Monday, August 11, 2008

Northern Exposure: A story in two parts (Part I - Yorkshire)

We rolled into York on Thursday afternoon and were somehow blessed with mild temperatures and blue skies. I'm beginning to think all this talk about how cold and rainy it is in The North is just a scheme cooked up by locals to keep us crazy Londoners out.

Micklegate Bar - part of the old city walls.

The River Ouse, lined with pubs.

By the late afternoon though, the clouds were starting to roll in. Maybe there's something to this dreary Northern weather stereotype afterall...

This is York Minster, the city's crowning glory.

This little statue marks the street where all the book binders used to be. It's the Roman Goddess Minerva leaning on a stack of books.

A man on a mission - last stop of the day was for a brewery tour.

Mmmmm, beeeeeeer.

We kicked off Friday with a proper fry-up breakfast in a pub and then set out for a little more exploring. This is the Yorkshire Terrier pub, the official pub of the York Brewery that we toured on Thursday. Their Terrier Cask Bitter has won lots of awards and I think is sort of their signature brew.

Then, I found a sweet shop and while I actually went in for their peanut brittle, I saw something else that interested me more. Behind the counter in these huge glass jars were little green balls covered in white stuff and the sign on them said something to the effect of "mega sours" or "atomic sours" or some such. I scoffed. There is no proper sour candy in England. The girl assured me they were really truly sour. The sourest thing she'd ever tasted by far. Big deal, I thought. Considering the sourest thing in this country is what they call "fizzies" (which are not remotely sour at all), I was not convinced. People, I have been convinced. These things seared the top several layers of skin off the roof of my mouth. My mouth contorted in ways I never thought possible. These are, by far, the most sour candy I have ever eaten. And that's saying something.

After regaining control of my motor skills, we decided to walk towards the castle area. Lo and behold, what do you think we found there? An English Heritage property - Clifford's Tower. And of course it was free for us since Jason had the foresight to sign us up for a membership at Stonehenge almost a year ago.

Jason inspecting the fireplace.

A close-up of the claustrophobic staircase we took to the top.

Us with cloudy York in the background.

Two views of the York skyline...

Teeny tiny me at the top of the stairs.

After all the excitement of stumbling across an English Heritage property, we decided to see if there were any others we could drive to on our way to Suze and Phil's.

Behold, I give you... Conisbrough Castle.

Jason reading up on the history. (Nerd.)
Me and the magnificent keep. You all remember how I love a good keep, don't you? (Keepkeepkeep!)

Me reigning o'er my keep.

The aqueducts we spotted in the distance from the top of the keep.

Keeping it real at the top of the keep.

The keep in all its keep-tastic glory.

Gorgeous blue sky...

Winner of the "Most Redundant Sign Ever" Award. "The castle is just over there, you say? No shit!?! I don't believe you."

Jason driving through the Peak District National Park.

Coming up.... Part II. Stay tuned for all our adventures with Suze and Phil!

P.S. I just realized that I kind of stole the title of this post from Suze's blog but I guess that's okay since she stole it from a TV show. Suze, do I have your blessing?


Suze - Manchester UK said...

You are absolutely permitted to steal my plagurized title. Heck, call yourself 'Suze' for all I care! x

Amanda said...

great pics! We have yet to explore york.... I want to see Bath first! But this will be on the list for sure.

london southern belle

Steph said...

When I was in York a few years back I went to the Jorvic Viking Center. Oh how I wish you had gone or that I had told you about it before you went. Of all the things I've done and seen in my time, this ranks pretty high up there. Like Epcot in the middle of York, but in a bad way....because Epcot is obviously the best thing ever, right? :)

Anna said...

i would like to throw my "most redundant sign ever" into the ring...

Heather said...

Nice one, Anna!