Friday, March 18, 2011

York, England–January 2008

Today enjoy a post by Jay on our trip to York, England.

In 2009, Sarah and I took a vacation of Great Britain and Scotland.  One of my favorite places from the whole trip was York.


York has a very long history, it was settled by the Romans in 71 A.D. because it was at the "confluence" (SAT word), or merging of 2 major rivers. As the area developed, it came to lie in between London and Edinburgh.  Because it has had such influence over the shipping and trade of the area, it was conquered and re-conquered much through it's history, which lead to an eclectic assortment of building styles and types packed very tightly together.

[insert pic of buildings]

While we were there, we went on a free tour of the area given by a volunteer historian who loved her city.


This tour was amazing!  She told us about the different governments and powers-that-be that had owned this land throughout the years and showed us a lot of interesting points that our tourist eyes would have over-looked. 

First, she walked us along the roman-built wall and pointed out the changes made to it by the Anglican, Norman, Tudor, and Stuart dynasties.  We also saw a lot of the ruins of castles and forts from by-gone eras that litter the area.


Then we walked down "the Shambles" which is a medieval street that has been preserved and shows how the city grew randomly, as people built houses wherever they could in any space available.  It was in stark contrast to the ultra-structured style of modern cities, all except for Boston that is. 


This area is full of a large assortment of shops, including fashion and tea shops, which apparently are world famous for their tea; if you're into that sort of thing. 


What I was really struck by was the size of the buildings.  Most of the doors were small enough that I had to duck down and turn sideways to get through them, and when we were inside, I felt that if I had been wearing heels (not that I do, but if I had been), my head would have hit the ceiling.


The last thing I was going to comment on was York Minster, which dominates the city in it's presence, but this post is turning into a book, so if you want to find out about that, you'll just have to go find out for yourself!