unfortunately I didn't get any good pictures from the Viking Centre other than me in a Viking helmet you saw earlier.

York's Castle Museum

Mainly a museum housing memorabilia from the 18th and 19th centuries we had a great time in this place. The next seven photographs are from the York Castle Museum's collection.

"Laurie, can you pass me the sports section?"

Tools of the Trade for a Mid-Wife

Obviously, the one on the top makes me glad to be a male of the species.

Dear OED,
The York Castle Museum is now officially on board on the new word, "frigerator".

If you must have a drink,
it might as well be from an artsy pot.

Ram's Heads and Jewelry

Of course, why didn't I think of that?

This can't be Politically Correct in the U.S.A.

Bringing a smile to many a Rio Mesa Booster Club members hearts

GREAT Ice Cream Truck outside the museum!

More Heraldry from York

On a tomb in York's Minster

On a column in York's St. Mary's

Mike Contreras and Brian FitzGerald consider this one.

Both are avid goat lovers. . . "I DO NOT KNOW."

Who doesn't love a good Arthurian tale?

One flank of Prince William's tomb, c. 1340, . . .

. . . and the other flank

On Stonegate Street

I thought they were house flys,
Laurie enlightened me to their being bees

More Pub Signs of York

Amazingly, there were not that many pubs in York with these traditional style signs. Not to worry, Monday we take the train to our last European stop, London, the capitol of the world's pub signs.

York's Minster

Emperor Constantine the Great

He converted to Christianity in 312 A.D. after winning the Battle of the Milvian Bridge after having a dream where the Cross appeared to him with the words "In Hoc Signo Vinces" (In This Sign Conquer), thus ending centuries of Roman persecution.

The Minster was a Catholic Church until King Henry VIII led his version of the Protestant Reformation. In his fervor he wanted everything in the realm having to do with the Catholic Church destoyed but he spared the York Minster because he needed a northern capitol for his new Church of England.

The Minster's Excellent Clock

Memorial to the Royal Air Force's World War II efforts

A beautiful dome

Geometric floor tiles

High Ceilings

Medieval Beards

More Geomertric Architecture

The Quire

The choir sings in the Quire. Inside they are practicing for this evening's Choral Evensong which we attended.

The Evensong is more or less the Church of England's equivilant to a Roman Catholic High Mass only faster and with a MUCH better organ and organist! He was so good that he played an organ solo after the ceremonies which was incredible.

The Minster's Mens and Girls Choir had the honors tonight. It is an interesting mix of adult men and girls up to about 14 years of age I suspect. There were also a couple of girls who looked about nine years old in the choir. What a GREAT performance!

Our seats at Evensong

Laurie in her seat with the Cross of the Wilton behind her while I sat to her left in the Bilton's seat.

I liked the Bilton's cross better.

No Photos or Videos Allowed During the Service

While this is the rule during the services, it is 100% allowed when there are no services in progress. Here you can get a taste of the York Minster Men and Girls Choir warming up.


Monday we take the train to London for our last stop before flying home to Camarillo on Wednesday. We will meet our lifelong Seattle friends Mark and Susie Johnson and their daughters Sophie and Mallory there tonight.

It should be a lot of fun, let the party continue!


Koreen said...

See, I knew that the word existed!

Anonymous said...

emmacYou MUST go back to York and visit Betty's Tea House!