Thursday, August 21, 2014

York Minster, Vikings and other historical experiences

Up and early for another day in York; my first destination was York Minster, the huge church in the middle of town that I'd seen the outside of yesterday. It's (yet another) fascinating old building with a ton of history within/beneath it.

It also has a really high tower, but I hadn't had all that much sleep (a recurring theme for this holiday) so I didn't want to use up the energy climbing a whole a bunch of steps.

Some pictures:

Like I mentioned upthread, it's a huge building. And there's a museum below where they show what it's built on top of - like so much of York, there's Roman and Viking ruins down there. There's also the explanation for the engineering solution they conceived to keep the whole thing from collapsing - which is pretty damn impressive in and of itself.

Oh, and they have a peculiar collection of tomb statuary featuring the memorialised in some very casual poses.

Unfortunately, some - okay, an entire wall - of the stained glass was out being repaired, so I didn't get to see that. But that weird dome-looking thing in the pictures above contains a bunch of pcs with pictures of stained glass on them.

Next destination was a coffee shop, where I got to sit down and have a chat with Maureen, an internet friend. While for the most part I've been happy to be on my own while tramping around the place, it was nice to have a proper conversation with someone I wasn't also a customer of.

After that I went to a couple of special displays on around York - one for Richard III and another for the man who defeated him, Henry VII. This were somewhat interesting, but not particularly indepth. So I then wandered around some more and made my way to the Yorkshire Museum - which is a lot bigger than I thought it was, so I was kept occupied for quite some time. Like everything else here it's a combination of Roman, Viking, Norman and post-Norman bits and pieces, plus a great natural history section.


This was about as close as I got to seeing a badger in the wild.

The Romans liked dick jokes, apparently.

Next up: the Jórvík Viking Centre. This is a rather impressive place where they've excavated a huge space below ground and built a replica Viking village where an actual village had been discovered by archaeologists. There's a ride that takes you through this, complete with narration and super-creepy animatronic characters.

And that was my scheduled visits for the day; I spent the rest of my time wandering around the city walls - these go almost all the way around the centre of York and give one a great view of the buildings (mostly York Minster).

 I also managed to fit in another visit to the squirrels (and some geese), and a trip to a rather nice pub that had on its menu a steak & stilton pie and in its casks Old Peculier.

Oh, and there's a lock in York. This one's got a bit of algae build-up, though...

And that was York.

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