26 January, 2013

Wow today was a big day!  After a great night's sleep, we were up early to get ready for Emily's graduation.  To my complete joy, the snow from last night stuck. This is the sight that greeted us as we stepped out the front door.

Luckily my Yorkshire friends aren't troubled by this at all.  So we all piled into the car and headed for the University of York.  The ceremony was very nice and there were a couple of speakers who had some very nice things to say.  I must admit that it made me want to go back to school very much.  I suppose if some of my other plans don't work out I can come back to that idea.

Next it was off to a delicious Indian lunch in the city center.  And time for some sight seeing!  First is a sign for an old street where the city flogging posts used to be.  Apparently it's also the street where it was legal to beat your wife on Sundays.  Don't get any ideas boys!

 After a quick trip to Marks & Spencer everyone else was ready for a nap.  I decided to stay in the city and continue to explore.  First up, York Minster.

York Minster is the largest Gothic cathedral in England. It's pretty impressive I must say.  I seem to always time my visits to churches just right.  As I was there, the organist started playing.   So very nice.

Outside the Minster is this original Roman column that was discovered during an excavation under part of the church.  It would have been part of the Roman soldier barracks.

Then it was back out into the cold and more walking in the snow.  I definitely have to pay more attention to walking in this weather.  The last thing I need is to fall and break something this early in
the trip!  So far so good though.  I walked back through the Shambles an old street with buildings that overhang into the street. Some of the buildings date back to the 1300s.  All the old streets are pretty amazing looking.

Then I continued my walk to Clifford's Tower.  The earthen mound was originally created by William the Conqueror for his wooden castle.  That structure was destroyed and the current building was erected by Henry III.
As I headed back home I took some time to explore the York Museum Gardens.  As I walked back past York Minster, the bells began to toll for Evensong.  I considered joining, but thought it might be bad form to fall asleep in church.   This monument across the street from the Minster seemed to be begging me to take pictures of it as the light was just perfect.

 The Museum Gardens are amazing.  Even in the dark and covered in snow.  The grounds house several thing, Roman ruins, Abbey ruins and two museums just to name a few.  Here is the remains of Roman tower.
And a little view of the grounds.
The highlight for me was this abbey.  Or ruins of this abbey I should say.  St. Mary's Abbey.  I'm sure it's pretty by day, but I think it was just stunning at night. 

Here are the ruins of another church on the grounds.  The picture was a little odd in color and slightly out of focus, but it seemed destined to be in black and white.
As I continued on the mile walk home, I passed part of the original walls of the city and this unique view of the river. 

Exhausted and still slightly jet lagged, I decided it was time to head home.  We had a lovely evening meal prepared at home, with good friends and plenty of wine.  Finsihing the night with a bit of footie (soccer) on the television.  Tomorrow we're up early again and off in the car for the drive to Newcastle.  Hope everyone is enjoying this trip as much as I am.  More to come!

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