Wednesday, February 26th, 1997 York, England
I enjoyed coffee in my room and the rest partook of the wonderful breakfast included in the room fee. Then we packed the car in anticipation of leaving the area this afternoon. We left the car parked at the Judges Lodging and went to see the York Minster. A very old church that is the largest church in England. While we were in the Choir area Randy pointed out that one of the brass symbols above the chairs must be for The Bishop of Disneyland as it was the universal symbols for Mickey Mouse (three strategically placed circles). Jim, Randy and I walked up the bell tower. A very steep and narrow circular climb. But, the view from the top was worth it.
This church had one wing destroyed about thirteen years ago; but they have completely rebuilt the damaged portion of the church. Barbara and Patti shopped while we took our half hour adventure. Found out that the choir will be singing about six o'clock tonight. But we should be gone by then. Walked over to the museum but decided not to go in as several of the major items are not currently on display. Rain and wind continues on and off.
We toured the Jorvik Viking Center which is built around the viking ruins that they discovered under the street while excavating for a building. It was a “dark ride” as we rode in little cars. We saw a monk with his head out of the top of a house (actually repairing the thatch roof) and Barbara said that he was escaping because the husband was coming home…I said that this must be “The Priest Hole” that we’d seen mentioned earlier! They took us backwards in the cars as we were going back in time…then flipped us around when we arrived in the Viking age. The smells were very strong in the barnyard scenes. Barbara said they needed to hire Disney to make the faces more realistic.
A trip through the Fairfax House and then off to lunch at a cozy café complete with fireplace that we’d seen on the way to the Fairfax House. It was named Russells of Coppergate. Soup of the day was Mushroom again! We’ve had that as the soup of the day nearly every day! It seems to be following us around England! Met a very nice British couple who were here celebrating a marriage milestone.
Time to find another hotel as we’d decided to stay in York another night and mistakenly thought that Judges Lodging would not have rooms. We started with the Deans, then the Monk Bar, looked at a very smoky Pub with rooms above and finally we settled on The Young’s Hotel. Built in conjunction with the cottage where Guy Fawkes was born. He’s famous for a conspiracy to kill James I and all the parliament members to reinstall Mary Queen of Scot. And, was eventually beheaded and spiked here in York for his participation in the plot known in history as the Gun Powder Plot!
Rooms were questionable, but Jim was thrilled to be sleeping in a very historic place! No elevators again and very narrow halls. Randy killed a spider or mosquito. We were not quite sure how clean the sheets were as they were all dark colors. Barbara has another closet for a bedroom! But they had three rooms and the rate was reasonable. Jim and Randy went back to the Judge’s to get the car with the luggage. As soon as we unloaded they went to find the garage. We didn’t think that they’d ever return. They got lost and then had a terrible time getting the van into the garage as it was very small….had to turn the side mirrors in so that they could squeeze into the garage. Randy did the directions and Jim drove. On their way they also checked out the York Royal Theater and got us tickets for a play called “Into The Woods”. Barbara & Patti went out shopping in the meantime. Jim returned to gather those interested and they went to hear the choir singing at the cathedral. Really beautiful.
The hotel owners seem to have a drinking problem. The misses was putting down a considerable amount of liquor during the evening. The bartender/clerk kept us entertained. He was a very young man from Ireland named Shawn. We went to the Concerto Café for a fast dinner and then made the theater just as the play was beginning. Much better seats this time. Front row in the first balcony. The play was about the nursery rhymes and what happens if the story takes a wrong turn in the woods? Ice cream again during the intermission.
Back at the hotel we enjoyed a nightcap with Shawn entertaining us. Patti is very musical and breaks into song at a moments notice so we had plenty of entertainment for the evening. No one had a particularly good night’s sleep from Barbara with a too soft bed; Randy and Patti had street noises. Jim seems to have slept but I was restless all night! Probably thinking about the story that I needed to work on for my journal and since there were no phones in the rooms, I was unable to try the new connection for the American On Line access.