Arriving in York, I walked from the station to my hostel, and had to pass under the infamous Mickelgate. This was once the south gate to the city which was surrounded by city walls that still exist in many places.
After I checked in, it was a “study” afternoon as this place had a computer to use. I spent a number of hours completing my entry assessments for my next course, which is the main reason I’m returning to Aus. While it’s not very interesting to write about, it had to be done.
I ventured out briefly for a late dinner and had an early night.
I tossed and turned and was hot and kept feeling as though something was biting me on my foot. I immediately became paranoid about bed bugs and then began to feel itchy all over. I dreamt of bed bugs as I was drifting off back to sleep and when I awoke a couple of hours later I was lucky enough to have zero bites on me. Phew!
I had a lazy morning and went out for a late breakky.
I saw a number of geese by the river, and later saw a few families of geese wandering around. I also saw one who might have been a little lost as it crossed the street in the main part of town. They were everywhere!
I wandered town until I found a cafe with a full English vego option, and asked that they were still serving their breakky menu. A blank stare and a few blinks from the waitress made me realise she had no clue what I was talking about so I rephrased and asked for breakfast and got the process underway! After a good feed I wandered around the streets of York.
The Viking centre was closed due to the massive floods last year, so I skipped that and wandered the markets around the Shambles.
I went to the York Minister but unfortunately it was closed to the public today, due to one of the last mystery theatre performances that was taking place inside.
As the rain hadn’t started yet despite the predictions, I went for a wander through the Museum gardens. I saw abbey ruins, beautiful plants, lovely gardens, birds of prey (you could pay to have a pic with them), wild birds, and squirrels burying their nuts. One squirrel took a nut right out of the hands of a lady next to me!
I wandered past Betty’s which is a gorgeous English tea house serving high tea, but due to a lack of gluten free options I skipped that.
I then walked through the Shambles itself, which is an old street with overhanging houses, that still have the meat hooks in the roof of the overhang that once made the street putrid and bloody as they drained the animals of blood, mostly pigs, before turning them into meat for consumption. Apparently it’s the most beautiful street in the UK, but having been to many places around the UK already, I would say there are some that are just as lovely, if not more so.
I also walked around neighbouring streets such as Stonegate, and Petergate and browsed the shops. My budget is pretty strict now though, so there was no room for purchases of any kind. Pride is this weekend in York so many shops have a rainbow flag in their window, and one soap store has a vast array of brightly coloured soap cakes and cupcakes for purchase. In contrast, there was a religious man with a huge sign warning us of our impending doom if we don’t start making the 7th day sacred. A little later I also saw a man pushing a piano up the road!
I found a cute little cupcake house over another part of town that had a gluten free cupcake, and I enjoyed a cup of coffee with it.
I left here and went to the York dungeon as I had pre booked my ticket (making it cheaper, yay for cheap). I couldn’t take any photos inside, but it was a reenactment tour of times in the early days of York, from the Saxons and Vikings wars, to the plague, the story of Guy Fawkes (the bonfire night man), and the witch hunts. I had a few jumpy people on my tour so it added to the excitement when they jumped and screamed in fear when the actors jumped out of the darkness. I got a little lost in the mirror maze but found my way through! I rather enjoyed it.
From here I walked past the Clifford’s tower, and saw the carousel in front of the museum. The museum also had a rainbow flag at half mast.
I finished off my day in York with a walk along the remains of the city walls, back to Mickelgate and to my hostel.
Thanks York! You’ve been great!