Monday, August 18, 2014

Eboracum, Jórvík and York

Firstly, the title is a joke; they're all the one place, not three places. We call it York, the Vikings called it Jórvík and the Romans called it Eboracum. But they were that was my next destination - after what would be my longest drive on my UK trip as I travelled there there from Cambridge.

I don't remember much about the journey, but one thing I do remember before I left was collecting the laundry I'd put in to be washed the previous morning - for which they charged me £12.60, an amount so much lower than I'd expected given my previous experience of laundry service charges in London than I happily gave them £15 and told them to keep the change.

Here's what I tweeted at the time:

Yes, I'm aware that's not one of my better sentence constructions.

So, a somewhat uneventful journey to THE NORTH; I didn't take any kind of scenic route - I don't even know if there's anything especially scenic between the two, but even if there had been I probably wouldn't have taken that option given that it was a long enough journey even when taking the most direct route (it's 158 miles according to Google Maps, and I think that's pretty much the same route TomTom gave me) and, given my experience in the last few places I'd been and what people had told me about York, I'd want as much time there are possible to see stuff.

After something around three hours, I was in York. After finding my B&B, parking the car and putting my stuff away I was off into town. I had a bit of a wander before finding a walking tour to go on; this one was the 'Roman' tour, which focuses mostly on what's still around from the period of Roman occupation.

Oh, fun fact: there are two rivers in York - The Foss and The Ouse. The latter is pronounced 'ooze', which I found hilarious. And of course there are a huge number of people wearing flat caps. Anyway, the Roman walk tour was very interesting; the guide was (as expected) quite eccentric and amusing, but at the same time exceptionally well-informed. York has a fascinating history, and the Roman occupation began in AD 71 and they were there for a few hundred years, so they had a fair bit of time to build things, some of which has survived.

Eh, read the article.



I wandered around for a while after the tour - I had lined up another, different tour for later that day - with a particular goal in mind: to see something I hadn't managed to see on my tour. But I had been reliably informed I would be able to see one in York if I went to the park, which was this:

A squirrel. I guess it's a rather odd thing to get excited about, but I've always been fascinated by them, so if there was a chance I'd get to see one I was going to take it. The locals I asked in each town were more than a little confused when I asked them if there was anywhere I could see one; I assume they aren't used to people being interested in them. They were also a bit surprised when I told them we don't have them in Australia.

The next tour I went on was the Bloody Tour, which was excellent. We - myself and 'Mad Alice' the guide; I was the only client - walked around to all the sites where the more sordid and gruesome events in York's history took place: prostitution, executions, murders and so forth. For someone with a morbid sense of humour like mine, it was brilliant fun. If you're in York, definitely check it out.

'Nether Hornpot Lane'.  Possibly my favourite street name ever.

After the tour I found myself a pub to have a pint and some dinner, and then made my way back to the B&B, taking a few snaps along the way.

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