Europe Photoblogging, Part 9: York
By Dwip September 16, 2014, 12:49 pm Comments (0) RSS Feed for this post

In which I discuss my trip to York, where no dogs are allowed on the city walls.

This was the middle part of my Spring Break trip around England, and marks both my first multi-day (5/4-5/5/04) journey outside of London as well as the first leg of a longer journey through York, Carlisle, and Hadrian’s Wall that I discuss here.

As you can see, I arrived on a rather excessively dramatic afternoon that eventually erupted into rain but for the moment offered an exceptional backdrop for St. Mary’s Abbey, a ruined Benedictine house from the late 13th century. It’s part of a much larger park area that also includes a fairly cool museum. As an added bonus, it was right across the street from my hotel.

This is York Minster, one of the largest cathedrals in England and probably my favorite overall. It’s a remarkable example of medieval Gothic architecture, it’s absolutely beautiful inside and out, and it’s a big part of why I enjoyed York so much.

This is the spot I took that shot from. Due to the extremely narrow street, it’s really hard to get a good picture given how absolutely massive York Minster is. You can see a couple other guys giving it their best shot, but it’s difficult.

Also note the still extant gateway throught the city walls. We’ll come back to that unique architectural feature anon.

This is the chapter house inside the cathedral, featuring absolutely enormous stained glass windows. I remain somewhat unclear about what that thing in the middle is supposed to be precisely.

This is some of the interior, shot from the main doors looking towards the central tower, which you can sort of see as the more whitish bit at one end. Unlike a lot of other cathedrals, I enjoyed York Minster for being much brighter, much more light and airy than many others I’d been in.

This is the 15th century choir screen seperating the choir area from everything else. These are supposed be depictions of most of the early Kings of England from William the Conqueror on. As you can see, manly facial hair and a sword were apparently prerequisites for the job.

I’m atop the central tower now, I believe the highest place in York, looking back over the two front towers. It should go without saying that the view from up here is incredible, and I’m being mean by not showing you more of it.

This is what going down a spiral staircase looks like. If you expected them to be these wide, shallow affairs, think again. They’re extremely narrow, with higher than normal steps that don’t leave a lot of room for your foot, and as you can see handrails are a much more modern invention.

Don’t trip.

These are the city walls of York. As you can see, it’s raining by this point, but even so they’re a very pleasant two mile walk or so, and I did the entire circuit a couple of times.

This is probably a good time to note that if it sounds like I had a good time in York it’s because I had a really great time in York. I found it to be a very pleasant city, full of really cool stuff to go and see, all of which was well worth the trip. I spent two days here and felt very much as if I had had my money’s worth.

This is Micklegate Bar, one of the various entrances to York through the walls. As you can see, it’s accessible by car, which strikes me both as absolutely insane and kind of cool. Certainly if I was a driver I would be absolutely petrified that I would somehow ram into the thing.

This set of photographs would not be complete without a dramatic picture of York Minster from the city walls, so here is a dramatic picture of York Minster from the city walls.

Have I mentioned I loved everything about York? I loved everything about York.

This is Clifford’s Tower, all that remains of the once much much larger York Castle. The interior isn’t particularly great now, though you can see how the whole motte and bailey system was supposed to work on a large scale. Trying to run up that thing would be some work.

And here at the end of our time in York, a few more curiosities, from left to right:

* A pamphlet for York Minster, with the reciept for my trip up the central tower.

* My ticket to York from London.

* My ticket to the York Castle Museum, which was absolutely gargantuan and cool as hell, one of the things you absolutely must go and see if you are ever in York. Among other things, there’s an entire Victorian-era street in there.

* My ticket to the Jorvik Viking Centre, which depicts York’s time under the Danes in a somewhat amusement park sort of fashion. It’s somewhat less of a museum than an amusement park ride, and I confess that I was not wholly impressed by.

* My ticket for the Hidden Secrets of York such as they were – a grab bag of random smaller museums that I frankly don’t remember much from.


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