A quiet day in York

When traveling to England last year, our first stop was York. We would spend two days here but we decided we didn’t want to run from highlight to highlight. Also, being York, there weren’t that many highlights we wanted to see, we would rather feel the atmosphere of the city. We saw a great deal of this lovely town on our first day, and decided on a quiet second day with just a few of the city’s main attractions.

We started our day with a lovely English breakfast at Chloes of York. I chose a breakfast muffin; eggs, sausage and bacon. What more could you ask for breakfast? It was a lovely little restaurant that I would definitely recommend!

After we’d filled our bellies, we made our way through the city center. We visited some shops and made our way towards York Minster. The minster is a gothic cathedral that was built between 1220 and 1407. It’s the second largest cathedral of north Europe, after the Dom in Köln. It really is a magnificent building.

We walked a bit further and came across some bookstores that we visited. We also found a Waterstones where we bought some books. Then, there was a music store with really awesome music coming out of the speakers, so we decided to to in. Inside, we found a whole wall with ukuleles, which makes me want to tell you a story.

So, my dayjob is to buy books for the school libraries. Just a week or two prior to this trip, there was a book that promised to teach the reader how to play the uke in just a couple of hours. Before I found that book, I never even thought about ukuleles, let along playing them. But the book intrigued me. When we were in England, I had forgotten about the book and only remembered it when we came across this wall of ukuleles. It got me all excited. I really wanted to buy one then and there. I contemplated it for an hour or so, but then decided against it, since it would be very unpractical to buy an instrument – that I couldn’t even play – on vacation. Then, another two weeks or so later, we went to Castlefest, a fantasy festival that we visit every year. I saw a lot of people with instruments and I could just imagine myself, sitting on a field of grass, playing the uke. The first thing I did when we got home, was order one. And the book.

Every time I think about our trip, I think of this store and the uke wall. If ony I could go back, now, when I finally know how to play the instrument. This picture always makes me smile, because it’s because of this store that I now have a new hobby.

When it was time for lunch, we came across Byron’s, a fastfood bar. We checked the menu and when we saw they had nachos, we went in. We decided to share a platter of nachos and then our eye fell on the mac-and-cheese-balls. Something I never heard of before but was dying to try. And wow, these were delicious! Best lunch I ever had!

Later that day, we decided to visit the ruins. We came across the roman fortress first, which looked amazing. It’s part of the city walls that we walked upon on our first day.

 We decided to visit St. Mary’s abbey, or rather, what was left of it. It was a benedictine abbey that was founded in 1055. All that remains to this day, are ruins.

It was actually quite amazing to see how some parts remain intact and still stand upright, while most of it is gone and taken over by nature. It was so peaceful around this abbey. We walked around it for a bit, while the birds were singing in the background.

It really was a beautiful sight to take in. The ruins and the Yorkshire gardens that surrounded them. We decided to rest in these gardens for a moment. Reading a bit in the new books we acquired and googling some about ukuleles.

We had dinner at Jamie’s Italian, which is, of course, one of Jamie Oliver’s restaurants. I had never been there and I wanted to try. I choose the lasagne which was absolutely to die for. It was delicious! For dessert we shared vanilla icecream with caramelized popcorn. I was a little doubtful about the combination, but it was surprisingly good.

And that was our second day in York. The next day, we would be spending in Leeds and after that, we would be visiting Newcastle. We only spent two days in the lovely city of York and I am pretty sure I will be back some day. It’s such a lovely city and it’s not all that touristic, which makes it all the more relaxing to spend some time in the city. I really loved it!


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