Posts Tagged With: uk

Next Stop: York, England

Seeing as how the beautiful and historical town of York is only a 45 mins bus ride away, my fellow Austrailian friends and I decided to take a last minute trip up to see what York had to offer.

I’ll give you a little historical overview of the town York:

York is home to a very rich and historical heritage, as well as significant and beautiful buildings, churches, and the wall. Surrounding York is a large medieval wall that was used to protect the city, government and inhabitants from destruction and many wars. Depending on the season, areas within York will have large floods, and although it looks really interesting to see roads and buildings engrossed by water, the floods lead to transportation issues and closing of shops and pubs. Overall, York was a very beautiful city with lots to offer in terms of history, culture and beautiful sights.

After a comfortable and quick bus ride to York, my aussie friends and I decided to walk around the city and begin our tour to see all the main attractions of York: The Shambles, York Minster, The City Walls, Clifford’s Tower, York Brewery, and The Golden Fleece.

Our journey began with a visit to The Shambles, which I must saw, looks like a scene from the Harry Potter films; it honestly looks like Diagon Alley. My favourite part was called “Little Shambles” and was filled with little interesting shops selling children’s toys to traditional English sweets.

There were old cobble stone roads that surrounded The Shambles and run-down, crooked, wooden buildings that leaned over the alley. I was extremely tempted to pullout a wand and tap the bricks and waiting for the bricks to move, creating an entrance into the magical world of Harry Potter; I was so tempted… if only I hadn’t forgotten my wand at home. This place is a must see for those who visit York; especially fans of Harry Potter.

 

After a lovely walk through The Shambles and marketplace surrounding it, we ventured over to the largest Gothic cathedral in Northern Europe, which stands at the city’s centre: York Minster. The pictures below do not give the cathedral justice. York Minister was so big, that I couldn’t fit the whole thing in my camera to capture the beauty and entirety of the famous historical building. To go inside, it costed 16 pounds or so, and was highly recommended to go inside, as it is just as beautiful. However, I’m on a student budget for travelling expenses, so I didn’t go in; maybe another time. For now, I was just as amazed to see the exterior, as I probably would the interior.

  
Afterwards, we began our journey through the windy streets of York and explored the city by taking a look into the vast amounts of little shops and activities going on. We eventually came to the entrance to the City Walls; which was the coolest thing I’ve seen thus far in England. I find it fascinating that there are medieval walls still surrounding the city of York; not to mention the fact that you are able to walk on the city walls and literally circle around the city.


Every time I think of the walls, or see them, all I can think about is THE WALL from Game of Thrones. Back in the day, I’m sure the inhabitants would not want to leave the protection and safety within the wall or venture “North of the Wall”. The no dogs allowed on the city walls sign is also humourous to me, just as a result from references to Game of Thrones.

The walk around the City Walls was amazing, and the views of York were just gorgeous.

 

The Aussies and I decided to grab some food for lunch/dinner (or “tea” here) and ventured around the city some more for a good place to eat. We came across a pub called The Golden Fleece which was named the #1 Pub of the year, as well as a huge tourist attraction for it’s history and haunted stories. Apparently there are ghosts that inhabit the pub, and steal the menus and silverware (said the pub worker). The pub was really nice, and very dim lite. It definitely gave off the feel that it was haunted, but at the same time was a really cozy and interesting place to eat. The meals were somewhat pricey, but compared to other places, were extremely reasonable. The meals offered were humungous and extremely delicious. Therefore, the price was well worth it!

I had my very first English chicken pie; along side some chips and vegetables! It was extremely delicious and filling.
  

Once we finished our meals and relaxed for a good period of time, we ventured our way to Clifford’s Tower. This Tower is part of the York Castle, in which it was used as a prison and has an interesting history. The structure itself was so interesting to view as it sat on the top of a small hill.

  
Afterwards, we realized it was too late in the day to go anywhere else (there were a few more places I wanted to see in York, such as Castle Howard, but will have to wait for another day), so we decided to do what every British person does; have a pint at the local pub.

As we continued our journey through York to the bus station, I continued to admire the buildings, businesses, and interesting sights within the city walls. The city of York is one of my recommended places to visit while you are in England; it’s quite beautiful.

~Ryan

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Categories: Autumn, Blog, England, Fall, Holidays, Seasons, Survival Guide, Travel Sights, Travel Tips, United Kingdom, York | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Next Stop: Edinburgh, Scotland!

Thanks to the hundreds (and possibly thousands) of sheep that kept me busy counting on my 5 hours bus ride to Edinburgh, I finally made it!

