May 14, 2017


York—as in the original, not the familiar New World “New” version.

York Minster viewed from city walls, York, England
I had chosen to fly into Edinburgh (where the cycling tour will end), and take the train to York (where it will begin). Opting to rent a bike from Wilderness Scotland was the right call for this trip. Apart from the complicated logistics of hauling the bike (and its bag), there is a good chance we'll be riding in the rain. Your bike? You clean and service it. Their bike? They handle it all. (Sold.)

The train was packed with rugby fans returning from an important match. So much for those stunning views of the coast, I thought, as I stood outside the one coach with unreserved seats. I got lucky, though; some gentlemen pointed me at a seat that had emptied after the first hour, and graciously kept an eye on my luggage till we disembarked.

With many daylight hours left on a northern spring day, I set out to see what I might of the city.

River Ouse from the Lendal Bridge, York, England
I crossed the Lendal Bridge over the River Ouse, and headed for the Minster.
Windows and nave of the Minster, York, England
I passed the well-preserved birthplace of Guy Fawkes, still rather notorious more than 400 years after he paid the price of his treason.

Sign for Guy Fawkes Inn (birthplace), York, England
I strolled through the Shambles, with buildings dating back to the 1400s.

Medieval building along the Shambles, York, England
I watched traffic flow under the Micklegate Bar—including an Uber Prius—some 800 years after it was built.

Cars pass through the Micklegate Bar, back side, York, England
But there is much more history here, dating back to pre-Roman times and the founding of the city nearly 2,000 years ago. [Yes, you read that right.]

The well-chosen site of the York Museum is dense with history, from the ruins of a medieval hospital ...

Ruins of St. Leonard's Hospital, York, England
... to a tower built by the Romans around 300 A.D.

Multiangular tower, York, England
In the shadow of that Multiangular Tower, conservationists were offering close encounters with birds of prey.

Tethered owl, York, England
And then of course, there are the city walls. The Romans built a wall. The Vikings buried it. [It's a complicated business, this wall thing.]

View of the city wall from the outside, York, England
The medieval wall was visible from my hotel room. I explored a stretch, but there wasn't enough time to complete a full circuit.

Atop the city wall, with towers of the Minster, York, England
Much more to see here ... next time?

1 comment:

  1. While traveling in Edinburgh in 2015, I was amazed by the well-preserved antiquities. Scotland has not suffered a land war for over 1000 years: smart people!