Top’s guide to York
Top’s guide to York
Arriving at York railway station around 4 PM seem like it’d just been raining: the floor was still wet and people still hang on to their raincoats. There was no point in waiting for my friend at the station so I made my way out to the town, hopefully I wouldn’t get lost. As I walked out of the station, turned my head around. I thought I saw King cross station; York station looks very much like a miniature King cross. Although, its infrastructure and bracing is not as exotic and complex. I learnt later on that it was the biggest train station in the world back in 1887. Next to it is the largest railway museum in the world, I was advised to spend at least 3 hours there or just give it a miss. I’m not a transporting kinda guy, so the latter was picked.
Following the sign: “City Centre”, I walked along a wet path which were carpeted with yellow-reddish leaf of maple; a subtle warning that winter was approaching. Panning my eyes upward, and there was, at least 3 metres in height and the length… I couldn’t tell, it just stretch on beyond my sight: York city wall. The wall is built with stone, I could see some people walking on it; I knew where I want to go next, but my stomach started to make their vote, and frankly it won.
I carried on walking toward the town centre, crossing a brick arch bridge, which goes over river Ouse. The river cut though the heart for the city and was the main mean of transportation between London and York in the old day when car and train is not yet existed. I could tell that I was on the right direction toward the centre of the city; the street was getting more and more busy. York is really the city of tourism, just like our neighbor: Bath, so the living cost here is quite high. A cup of tea in York cost approximately 1.25 pounds.
After shut the noise of my stomach up with a sweet corn and Mexican chicken sandwich and a pieces of Yorkshire sponge, I walk around aimlessly, when I turned at a corner and got kick in the eyes with, a Mega-sized gothic style building which is the largest of its kind in Northern Europe: York Cathedral. I stood there a long while, stunned, before take out my camera and click.
After the click, I turned around promised myself that I would go inside it, then gave my friend a called. He told me to meet him at his house to drop off my bag.
After unloaded my back, as I’m not a man who leaves thing hanging undone, my feet took me toward the city wall entrance. (There are many of them, scattered around the city)
The sky turned blue, and I could feel the cold breeze touching my skin softly. The site of York City from the wall is a breath-taking. I really did enjoy it but it was getting darker and darker so I decided to leave the other half of the wall to explore the next day.
Woke up 9.30am, looked out the window, couldn’t help swearing to myself quietly; that yesterday’s blue sky, turned to the ugly-mud colour today. Anyway, never worry about thing that you can’t do anything about so I got dressed up and had abit of corn flake with hot tea to fuel me up.
I decided to take a bus tour around York, although personally I really hate the idea of sitting in the bright yellow bus, but weighting it over having to walk in the rain? Hmmm. tought choices…
The bus was a double-decker and cost 4.50 for students. It takes approximately around 45 min to 1 hours to go around the city.
After made myself comfortable, I looked around me and found that there weren’t many other people on the bus, must be the gloomy weather. After a while, the bus slowly pulled off the stop. Greeting from the bus commentator blast out from an old speaker next to me. He started the tour by introduce us to York:
“York were discovered and passed thought hands of the Romans, Saxons, Vikings, and Normans.
It wouldn’t be too wrong to say that the history of York is the history of Britain.” (from here, as I have never succeeded in passing my history exams, I found it was too ambitious for me to try to tell you what the guide told me. I shall leave you to discover for yourself at http://www.britainexpress.com/cities/york/history.htm )
York is not only renowned for its richness in history and architecture. It’s also home to ones of the best chocolate brands in the word – Terry’s (yes! The orange chocolate) and “take-a-brake” Kit Kat, not only just that but there are also countless numbers of small-household size chocolate shops scatted around the city. Each of them has their own specialities. It would take some time to go though all of them. It is a cheaper alternative to those who loyal to Belgium chocolate. Why? Because all the raw materials are imported from Belgium! (I would advise you to try the one situated near Monk Bar, the owner was rather friendly and the chocolate….. mouth watering.)
Chip ‘n’ Dale might remind you of the famous Walt Disney’s chipmunks, but it wouldn’t do the same trick to those who live in York. It would remind them, especially the ladies of the famous two exotic male dancers who danced in a club and was once considered to be the greatest night out for all the ladies. However, It might be sad for some of you to know that it was then a long time ago. The club is now, closed.
York was also the place where Hollywood diamonds was unearthed, “James bond”-Pierce Brosnan was working at the Royal theatre of York before he was asked to take a small part in a play. One thing leads to another, and somehow the English man just made his way to Hollywood and never wanted to come back. Must be all the glittering.
And for Pubs. York is populating with old style English pubs. Every streets, either at the beginning or at the end you would find at least a pub. Why are there so many of them? In old time, the law of York City stated that every man and woman must go to Pub for a certain amount of day for each week. And if you don’t you will get fine. (Not a bad rule, I thought)
Jumping off the bus, I was back where I was started. The weather was still unfriendly: windy and showering. I decided to find something to warm up my stomach. Walking along, Church Street, a long queue stretched out outside a small butcher shop. Normally I would avoid long queue, but the aroma of the traditional roast pork that fill the air, was irresistible. After a while of queuing, a soft roll-roast pork sandwich resting peacefully and warm in my hand. A few steps from the shop along “Ye olde Starre Inne”, I found to get my drink: a cup of fresh Lemon juice and a place to sit down.
The warmth of the roll could be felt not anymore in my hand but my tummy. From where I was sitting, I could see there was an open-air market located just nearby. As fast as my thought, I got up and walked toward the direction. But there wasn’t anything much on at the market, I was advised by an old lady at a flower shop that there would be more things going on if I would come back at the weekend. So if anyone have chance to go to York for a weekend do let me know if you visited the Newgate Market.
The York Minister, the thrill that you will have, visiting it is unexplainable. It is the largest medieval gothic cathedral north of the Alps. You would not have been to York if you missed this. The best time for visiting is just before it close, when it is least busy( 5-6pm). The moment I sat down on a chair at a corner of the lady’s chapel of the minister. I felt as if the time in the minister had stopped, although the time outside and on my watch was still carry on moving. It gave me time to spend a quiet moment with myself, reviewing my thought and doing the soul-searching business. Niiice : )
7.30: the minister closed. “Let’s called it a day”:- I thought
Weather? Same as yesterday: Grey and cold
Packed my bag and get ready to head for Newcastle, but before that, I planned to drop by at Merchant Adventure, and York Museum.
The Merchant Adventure located near Fossgate. It is the oldest and the finest city guild in Europe (not another Engineering building where you can send your e-mail and print out your essay for free). Merchants conducted their affairs in the superb timbered great hall, which remain as it was since 1357/62. Worth a visit for those interested in Timber superstructure and wooden joints. (Anyone?)
Looked at my watch and it was 10.30, I got a train to catch at 11.00, I gave the York museum a missed.
London-Newcastle train arrived at the platform, I stepped on the train, turned my head and looked back once more, at the city of history York.
Next stop: Newcastle
The Ghost Hunt
Copper Gate shopping area
Load of Thanks to : Bertie Hui, for a place that I can rest my head, and your words of comfort.