Savannah, my Queens friend who is studying her year abroad in Edinburgh, met me at the bus station at 6:30pm and we began our journey through Edinburgh to her lovely flat. My phone died as soon as I arrived to Edinburgh, and was only able to take one picture outside the bus station, and to be completely honestly, I had no idea what it said at first.

Wanna buy a consonant, anyone? Apparently you can’t choose the letter S, T, or B.

We ended my first night in Edinburgh with a lovely, and extremely delicious home-cooked stir fry (Savannah is a masterchef), and got caught up with each others lives over a nice, cold pint.


DAY 2

Savannah had a few classes during the day and I slept in; once she got home we headed out to check out what Edinburgh was all about!

Beautiful weather and magnificent architecture! The city was filled with so many buildings and views that were breathtaking. As we walked around the city, it did the expected; it rained… but only for a good 5 mins and then it was nothing but sun for the rest of the day!

We came to Greyfriars Bobby, which is a very tourist-ie sight. Basically, the historical story goes as follows: Back in the day, the original owner passed away and his dog wouldn’t leave his side or grave for the longest time; truly man’s best friend. They keep the restaurant open in memory of him and have a statue of the dog nearby! If you touch the statue of the dog, it’s suppose to bring you good luck! 🙂

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Afterwards, we passed by the “Famous” Elephant House where J.K. Rowling use to go and write; it was named “The Birthplace” of Harry Potter”. However, according to the locals, this is a false accusation. Apparently, J.K. Rowling did spend time in the Elephant House writing Harry Potter, but it wasn’t here; it was on the first floor of a place call spoons. (See picture below when I finally came around to visiting the actual birthplace, according to the locals). Scandalous.

I’m not totally sure which side of the story is true, buteither or, J.K. Rowling first began writing Harry Potter in the city where I was; and that’s super cool.

As we continued our journey through Edinburgh, Savannah took me through some really amazing places and gave me the non-tourist-ie look of the city; she showed me some really beautiful sights, as well as some of the places where she has classes and studies.

We got to “the royal mile” and made our way to the Edinburgh Castle. It was amazing! Definitely a sight to see in person.

We didn’t go in due to the fact that they charge £16 to get into the castle (what is with everything costing £16 to get in!?). We took the free train and just enjoyed the beautiful sights overlooking the city.

Typical Me; Updating my Twitter, Instagram and Facebook

Savannah and I then went shopping for a little bit because I needed more socks, especially some for our trip to Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany that upcoming weekend. After we walked around the city some more, Savannah took me to Calton Hill, which is 10% of the effort up Arthur’s Belt, and possibly the place with the most breath-taking sights I have ever seen; completely worth the effort!
I’m showing you the next few pictures in full-size, because they are very much worth taking up most of the screen. 
Did I mention how beautiful Edinburgh is? Absolutely stunning.

On our way back into the city, we came to a very old cemetery where many historical people were buried. Savannah and I came across this one tombstone and realized that this man’s death date was the same day that we were visiting the cemetery; October 4th. Unlikely that anybody would visit him (as he passed away in 1875), Savannah left him a dandelion and we wished the good sir a happy deathday. What else do you say to a dead man on the day of his death?

We ventured back through the busy streets of Edinburgh and came to the “actual” birthplace of Harry Potter, where J.K. Rowling actually fathomed the idea of Harry Potter and began writing the first few chapters. Again, this is according to the locals. Weirdly enough, the owners of Spoon don’t like J.K. Rowling, and if someone mentions her name in the restaurant, they will apparently kick you out. I found this hard to believe, but didn’t want to test it out for myself. They still managed to have a plaque on the building with J.K Rowling on the front; this could all be a local myth for all I know.
 
Overall, an amazing day! I got to see some breath-taking views that I’ll never forget and finally got to explore Edinburgh, the capitol of Scotland!

~Ryan

Categories: Edinburgh, Scotland, Travel Tips, United Kingdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Thousands of Sheep and Rolling Hills; I must be in Scotland

Guid mornin folks!

I am currently on a bus from Leeds to Edinburgh. If we’ve ever taken a bus or train through Scotland, then you will understand what I’m witnessing and taking in at the moment.

There are really no words to describe the sight of the countryside in Scotland; it’s beautiful. There.

The land is so very green and if you take a gander in one field, you could potentially see thousands of sheep. There are breathtaking hills that roll along the countryside; it’s just overall a glorious sight to see.

There was one point where there was this humongous hill and little white points all up and down the fields. To my surprise, it was hundreds of sheep all spread out and was something I have never witnessed before; until now. If only the bus wasn’t moving so fast, I could have taken a picture.

Categories: Blog, Scotland, United Kingdom | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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