Won't try to give you any York history - it goes way back, Roman times and before - and I'd probably get it wrong. Rick Steves, our guidebook author, says it is the "best sightseeing city in England after London." Here are scenes from York.
York Minster - the huge Gothic church, built in the 1200s and 1300s, which was spared by Henry VIII and became a key Church of England cathedral.
I did the tower climb - 275 steps and got these pictures. From roof level:
From the tower:
Some interior shots.
Choir seating. I went to an Evensong service Sunday evening.
An interesting tomb lid. Add your own caption.
They said it was just a headache!
These statues represent different English kings, but several of the faces are the same. I asked a guide and she said apparently there were two sculptors at work and each had a characteristic, multi-purpose face he liked to make. Which reminds me: I read that some people are not happy with the new Martin Luther King statue in DC - produced by a Chinese sculptor and looking a bit like Chairman Mao!
Sunday morning in York we found our way to Central Methodist Church, located/hidden inside walled old York. But after the required period of fruitless driving in circles by instinct flavored with a little bit of knowledge, followed at last by Let’s ask someone, we found it. Large, old building; small, friendly congregation, delighted to have visitors. We stayed for tea after the service.
This Sunday the preacher was a fill-in for the regular pastor. He’d been retired for 18 years, but when asked to go preach somewhere occasionally, he would do so. When we chatted, though, he said he was about to the point where he would say No.
In his sermon he said, among other things, that, to him, reverence was an important part of a worship service. Said some modern services are too long on entertainment, too short on reverence. So, we did reverence (which we do at home, but not to the same degree). It was nice.
At tea we asked if he and his wife had been to the States – a typical opening question. Turned out that at one point in his career he was an exchange pastor with a church in Chattanooga, TN. He and his wife really enjoyed that year. Good cross-fertilization of styles and lingo at both ends of that swap.
(Monday morning I took an early morning walk in our neighborhood. Came across this Methodist Church just about three blocks away from our B and B. Duh!)
After church we drove north of York to the York Moor. Some nice backroads and scenic villages along the way. Moor refers to the treeless tops of hills, covered with what the guidebook called scraggy heather (totally different from my niece Heather) that has a purple blossom in late summer. So, we got to see blooming heather (totally different from my niece Heather). The valleys between the hills, called Dales, were conventional green farming areas, so that made for a good contrast. Oh, one other moor point, the novel Wuthering Heights was set in this region.
Monday afternoon I went to the National Railway Museum. This is the largest railroad museum in the world. Some pictorial highlights:
The Japanese bullet train.
York bits: York used to be big in the chocolate business. England and Switzerland are the only two countries where more chocolate is consumed than bread.
This is for Valerie Hinkle. At a York café where we stopped for lunch one day, a “York specialty” was a bread, butter, jelly, and cheese sandwich. I often have toast with butter, jelly, and a slice of cheese for breakfast, sometimes with a fried egg in there, too, and Valerie thought that was pretty unusual. But, not in York.
Holy Trinity Church. In an informational notebook our B and B owners had but together, they called this small, ancient church a "hidden jewel."
The church was chartered in 1082. The main portions of the present building dates to the late 1400s. Wow!
Had a great time in York. Glad we included it in our itinerary.
Susie and Rob