Friday, March 28, 2008


On Monday night I left London from King's Cross station and took the 19:00 train to York, about two hours by train from London. I love trains! They're so fun! I miss the great public transportation that would get you anywhere you need to go! I've probably already said that, but it's just so convenient! Anyway, I loved York! It's a city of about 250,000 but it doesn't feel very big. My dear friend Jan lives in York. She's a student at the university working on her PhD. She took me in and fed me and gave me a place to stay and even had time to come on a couple of adventures with me! We had SO much fun and it was great to get to see her and spend some time with her. Before I went to England, I bought a York Pass and I'm so glad I did! While Jan was studying, I was able to explore the city. The pass got me into basically everything I wanted to see. It was worth every pound! (Just a little tip for any of you considering visiting York, which I would HIGHLY recommend!) I spent two great days wandering around the historic part of York, eating Cornish pasties, and having a wonderful time! I learned that the people in York are very proud of their ghosts. York is supposed to be one of the most haunted places in England - maybe in the world, I don't remember. Anyway, at one point they had 140 ghosts and then some ghost experts came in and said they actually had 500 ghosts. The people don't know where all the ghosts came from , but they welcomed them to their city. Jan and I took a ghost walk on Wednesday night. It was really fun. Our guide was dressed in time period clothing and was very funny and charming. We had a great time! On Tuesday, we walked around the York wall and saw the city from up high. Here are pictures of some of the things I saw.

This is the wall that surrounds the city of York.
These are some of the ancient Roman ruins that are everywhere in England - and especially in York.
This is a picture of York Minster from the city wall. I got this pictures when Jan and I were taking our walk around the wall.
This is a view of the city through the wall.
This is a picture of the top of the wall.
Okay, the streets were SO cute! They looked like something out of Pride and Prejudice or North and South.
As you can see, I love the streets. Aren't they charming!
This is one of the town squares.
This is the Shambles. The Shambles are featured in a lot of movies made by BBC.
This is another view of the Shambles from the other end of the street.
This is one of the bridges that crosses the River Ouse (pronounced "ooze").
This is Fairfax House. I had to include this pictures because when I toured the house (I couldn't take pictures of the inside) the tour guides went wild when they found out that I was visiting from Fairfax County, Virginia. They had all been on a tour here to Fairfax County and had loved it! As for me, it was really cool to see the relatives of the Fairfaxes here in Virginia. It was cool to see where they originally came from.
It's hard to tell from this picture, but these steps are TINY!!! And by TINY I mean ITSY BITSY and TEENY. Only half my foot fit on the stairs so I navigated them VERY carefully!!
These are the Roman baths. The owner of the pub above the baths decided that he needed more room and so he decided to build a cellar. As they started expanding, they uncovered these baths. Now he charges people to come in and see real Roman baths so he's probably making a nice profit off his basement. But the poor man still doesn't have a cellar.
This is Roman toilet paper. No, I'm not kidding. Makes you grateful for Charmin, doesn't it?
Yes, the streets are cobblestone. They're very pretty and very slick when it rains.
This is a toilet. I'm grateful for indoor plumbing. That would be really cold in 0 degree weather.
Okay, I love to see subtle differences in American and other cultures. Yes, this is a picture of an ordinary intersection. But it's differences like this that remind me that we're not the only country and there are many ways of accomplishing the same goal. And one way isn't better than the other. And that's my ethics lesson for the day.
Bronwyn, this one's for you. No, seriously, I took this pictures specifically for you. Anyone else that has seen North and South can also appreciate this sign. For those of you that haven't seen North and South, shame on you! Rent it today!
You could follow these signs to find different historical sites located throughout York. Unfortunately, you were more likely to get lost following these signs than you were to get where you were trying to go. But it was a thoughtful gesture.

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