York- City of Ghosts, or ducks?
Trip Start Dec 16, 2001
15Trip End Ongoing
It isn't possible to have picked a better day to go. A forecast of sun and 30 degrees, who said English weather was bad! Actually they may have got a little carried away at the weather bureau but it was close enough.
Many of the small towns have park-and-rides now. You dump your car outside the town and catch a bus into the city, the buses running about every 10-20mins. It's a good system; pedestrians rule the pavements inside the town centres. Its only 15 mins walk from one end of town to the other so plenty of time to take in sites and minimal wear and tear on the soles
Drop off is at the base of Clifford's Tower, scene of a brutal massacre/suicide. This has relevance later, stay tuned, if U dare.... the first goal was the Jorvik Viking Centre. A few metres below York 's streets are the remains of the old Roman town, where even today the ghosts of Roman soldiers march onwards along the old road! Below that they found a Viking settlement, and ever since they disturbed this ancient site strange disturbances have plagued nearby shops. In Marks+Spencers items mysteriously move and sandwiches have bites taken out and in Boots the faint whiff of perfume wafts out from the cosmetic dept - poltergeists? You decide. Jorvik centre is more gadgets than artefacts. A quick ride in a 'time machine' and then a trip in a cable car thru an ancient Viking St, complete with a Viking sitting on an ancient toilet. Later in the gift shop you are invited to buy the accompanying scratch and sniff postcard.
Walking around the streets it is hard to miss the spires of York Minster stretching skyward. Surprisingly no one tries to charge you money to get in!! Going on a sunny day was perfect. The enormous windows of intricate lead-lighting are backlit and the inside of the cathedral is completely lit up. A dizzy climb up 275 steps, circling around and around and around and around.....I suggest spinning back the other way, it helps...and at the top is the opportunity to take a few more pictures. As if I don't have enough already. And then down into the crypts.
This is where they keep all the precious goods. Large slabs of concrete with large black bolts line the walls....that provoked my curiosity. The answer: The basement area is actually from excavations that were carried out to shore up the 16 tonnes of stone above your head
There were lots of very valuable bits and pieces, and I escaped with my contraband pics of a few. The Horn Of Orph was probably the most interesting though...whoever possesses the horn is said to have the deed to the property!
And then there was darkness. The halls stood vacant and dark, a small candle flickers in the distant, casting small shadows. A chill touch of air brushes past my neck. Let me out!
York has walls. You can walk along them. If it is pouring rain then you may want to pick up the pace and head for the nearest pub, of which there are a load of choices.
But finally the obligatory ghost tour
It is here we hear many a gruesome tale of murder and restless souls, witch burnings and the bizarre. In 1190 a group of 150 Jews took refuge in the Clifford's Tower. The surrounding mob gave them the option of coming out to die or being killed. They elected to commit suicide en masse instead. The tower was then burnt to the ground. Our guide tells the story of a woman that claims to have been one of those Jews. Archaeological evidence uncovered later seems to verify her story of a small chapel she hid in...Believe it or not.
Oh..and there seemed to be a lot of ducks (and duck shit!)......does that
tell you something about the weather perhaps??