Because the package only needed to be delivered by 2 pm, we could afford a leisurely start. We had bought the train tickets the evening before, choosing the 9:30 train to qualify for the cheaper rate. We strolled down to King’s Cross and had breakfast in the Station Cafe opposite the old Thamleslink station. The day was sunny with a pretty blue sky – just the sort of weather you want for a trip. Unfortunately, I was starting a cold, which took the edge off the pleasure.
As the journey progressed, we saw the clouds gathering and darkening and as we drew into Doncaster, the first drops of rain streaked the windows. The rest of the day would alternate between showers and sunny intervals. We took a taxi to the address where the package had to be delivered and by 11:53 am, the job was done. The rest of the day was ours!
We took a bus back into the centre of town and proceeded to explore. One of the first things I saw was the public library and, as an ex-library worker, I of course had to take a photo! (See top photo.) The Cathedral (above) is very famous but we did not visit it. York is an intriguing mixture of narrow old streets like Stonegate (left) and broad modern thoroughfares.
I have a passion for old clocks, the bigger the better, and York has an abundance of splendid examples. This one is topped by a man apparently blowing a horn. Tigger, who loves architecture, was in her element, pointing out all sorts of decorative features.
We progressed to the Shambles. This is a surviving medieval street but the name seems to be applied to the area around it as well. There is nothing chaotic about the Shambles: the name comes from a term meaning “street of butchers“. There is also a market here, and a little tea rooms, supposedly haunted, where we had a cream tea. York seems to be a good place for ghosts and many establishments claim to be haunted. There is also a city ghost tour.
Near the Cathedral is a street once called Bookland Lane, later Bookbinders’ Alley, because with the advent of printing, this was the place where printers and booksellers gathered to do their trade. In memory of this, Minerva, the Greek goddess of wisdom, is still to be seen enthroned and leaning on a heap of books.
Among ancient vestiges is this city gate, and a contrast between ancient and modern is provided by this “ftr” bendybus pausing beneath the old city wall. I like bendybuses and ride the London ones whenever possible. We had a ride on the “ftr” too and the main difference is that the driver is isolated in his own cabin, rather like the pilot in an airliner, and there is a conductor who checks tickets. Mayor Livingstone might care to note this as a way to save London’s bendybuses from extinction.
York is of course too big and complex to see in a single day. We merely scratched the surface. It is on the list for future visits. As it was, we were quite tired on reaching home and fetched a takeaway from our friends at the Spices Indian restaurant in Chapel Market, then retired gladly to bed.