09.05.2009 - 12.05.2009
Well, we are in York, where a street is called a 'gate', a gate is called a 'bar', and a bar is called a 'pub'! This small town has as much rich history as can be found in London - historically it was a very strategic point for battles, (particularly when Scotland was involved), so there are loads of medieval towers and fortresses.
Now it is a decidedly sleepy little town - cute as a button, but with those tell-tale tourist trappings: McDonalds, Starbucks, Burger King, Borders, Subway, Subway, Subway... Almost everyone walking down the street has a camera, but who can blame them? And I'm just as bad - snap, snap, snap!
But you should see this place! The houses are red brick and covered in sprawling ivy. The main city-centre is cobbled, and much of it is closed to vehicles. The streets are narrow, the buildings are droopy and the upper storeys overhang the lower ones, so that you could almost reach out of the window of a building on one side and touch the hand of someone doing the same thing on the other side.
The B&B that we are staying in is like something out of a Jane Austen movie - our room has a four-poster bed, red-velvet upholstered furniture, huge draping curtains and a flowered friese. It also has a space-defying bathroom where you have to turn sideways to exit the shower, and could easily drink from the tap while sitting on the toilet (which we strongly suspect was a lawnmower in a past life), but who could be bothered by such trivialities in a place like this?
Unfortunately, as gorgeous as everything is here, I can't post any photos. Part of the charm of this place is feeling that you've stepped back in time - but it also applies to their library computers, which are running Windows 98 and sadly can't handle the jandal. So I will have to be content with sharing the above lengthy description instead.
Yesterday we went on an open bus-tour of the city and were told some amusing stories about its past. We drove past a church that had lost it's spire. It was first damaged by cannon fire, then struck by lightning, and later blown up - at which point York finally gave up on it and pulled it down. We also heard a story about a man who got blown off a tower during a gun salute, and landed in the moat. Somehow it conjures up strong mental images for Robyn, and she's off giggling for half an hour every time she remembers it. But perhaps you had to be there...
I'd better go - I'd love to share some pictures with you but it's not going to happen today. Tomorrow we will be picked up by Robyn's Aunty, and taken to the small east-coast town of Whitby. Hopefully she has a better computer, and I can share some pictures from there.
Much as I am enjoying my holiday, I'm really looking forward to coming back (only two weeks more!) and seeing you all again. Bye for now!