So long, Scotland, hello, England, and hello to the largest Medieval Gothic cathedral in Northern Europe, and it’s a giant. You can seat 2000 in the nave, then hold services for another few hundred in the choir, which is as big as a pretty big church all by itself. You can see it from the street at left. And,thanks to your intrepid mountain goat seventy-somethings, who clambered up 274 very steep (I could put my hand out at shoulder level and touch the fifth stair up in front of me) steps, you can also see it from about halfway up (watch those buttresses fly) and from the the tippy top.
Here’s Susanne taking a well-earned victory lap.
And the two of us enjoying a very English luncheon of Pea and Mint Soup with wheaten bread. Sounds a bit yukky and not too celebratory, I know, but you had to be there.
You might or might not be wondering about the title of this posting. Well. Even if you know nothing of English history, you’ve probably heard of the war of the roses. York was on the red rose side. Richard III. They lost, but almost 500 years later, they’ve never quite gotten over the idea that it should have turned out the other way. And, lest you think this is just an irrelevant history lesson stuck into an entertainment piece by a pedantic academic, turn to the picture on the right. York was the birthplace of one Guy Fawkes, whose mustachioed mask is one of the most prevalent disguises of current day anarchists. You night not be able to see it well through the center pane, but you’d recognize it, and those wearing it celebrate Fawkes’ failed “Gunpowder Plot”, an attempt to blow up the English parliament in 1605 and regain the throne for the forces of the Red Rose. So the next time you see one of those white masks with the weird mustaches, know that it’s reference is over 400 years old.
Not quite so old as that, but still a bit ancient are some of the handsome machines in the fantastic railroad museum here. It makes the collection in the fine museum in Sacramento, CA, look puny, and it covers a much greater span of history. However, our Jamestown, CA museum offers rides on steam-engline pulled trains, a history of movies shot on site, and tours by excellent docents. Still, none
of these photos conveys the massiveness of the place.
In addition to being a history town, York is a shopping town. Often, when Shakespeare wanted a country bumpkin character, this north country was the source. Even into the restoration with William Wycherly’s Country Wife, London Society saw this as the outlands. No longer. And we spent a lot of time proving it. After a shoe-searching odyssey the best result, perhaps of the trip, as far as I’m concerned is this simple little scarf. Ain’t it–and she–a dandy?