Friday, September 12, 2008

York, part I

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The city of York was founded in 71 BC by the Romans, it has since been conquered and renamed by Germans and Scandinavian Vikings and from around year 1000 it has been named York.
I've given a few hints here and there, Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma Gate Revisited and Friday Footsies, but I've not quite, yet, declared my love for this wonderful historic English city in north Yorkshire. At least not in so many words or pictures. High time to change that I think.

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The first time we visited York was somewhere in the early 1990ies and it was kind of by accident, I wanted to go to Yorkshire and do a bit of in-the-footsteps-of-James-Herriot spotting (not in a complete nerdy way, just in a very sane-book-England-animal-Yorkshire-loving way)and York looked like a nice base for exploring the countryside. As it turned out, it was so very much more than nice, absolutely delightful in so many indescribable-must-experience ways.
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After spending a few times in York I read that apparently the city is the second most visited city in UK, after London. And there I thought I was such a very non-typical York-visitor. Or perhaps I still am, since I can't get enough and keep returning as often as I can (which is just to seldom of course), perhaps that isn't so typical? Maybe I can still declare myself to be a unique and very special friend of York? I like to think so.

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I won't write a long and boring post about all the things to see, do and experience in York, for that I recommend reading books or searching the Internet, and besides, it really is a matter of personal taste. I will however show a potpourri of pictures - in more than one post, perhaps even share it from a colour view as well as a black and white one - , plus a mention of a few things I really think is an absolute must when in town.
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Even if my overall favourite thing to do is simply soak the atmosphere and enjoy all the quirky details everywhere. And the diversified shopping possibilities for all wallets are rather nice too. And the cafés.

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Having lunch or afternoon tea at Little Betty's (skip the big one) at Stonegate is a must. Be prepare to queue, but it is delightfully worth it. I think.

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Since it's a place where the wing beats of history is present almost everywhere, all the time, there are always new (old) things and secret places to discover as well as old favourites to return to. Which makes it worth the travel over and over and... again.
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Whenever in a new city I most always find taking a sightseeing hop-on-hop-off coach to be the best way to get an overall view of the place and what would be good to explore more. I remember the guide on that bus in York years ago told many a memorable stories and for some reason he found it immensely amusing when telling a story about witchhunts in the city hundreds of years ago, M suggested we might try and see if I passed the no-witch-test in the river Ouse. Hmf.

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To walk the rarely crowded, and offering good views and glimpses of houses and gardens and the impressive minstrel, city wall, with or without Elvira, is a must.

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A good ghostwalk on empty streets late in the evening gives good value for money and a frightful experience...

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There are a plethora of sweet shops that make and sell fudge and other goodies for those with a sweet tooth

The Punch Bowl
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There are beautiful buildings and there are a lot of people roaming the streets, so be there early in the day for a more enjoyable visit overall.

Clifford's Tower
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There's not only a castle with a gruesome history and steep stairs and a few Starbucks, there's also the Shared Earth shop, which I've written a bit before.

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There's not only a grand minstrel, but also smaller churches that offers time for peace and contemplation. There are sleeping men on benches and a plethora of gorgeous hanging flower baskets.

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There is Newgate market, lots of geese and one butt ugly woman on the wall - and this is, end of York, part I.

5 comments:

Poppy Q said...

Thanks for the lovely photos Pia. I loved York and managed to visit there twice when I lived in London, years ago.

It feels very ancient and is a pleasure to wander around. I was always very drawn to St Cliffords tower, and to the old walls around the city.

Your post has made me feel like I am on holiday again.

Have a nice week.

Julie and Poppy Q

Pia K said...

Thanks, Julie with Poppy Q! It is an amazing, wonderful city with a very special ambiance to it, I'm glad to hear that someone I know agrees with me:)

John said...

DUCKIES! And geese? : )

Pia K said...

Yup there were heaps of duckies all over the place, and geese and swans not in these pictures too! :)

barabrittiskt said...

Min gamla hemstad. Inte alltid så snäll utanför murarna men ack så mysig.

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