The original plan was to try and be in York by 10, but we woke up a little late and didn't get there until closer to 11. The first thing we did was go to York Minster, because I figured that it would take the longest to get through. The church part itself was pretty cool, lots of heraldry all over the place, so it was definately worth the money to get in. The undercroft however, was useless. The York Minster is built on the site of a Norman cathedral that was built on top of a Roman fort, so you go down there and they show you the walls of the older two and how everything intersects, but it's rather confusing. They've also got some stuf they found down there (bowls, etc.) from when the Romans were there. Then you go into the Treasury, which is just lots of shiny shiny silver & pewter. After that is the crypt, which looks pretty much nothing like the picture on their website. So, my advice, is if you're going to visit the York Minster, skip the Undercroft portion of it, and just get the Minster & Tower ticket instead. The tower was a little annoying, in that they only let so many people up at once, and you have to wait for that whole group to come down before you can go up, due to the fact that the stairwell is only about two feet wide. But it is cool from the top. It's not quite as big as the super huge Anglican cathedral in Liverpool, but it's still cool going up to the top. You can see Leeds and Edinburgh (only not really). Also, you only get like 10 minutes up there before they make you go down, but if you like climbing stairs 275 at a time, definately go up.
After that we got some lunch at a little Italian place down the street(ish). By the time we got to the restaurant it was like 2:30, and the next place we wanted to go see, Clifford's Tower closed at 4, so we ate rather quickly (as quickly as you can when your pasta just came out of the oven and is really really hot), and then left. Clifford's Tower is at the other end of the city from the Minster, but York is pretty small so it only took like 10 minutes to get there. We got there at 3:40ish. Hooray for just making it!
Now, Clifford's Tower is pretty sweet. It's this cute little castle sitting on this huge hill, and a long time ago it used to have a moat. AWESOME. Also, it's kind of shaped like a four-leaf clover, which is cute too. Luckily it's small, so it doesn't take much more than the 20 minutes we had to look at everything. And, unlike the Undercroft, Clifford's Tower looks EXACTALLY like the picture on the website, which is adorable.
Now, someone is going to need to explain something to me. Canadian geese live in Canada, right? Yeah, that's what I thought too- Canada and the US (where they poop on anything they can get their butts over...ew). So then how did they end up in York? Seriously. I mean, is there some magic portal from York to New York? Is that how they do it? They fly down from Canada, and if they hit the exact right 500m by 500m chunk of sky they're miraculously in England? Because I doubt they could fly across the ocean. So someone needs to look that up and let me know, because there were geese all over York.
While we're on the topic of birds, they have these really awesome black and white ones here. I'll take a picture sometime, because they're really cool looking. There's also a ton of pigeons. What's my favorite game while I'm wandering around the city center, you ask? Chasing pidgeons. They won't fly away from you until you get a foot away. So you can stay 3 feet back and run them where ever you want, until they get frustrated that the piece of bread they were trying to eat is now 20 feet behind them, then they get up and fly away. But seriously, if you ever come to Leeds, chase the pidgeons. It's one of the easiest forms of entertainment here.
EDIT: Yeah, I'm totally against animal violence too, I don't hurt them, just give them some exercise, in case you were worried.
Anyway, back to York. Now, I'm sure that many of you know that York has a wall around it. For those of you who weren't aware of this fact- York has a wall around it. What is cool about this wall, is that you can walk on it, unlike the wall in Newcastle, which you can only walk next to, except for one tiny part that is a dead end that I don't think you're really supposed to go on. So we walked around like 2/3 of it, because by the time we finished the 2nd 3rd of it, it was starting to be 'dusk,' and the gates to the walking on the walls close at 'dusk.' So instead we wandered around the middle until it really did get dark, and then we headed back to the train station and came home.
I apologize for the super-long paragraphs and the two paragraphs about birds. I know no one cares about birds that much, but I really want to know how Canadian geese got here. If you don't believe me, wait till I put up the pictures.
Now, about those pictures. Unfortunately, I have this bad habit of procrastinating. This means that at the moment, I only have 500-something words out of 2000 done for Friday. I have another 2000 word essay due on next Friday, and this weekend, we're going to Edinburgh. All that adds up to one simple fact: Time is short this week. I realize that everyone lives for my pictures, seeing where I go in England is the highlight of your fortnight (woo! big word! also, it's true, since they tend to go up every two weeks... anyway), and that without a constant supply, you'll all have to go through withdrawal. While I feel your pain, really, I do, I don't think you'll be getting York pictures for a while.
But I'm writing this huge blog! I must have time to upload a few pictures! WRONG! I bet you didn't know this, but it takes at LEAST 2 hours for me to sort through the hundreds of pictures I take to get rid of the blurry ones, get rid of the ones with me or Jake with silly faces, get rid of the ones that are similar to others.... and then I have to upload and caption every single one of the hundreds of pictures I decide to upload. I just don't have that time right now. I'm thinking you'll have to wait until after next Friday, unless I manage to finish an essay earlier than Thursday night. Maybe if I have free time I'll put up a handfull of pictures, but I'd rather just put the all up at once instead of a few at a time.
And now, you're all wondering when you'll get your next fix. Well, you might have to wait another two weeks, but when you do get those pictures, it will be even better. Know why? Because there will be pictures from Edinburgh too! It's like two for one!
Yeah, I agree with you, why would I decide to go to Edinburgh when I have an essay due the next week. Well, I have no idea why it was decided that we'd go this week. But that's ok! Theres a 3 hour train ride to read books on. And I can read at the hostel. Yes, *gasp* a hostel. We're going in Friday afternoon, coming back Sunday sometime. I mean, it's a 6+hour round trip, you didn't expect us to do that all in one day, now did you?
Yeah, the only reason I'm writing this much is because Jake is looking for books for one of his essays, and I'm waiting for him to find them to leave, and writing this in the meantime.
Maybe I'll write another short entry later this week with a picture of something random, like those black and white birds, or the milk cartons here. Somthing surprising.
Ooh. Incentive: First person to email me at alottaocelot at gmail dot com with an explanation (backed up with evidence, a website will do) as to how Canadian geese got to York, will get a postcard.
Seriously, I'm that curious.
Anyway, Jake came back, so I have to leave now.