York, May 2015

The next stop on our quick UK/Ireland vacation in May was York in England! We rode the train up from London and got here late at night so we hopped in a taxi to go the mile or two to our hotel, where we got a great night of sleep. We were ready to hit the town end begin exploring early the next morning.

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York was the perfect place to explore on foot. We walked into town from our hotel (stopping at Aldi on the way to grab some lunch and snacks), and almost as soon as we got into the city, we found a park with gardens and ruins that were perfect for exploring.

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York has both Roman and medieval history, so some of these walls were Roman on the bottom and medieval on top.

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We ate our Aldi lunch (bread and cheese) on a bench in this park. It wasn’t the worst.

On the other side of the park were the ruins of St. Mary’s Abbey.

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I couldn’t help but take a gazillion pictures. Every angle was beautiful!

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We continued exploring after lunch and began to explore some of the city’s famous walls and gates. The entire city is surrounded by a wall, and there are four gates leading in and out. The gates are all called “bars”–below is the Bootham Bar.

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We then made our way to the York Minster and popped inside to get the full experience.

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We also made our way to the top of one of the towers, because when there are stairs, we have to climb them.

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The walkways and stairs were not what I’d call handicap accessible–they were quite narrow. The stairs below couldn’t have been more than 16″ wide.

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After climbing back down all those steps (the worst part, always), we explored a bit more. They had mirrors set up strategically so you wouldn’t have to crane your neck to look up to the ceiling so we snapped a quick photo.

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Then we kept exploring the walls around the city until it was time to hunt down more food.

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We had read about the York Brewery and wanted to try that out, and when we found it, there was a beer festival going on! For the price of admission, we each got a half pint glass to keep and two drink tickets good for our choice of about 40 local beers and ciders. I tried a cider that was bright teal! It was delicious tasted like a Starburst candy, which great in a half pint amount but I was glad to get a more traditional cider with my second ticket.

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Interlude: here’s our hotel. How cute is it?! It was built in the 1790’s and is now a Best Western (I KNOW. They don’t make them like this here in the States).

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Our room was on the third floor and we had to climb a maze of stairs to get there, and when we did, the ceiling couldn’t have been much more than 7 feet, with old exposed timbers crossing the ceiling. Plus, in addition to the typical complimentary instant coffee, there were also complimentary biscuits! Yum.

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The next day we explored the Shambles and did a bit of window shopping.

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Since the Shambles historically has been filled with butcher shops, we had to stop and try a sausage pastry.

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We later dropped into a pub for a quick drink before we needed to head out to the train station once more.

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Next stop: Edinburgh! But first, an expense recap (all in USD). We stayed in York for two nights.

$337.30 2 nights in Best Western

$47.40 York Minster admission

$23.71 York Museum (not mentioned in post above, it was meh)

$91.93 Meals, tips, misc.

$59.85 Train from York to Edinburgh

Total for York: $560.19

Total  so far: $1451.32 (includes airfare)

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