As mentioned on facebook, apparently the Library in York, where the only publicly available internet access can be found, LiveJournal seems to be considered porn. So, three days of post for the price of one, but don't worry, York is much small and less densely populated with cool stuff, so there's not that much to write about.
First day there we walked from our lovely B&B through the city wall, past York Minster, and all around the very quaint shopping area. Quite nice, but mostly a mix of modern clothing stores, very old pubs, and trinketry (yes, I just invented a new word). Somewhere in there we found a stand where a very nice man will drop twelve squeezes of batter into hot oil and make you a dozen donuts on the spot for the grand price of £2! Awesome, fresh hot donuts! We ate these as we walked to the Jorvik Viking Centre
, which as it turns out is about 10% cool artifacts and 90% hokey-as-hell carnival ride "time machine", though the ride does glide you slowly through some reproduction and some 100% authentic material buildings representing what Jorvik was probably like in the year ~900AD, down to the stink. Among the cool stuff was an actual skeleton complete with wound analysis based on nicks, dents, and healed fractures of the bones. OK, but not worth the money. We then decided to walk around a bit more, and stopped by Betty's for Cream Tea. Really, it's hard to beat, delicious tea, and fresh hot scones served with clotted cream and strawberry jam. What's not to love? The Shambles were also very cool, but our guide describes them thusly: "The Shambles is a winding cobblestone road, narrow and looking exactly like the road must have looked in 1560. That is if everyone in 1560 was dashing in to buy tourist junk in the 30 minutes they had away from their bus."
After the tea (not to be confused with "Afternoon Tea", which seems to be something of a complete meal) we'd decided to walk around the town wall for a bit of exercise before heading back to the B&B. We planned to head out for fruit, cheese, and bread for our dinner later, but instead we bought a bag of ice. As we set out on what should have been a 1.4 mile walk on the wall tops, a hornet flew directly into my face, hitting high on my cheek and bouncing into my eye, which of course caused me to clamp my eye shut to protect it from danger. Sadly this had the effect of capturing the hornet against my face in the folds of my eyelid. I dug a finger in to dig him out of my eye, not yet knowing it was a stinging insect, when he simultaneously stung my cheek about .5" from my eye, and bit a chunk out of my nose. I'll post pictures later, but the hole in my nose was about 1/8"x3/16", rather large, really. At that point I got him away from my face and he hit the ground, where lifeofglamour
stomped him to paste. Remembering the trouble I had last time I got stung (think "hospital trip at Pennsic two years ago"), we fairly dashed back to the B&B where my benadryl was, stopping only long enough to grab a bag of ice. The rest of the evening passed with us watching TV (me from one eye), dropping off to sleep, and my sweetie waking me up every 20 minutes to either put on or take off the icepack. This seems to have worked pretty well, the swelling was gone in about 36 hours, and no other symptoms have come up.
The next day we toured York Minster, which has far more dead bishops and far fewer dead kings, though the climb up to the top of the tower was well worth the effort, even in the very cold rain. The stained glass was good, and the screen of kings (fifteen kings, from the Bastard to Henry VI) was really cool. We then went to Clifford's Tower on the way to the York Castle Museum, which is one of the most poorly named museums I've ever visited. They have a wing dedicated to soap, shampoo, and domestic cleaning devices, another to kitchens through the ages (which actually *did* interest me) and lots of other things utterly unrelated to York Castle. It was also £7.50, way too much, but came with the bonus of being affiliated with York Museum, which, for £1.50 extra you could also visit, which turned out to be cool, including having the Coppergate Helm
and several other artifacts of great interest. Somewhat better museum, much better stuff.
While at Clifford's Tower, we came upon a sign which drew our immediate consternation. For about a week by this point we'd been touring and paying for plenty of sites that were all part of the National Trust. The sign at Clifford's Tower was unlike any sign we'd seen any place before, flogging not just membership in the Trust, but WEEKLY PASSES for EVERY SITE in the National Trust, for under £40 each!!! DAMMIT!!! I am certain we spent far more than that on the various admissions we'd paid along the way, having that pass would've saved us a bunch of money. If you come over for any more than about a day visit, look into the weekly All Sites pass.
But, I digress.
The next day, Sunday, yesterday, we took the train to Leeds, having pretty much exhausted the list of things to do in York. In Leeds we did the one thing every SCA member does, toured the Royal Armory. Less cool than I had hoped, with the displays being kinda spread out, a little less...densely appointed than I'd hoped, and chaotically jumbled, not following any organized time-line that I could detect. We went from jousting suits to modern police gear to the War of the Roses to Japanese armor, and so on. I took lots of pictures, particularly of a particular Japanese helm, and the "Black and White" suit. Back to the train, and back to York, where we bought more fruit, some carrots, bread and gouda, then retired to the room, put our very weary feet up, watched cricket highlights and then a movie while eating dinner.
Next morning we awoke and headed for Edinburgh, which I'll tell you about in the next exciting chapter in the thrilling tales of the INTERNATIONAL COUPLE OF MYSTERY!