As I've confessed to everyone who will listen, in my head York is a small, sort of industrial city -- Glasgow or Manchester-esque.
Wrong. And I should have known better.
York is a magnificent medieval town, not untouched by tourism, of course, but still lovely. I had such fun there, and walked my feet to the bone seeing as many corners of it as I could in my short visit.
Here are a few glimpses to share with you...
Clifford's Tower is a motte & bailey castle, and not even the first on this site. The Original Killer Bill [William the Conqueror, of course] didn't like the one that the locals had built, so had it knocked down and replaced by this one.
I walked the walls, the remains of which still circle much of the old city including the crowded and cool alleys of The Shambles.
[The term 'Shambles' actually stems from the time of William the Conquerer and refers to the benches or shamels on which the meat was displayed in this butchers' area of town.]
I was lucky enough to be walking through the streets on the last day of the Mystery Plays, street plays depicting the death of Christ and other religiously significant events; traditionally -- and still -- put on by locals. The casts, all ages as you can see, parade through the streets with their sets and actors and then set up and perform in the city's squares.
The background to these plays was the magnificent Minster. It was here that I missed my broken camera most sorely, as the gargoyles were just sumptous in their Mastery Of The Ugly.
The windows, on the other hand...
I think my favourite part, though, were the many [and I mean MANY] crypts in which the various clergy take their eternal rest. No stiff formality for these guys...
Just chillin' with the cherubs, man.
Also had a GREAT visit with a young Canadian friend who is currently in residence, a few Yorkian ghosts and a number of old dead Vikings. It was a fantastic visit -- I can't wait to go back.
Next up -- a peek at a Highland Games, including some great shots of the heavies doing what they do best at the World Caber Tossing championships.