Last Saturday I went on a day trip organized by the Student Union with the girls to York, which is 60 miles Northeast from Sheffield. The trip was not guided, so we got to walk around the city centre ourselves. From what I saw, York has a rather different atmosphere from Sheffield – the architecture, the people, and of course the history of Viking rule. The day was short, and I will definitely come back before I leave for France!
We started off at Clifford’s Tower, which from my knowledgeable Hungarian friend Esztor I found out that it is the keep of the York Castle. The view up there was fantastic, if you like wind and stairs, which I do.
Then we moved to the York Minster, which unfortunately was closed so I couldn’t enter and see the inside of it. It is the largest Gothic cathedral of Northern Europe, and it according to Wikipedia dominates the city of York. So here you go, York Minster became the feature image of this blog!
Walking along we got to the Shambles, which is a Medieval street full of tourists and lovely small shops. I have met two of the nicest people in my life there. One of them is the shop owner of Pandora, who went from Africa to York 10 years ago and never left. The other one is the shop owner of Incallajta, who is from Bolivia and has been running the shop of Bolivian handicraft products for 6 years now. Both of them were very talkative, and have many stories to share. They seemed excited to see the group of us, who were all exchange students from different parts of the world coming together to York, in their shops and hence shared their lives and feelings “for” York to us. I wish I could stay there longer, they have also became one of the reasons I wanted to visit again.
I hadn’t a nice breakfast before I go, so we became quite hungry after few hours of walking. There is a pub called “Hole in the Wall” so we basically entered the hole and had some rest. This was the first time I have ever had fish and chips in the UK after being here for 3 weeks. It was not particularly good or bad, but I was really happy because, well, it’s British food!
After a nice meal and a nice chat and a nice rest, we moved on to the next destination and eventually reached the highlight of the day. Lols. We visited the Jorvik Viking Centre and learnt a lot about the history of York during the times of Scandinavian ruling. The visit included a “Cable Car Ride” in a village back in the old times, which was almost surreal because the centre also remade the Jorvik smell. I really couldn’t comment too much about it, but I strongly recommend everyone to actually go and visit the centre themselves. We also learnt “Yao”, which probably means “Hi” in the language spoken by Vikings. Then a Viking with a long long braid who speaks perfect modern English explained to us the cultural heritage of the period, and despite we asked so many questions, his answers were really impressive. And I loved his braid (and shoes).
We ended our day in a tea room called teddy bear. It was a relaxing time, and the steward was very sweet. I had a cup of Yorkshire tea in a very girly-furnished room above the shop selling, teddy bears. This was it, basically.
What I loved the most about York (actually just the part of York I have visited) is their street artists. I have met at least 4-5 of them. I guess tourism is one of the reasons street artists were encouraged to perform in York, but I love how they perfect merge the historical and architectural town of York. Interactive performance with the kids in a public square that cheers up the crowd, jazz violinist who added a bit of classiness to the Shambles, and even the pot of ivy-like plant somewhere around the corner might freak you out for that one second. I have shamelessly took a photo of the York-based band King No-One when they were performing, and I really wish I had a pen so I could write my number and leave the instant photo to them. JKs. These are the things you could always see in a tourism-driven city, I guess, but I really liked it, for they create special memories to every trip you have been to.
P.s. I have watched this video before the trip, and I think it pretty much sums up my journey, because I was frankly just a basic tourist in this trip.