After the dry, hot, and blindingly monochromatic landscape of Malta, I was happy (and a little desperate) to get back into a country with trees, grass, colour and cooler temperatures. (Rain? Absolutely pounding, at times, but I drank it up.)
York is one of those mouth-watering, formerly walled cities, with two rivers (The Ouse and the Foss). For all you history buffs (if this bores you, please fastforward):
York ( pronunciation (help·info)) is a former walled city, situated at the confluence of the rivers Ouse and Foss in North Yorkshire, England. The city has a rich heritage and it has been the backdrop to major political events throughout much of its two millennia of existence.
The city was founded and named Eboracum in AD 71 by the Romans who made it the capital of their Province of Britannia Inferior. During the Roman period influential historical figures, such as Constantine the Great, became associated with the city. The entire Roman Empire was governed from York for two years by Septimius Severus.
At the end of Roman rule in AD 415 the Angles moved in. The city was renamed Eoforwic and it served as the capital of the Anglian Kingdom of Northumbria. When the Vikings captured the city in AD 866 they renamed it Jórvík and it became the capital of a wider kingdom of the same name covering much of Northern England. After the Norman Conquest, the name "York", which was first used in the 13th century, gradually evolved .
Richard II wanted to make York the capital of England, but before he could effect this he was deposed. After the Wars of the Roses, York housed the Council of the North and was regarded as the capital of the North. It was only after the Restoration that the political importance of the city began to decline. The Province of York is one of the two English ecclesiastical provinces, alongside that of Canterbury.
Sean's nephews played guitar and piano brilliantly, and Sarah and I agreed that kd Lang's best song is "Constant Craving."
We did the "On\Off" bus ... a double decker tourist thing offered in over 80 cities around the world, with either recorded or live commentary that's usually pretty heavy on history. It's a good way to orient oneself with a new city (I'd done this before in London, Edinburgh, Milan, etc.), then go back and spend time at what interests you.
We did the Castle Musuem. (Excellent curating ... made me want to be a curator in my next life).
We walked. And walked. On a part of the old city wall that's still standing.
And through parks.
And the site of the old Abbey.
And through the famous area called "The Shambles."
We popped into the Minster.
Took a boat ride on the river Ouse.
Enjoyed the art gallery. (Here you see the rather conspicuous On\Off bus).
And I, the non-shopper, couldn't stop myself from going into the many wonderful second-hand clothing stores that raise money for Oxfam, etc. Got some great clothes for almost nothing.
Here are a few more shots of the city:
And the obligatory 'Shelley Before A Sign' shot. (Note: out of the shorts and skirts, and into a turtleneck).
On May 22 I flew from Leeds to Paris, stayed over in an airport hotel, then flew home. I never thought I'd say this about an intercontinental flight, but it was Terrific. Three seats to myself ... a 1.5 hour power nap ... and three movies, including "The Wrestler," which I quite liked. That last frame ... (Mickey Rourke ... the ugliest hot guy).
So Paris to Montreal, Montreal to Toronto, Toronto to Calgary, Calgary to Saskatoon. I rarely do anything the easy way.
Ta, amigos. Talk soon.