We have now crossed back into England and spent a night in beautiful York, a rather compact town steeped in history and packed full of tourists just like us.
Our accommodation was walking distance to the old town, sadly though we were on the top floor which involved 54 stairs with suitcases. Our room was under the rafters and marginally larger than the bed and due to the weather, warm and stuffy. A big difference to the night before in Dunbar......
York is such an interesting place with a very long history, some good and some not so good. It was founded by Romans way back in 71 AD and later on the Vikings also had a turn. The Emperors Hadrian, Septimius Severus and Constantius I all held court in York during their various campaigns. When Constantius I died here in 306 AD, his son Constantine the Great was proclaimed Emperor. Constantine is perhaps best known for being the first Christian Roman emperor. His rule changed the Church enormously allowing religious tolerance for Christianity.
There is a very old and famous street here named, Shambles, which is always crowded with tourists trying to take the perfect photo of its overhanging timber-framed buildings, some dating back as far as the fourteenth century. It was once known as The Great Flesh Shambles, the word for the shelves that butchers used to display their meat. The street was mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086, that's how old it is! Now we use the word shambles to describe something being a mess or chaos... to think the work came from here.
The street now has a shop called "the shop that must not be named" and a few other Harry Potter merchandise selling shops, so it also appeals to a younger generation.
York's historic centre is enclosed by the city's medieval walls which are made up of part of the Roman fortress and some Norman and medieval work, as well as 19th and 20th century renovations.
York Minster is the large gothic cathedral which dominates the city. It is one of the largest of its kind in Northern Europe. As it costs 11 pounds 50 pence to visit we decided to give it a miss. The outside is impressive enough with its grotesques, flying buttresses and huge stained glass windows.
Interestingly both Guy Fawke, the Roman Catholic revolutionary of the gunpowder plot fame was born in York as was Mr Rowntree of the confectionery fame.
Walking around town the weather was warm and the sun was out. Many people were enjoying ice creams and lots of pink/red english flesh was also exposed.
We ate dinner at one of the many haunted pubs in York and on our way out many of the ghost tours were underway telling the same story at two different buildings about a poor girl left alone to die in a house marked with a red cross to signify the plague.....and her screams can be heard .........etc,etc...