15 November 2013

British Tour: York

Walking through The Shambles
I'll just start by saying: Lauren made an excellent choice by choosing The University of York for graduate school. I had an amazing time exploring York and learning its history. Lauren, being the incredible storyteller she is, was the perfect host. I arrived on Tuesday morning, still feeling jetlagged and met Lauren at the train station. It was so great to see her! 

The Yorkshire people are incredibly proud to be from York, and for good reason. There's a lot to be proud about. The place known today as York has been a home to different groups for several thousand years. During the Roman times, York was the seat of the Roman Empire in Britain. When the railway station opened, it was the largest in Europe at the time. Then, they have the Minster. The Yorkminster took 250 years to build, finished in the late 1400's. It's a massively beautiful building with immaculately detailed stained glass.

Even though Lauren had been in York about a month, she still knew so much and took me to some really cool places. Plus, having a guest gives you reason to go do the more touristy you may not normally do. So for that, you're welcome. The night I got in, the lead archaeologist on the King Richard III excavation gave a lecture at the University. Read the story here. It was just little moments like that, that made me shake my head and laugh. Life is pretty damn cool. One night, we went on a ghost tour through the city and heard tales of ghost soldiers walking though basements built on Roman roads, torturing in insane asylums, orphaned children in the Plague... you know, light stuff. While Lauren was in class, I went to the York Museum and explored.
King's College, the building where Lauren has classes
There was some great food in York. I had just started my 'gluten sensitive' diet the week before so I tried to stick to that as much as possible. Then Betty's Tea Room happened and whewwww those scones. Betty's Tea Room is an institution for baking, tea and all things British. While they serve food, the price tag (dollars to pounds makes me want to cry) suggested we opt for Afternoon Tea. We received a large kettle of tea, two scones each and plenty of jam and clotted cream.
Look at that presentation!
We also went to a cool gluten-free vegan restaurant called El Piano. Certainly not traditional British cuisine but awesome none the less. There was a warmth and quaintness to York that felt timeless. Even though I'd never been, it seemed familiar and that's pretty cool. I'm so glad that Lauren has plenty of time to explore Yorkshire and places in the UK. I wish I could have stayed longer! Especially now that the Christmas Markets are running. But alas, I got on another train bound for Kings Cross Station in London.
There was a chill in the air, but the blue skies made for beautiful days in York. 

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