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Amanda Goes to England, Vol. 3: 17 May 2014

Saturday in York was just SOOOOOOO sunny yet pleasant outside. Back home, we don’t get a lot of sunny days that aren’t unbearably hot.  I couldn’t help but wander around, snapping photos at my own leisure.  This may be a photo-heavy and story-poor post.

The above two photos were taken in St. Helen Stonegate

Hi again!

Hashtag: Fancy Dance

These guys had obviously removed their shirts in transit. It made me laugh, because it made it seem as if the day was a scorcher. It wasn’t. The sunniest, non-hot day I’ve ever experienced, perhaps.

This day was so pretty! I cannot stress this enough. Shimmering water in the River Ouse is testament to that.

Royal Ices

(I always take photos of lace curtains when I see them in windows on my wanderings)

Red boats in York. You can rent them.  Can’t you just imagine me buzzing down the River Ouse in one of these? Skipper Amanda?

I also really like to take pictures of ice cream vendors in England too, for some reason

Make way for ducklings

York & Selby Magistrates Court

Oh my god oh my god oh my god! My favourite dog: a basset hound!

Another thing from my “to do’ list: the ruins of St. Mary’s Abbey. It’s only nearly 1000 years old. NBD.

Everyone was enjoying the sunshine in York that Saturday, I tell ya

I can add in here that the ruins were in the same area as the York Museum Gardens. While I was there, I went into the little observatory. Key word “little.” Volunteers (who are very nice) give you a history on the observatory and telescope, you walk up this tiny staircase, stand around the telescope, and learn more about how the telescope works. Then you walk right back down that tiny staircase and out the door. It was cool information to have, but you don’t get to look through the telescope. I would have liked that!

Lendel Bridge over the River Ouse

High water mark on the River Ouse

St. Wilfrid’s in the foreground, York Minster in the background

These photos are of  St. Wilfrid’s. A fairly new church, in that it was built in the 1860s. New by British standards, anyway!

Artist who does art on the pavement as a form of busking

York Minster is the real show-stopper cathedral in York. I did not go in, because there is a relatively steep entry fee. I had read about how beautiful the Minster was but I had no idea that it was such a grand cathedral. From the outside at least, it was as beautiful as Westminster Abbey (in my opinion.)

Exterior of the famous Rose window in the Minster

Though I didn’t pony up the dough to go inside the Minster, I did go to the church next to it, St. Michael le Belfrey. I’m sure it’s “no York Minster,” but it was just a normal church where you could come and go as you please!

One thing I loved about my Saturday in York was how everything was full of activity and people out enjoying the weather. The city centre was bustling, but not in an overwhelming “there are too many people! I can’t handle it!” sort of way that one might feel about London at times. A large group of us were enjoying a band that was busking (very successfully.) They’re called The Y Street Band. They covered Queen, Bowie, Simon & Garfunkel, The Proclaimers, etc, etc, etc. They were so much fun! I stayed so long listening and singing along to their covers that I got a rather significant sunburn!

Of course, band photography IS my first love. So I had to take a few snaps while enjoying the music!

The photos will now fast-forward to nighttime. I’d promised myself that I wouldn’t venture out on my own because the night life on Micklegate was a little too much of a night life for me 😉  But I couldn’t resist getting out for just a FEW minutes. I took a quick walk down Micklegate, dodging drunk people (not kidding,) and grabbing a few grainy black and white photos with a point and shoot camera.

Anecdotes for the day:

(Warning: potty humour ahead)

I’d come out of my hostel through an alley behind it. As I was leaving the alley, a young man ran into the alley.  I then saw (what appeared to be) his friends, who were saying “Where did he go??” I said “He’s in there,” and pointed towards the alley. I looked back at that moment and found that he was *erm* relieving himself. His friends thought these circumstances were HILARIOUS. I didn’t actually see any *ahem* private parts, but that didn’t keep his friends from giving him grief . They were laughing and saying that “there wasn’t much to see anyway!”  When the young man in question caught up with his friends, he apologised profusely to me, and said he didn’t know I was there when he went into the alley. His friends kept giving him a hard time. He said something like “You’re talking like this in front of a LADY! I’ve apologised. What else do you want me to do?!” He apologised again and said to me ‘When you gotta go, you gotta go!” I said “Well that IS a benefit of being a guy. You can just go anywhere!” I could not stop laughing after this incident. Actually, he was not the first man I’d seen relieving himself in an alley that day. I guess I had all sorts of new experiences in York! </end of my crudeness>

So, as boring as it sounds, I spent most of the evening chatting with two of the people from my dorm. One, a young German woman and the other a middle-aged woman from Seattle.

While the two aforementioned roommates and I were chatting, these  British girls in our dorm were getting ready for a night on the town. They were really friendly! I mentioned Memphis, and one of them brought up Walking in Memphis.  What is it with Brits and that song?? (I even heard it in a shop while I was here in 2006!) I told her that the route the song’s narrator takes from Graceland to downtown was not accurate. A. She said “Union Avenue?” B. She pointed out that he was writing from the perspective of a tourist. A. A GIRL IN YORK,, ENGLAND (from the Lake District, if memory serves) said “Union Avenue” to me. So weird! Especially considering that I lived very near Union for awhile. B. As for her viewpoint on the route from Graceland to downtown: I can accept that. I told them who the Reverend Green in the song is. They seemed familiar with his music once they knew it was Al Green. I also told him how he had his come to Jesus experience: grit ball! Well, I said that a girlfriend got angry with him and threw a pan of hot grits on him while he was in the shower, and he had a religious experience.  I told them that grits are ground corn, but that they could just imagine the girlfriend threw hot porridge on him. They were picking up what I was throwing down. I took their picture on the stairs with a digital camera one of them had with her, because I thought it would be nice.

I accidentally stayed up til 1:00, without even being out on the town! I was in the common room and ended up chatting with a Scottish girl. I really liked her. She was studying to be some sort of chemist, I think. Our comradery began because Ryan Gosling somehow came up in conversation between some people in the common room, and I told her how put out I was that Kayla had seen him on the Tube in London that day. Not much later, a man (who is probably in his 60s) from Gloucester came and talked to us about the drunken youth culture in York. He was nice. He and his friends were going on an ale tour, going to pubs and bars that serve “proper ale.” The next people added to the mix were a couple of Americans who were part of a larger group at the hostel came in. THEN this drunk man came in, and he was so entertaining that I couldn’t tear myself away. I couldn’t understand 90% of what he said because his accent was so thick and he spoke so fast.  He said his mum was English, his dad was Scottish, and he grew up in Wales. Apparently he was also a “Geordie,” which is someone from Newcastle/Tyne. He did keep going on about how America saved Britain during the two world wars and how grateful he was. He said that England had never paid America back for the money they borrowed from us during the wars, and then made a joke “So can I borrow ten quid?” Since, you know, he thinks the Brits have a history of borrowing money from Americans that they never have to pay back. He didn’t like it when he asked any of us where we were from and we said where we currently lived and not where we’re actually from (i.e. I live in North Mississippi but was born in Memphis.) Yet again, “Walking in Memphis” came up in the conversation and all the Brits in the room knew it.  He reminds me of Paddy Doherty from My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding in some ways.

Not that any of the men in the common room were threatening, but the Scottish girl and I sort of communicating without words (telepathically?) to indicate that neither of us would leave the other alone with these men. I guess it helped that it happened that we were staying in the same room. “Oh, you’re going on up? I guess I’ll come up with you…” And that’s how Saturday ended for me!

Photos taken with Nikon EM, Olympus XA, and Konica Big Mini 201

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