The Walled City of York

I’ve just started my first overseas trip in 22 years, and the first big vacation my wife and I have taken alone together since our honeymoon over 32 years ago. Wednesday/Thursday was something like 28 hours of travel with gaps waiting for the next mode of transportation, which I plan to forget about. Today was a wonderful walk around the old walled city of York.

Our apartment is about a block away from Monk Bar Gate.

The roads and sidewalks are much narrower than back home, but wider than I had expected. Beyond the gate is a street full of shops, including an Italian restaurant where we ate dinner last night.

Our first target was Yorkminster Cathedral, the largest Gothic church north of the Alps.

We got there just in time for a tour, but had to leave it about 3/4 of the way through to make it to a communion service in one of the chapels. We did learn a lot from a wonderfully entertaining guide, and after the service did a bit of exploring on our own before lunch. We need to go back to visit the undercroft in a day or two; our tickets are good for a full year. Seeing the nave in its natural state is going to have to wait, because it was full of a stage and seats for a series of plays.

After lunch we walked along a good chunk of the old wall. We meant to walk all of it, but got confused at a big gap where you couldn’t see the next section beyond the buildings, and so missed one of the three sections. It was a much longer walk than I’ve done for a while, and there was one place where I nearly turned around to head back, but I did make it all the way around to our starting point.

This is one of the less tall sections of wall, perhaps about 10 feet. Maybe they didn’t expect the Scots to invade from that direction.

While trying to find the second section of wall we passed Clifford’s Tower, the only remaining bit of William the Conqueror’s castle.

We ate dinner in a pub about a block before the end of the wall circuit.

Tomorrow we go on a personal guided tour of the Yorkshire Dales, the site of the real-world events described in the James Herriot novels.

Edit: here is Margaret’s blog about the same day.

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