Tuesday, January 25, 2011

York, Day Two

Sunday morning; A flapjack, coffee and the paper.  trying to get artistic with the photos.
What's a flapjack?  As best as I can tell it's a little buckwheat and oat bar.  Kind of like wet granola.  Not bad, tastes healthy.

First stop, the Yorkshire museum.  This poor little Viking fellow was killed in a sword fight.  Stabbed in the pelvis, slashed across the ribs, smashed forearm, jaw broken in 2 places.  He finally died from a blow to the back of the head that cut the top of his skull off.
Somehow I don't see the Renaissance Fair crowd being that dedicated to sword play....

Thylacine skull.  The Tasmanian Tiger is one of those modern extinction stories you see on discovery.  There's video footage of them being hunted or in zoos (like the one here) but they're all extinct now, heartbreaking. This one's here because it died in a local zoo.
In the same exhibit they discuss the conflict between the Grey Wolves being reintroduced to Scotland and the local farmers and sheep herders.  Wasn't it the sheep herders that killed them all off in the first place (and ruined the ecosystem with their fuzzy, devil eyed vermin)?  I don't get it.
We killed off all of the Thylacine's but artificially support non-viable species because they're cute.  Damn Dirty Panda's!

There's a project going on now to reintroduce the Great Bustard to the UK.  They're frickin' huge, nest on the ground and probably taste delicious.

Interesting trivia learned at the museum:  Little bee's fired into the porcelain glaze on urinals give gents an aiming point to prevent splattering their shoes.  Biologists giggle that the scientific name for bees is "apis".

On the grounds near the gardens are the ruins of the St. Mary's Abbey.  Destroyed during the rule of Henry VIII.  To be honest, they're a little creepy.

Next to the Abbey, St. Olave's church and graveyard.

York is surrounded by a stone wall that dates back to Roman (200's) times.  The alleyways next to the walls are called snickleways and you can walk around the entire city either on the wall, or next to it on the snickleway.

York Minster is the largest Gothic cathedral in England.

In the catacombs beneath the cathedral you can see the remnants of a Roman fort, Saxon church, Norman Church and finally the Medieval Cathedral of York Minster.  Keep in mind that York was the center of the Anglican Church under Henry VIII and therefore the ruling power of England.

An excavation down to the Roman waterways that still flow beneath the Minster.  The street height steadily grew as new infrastructure was built on top of the old ruins and cemeteries.

A Roman sarcophagus found beneath the Minster during excavation.  Note the drain hole in the middle. 

Because the medieval church was built on top of the Roman, Saxon and Norman abbey's and tombs (yes tombs) the old foundation began to sink jeopardizing the church and spires.  Yes, the church was threatened to collapse by the decaying tombs beneath.
In the catacombs the foundation has been reinforced by massive concrete pilings and hundreds of stainless steel rods.

Outside a statue of Constantine the Great (not Keanu) who was the first Christian Emperor of Rome.  Proclaimed as Emperor upon his father's death here in York in 306.  He didn't return to Rome for 3 more years.

Hey, that tower looks tall.  I wonder how many steps there are to the top?

The East window, a sea of stained glass 76 feet tall is undergoing restoration.  Below is the work area for masons reproducing the original stonework.

Outside of the East window. 

Thanks to the previous nights dinner (hotel pizza) I had to go find some Tums before tackling the tower.  Just then (as the Sun. morning service let loose) a guy shows up with a piano on casters.  It was kind of cool hearing Viva La Vida walking out of the church on a Sun. morning.  "I hear Jerusalem Bells a ringing, Roman Cavalry choirs are singing"
You know how I know you're gay?  You're humming Coldplay right now.

119 steps.

York has resident populations of Tumbler pigeons.  You'd never notice until you see one plummet towards the ground like a fainting goat only to recover before impact and flying off.

Chapter House Street from 156 additional steps upwards.

Inside the cathedral.

250 years to complete the Minster.  I don't want to hear any bitching about the 10 year old hole in the ground in New York city.

I attempted to use the panoramic function of my camera, and failed.

When I first walked into the cathedral Sunday services were in progress.  The sound was amazing (I have video of that too).

After that workout I felt that God wanted me to have a beer and to be happy.  At the third pub, collecting my free t-shirt and having some shepherds pie.


  1. Kind of looks like the Wonka Factory should be off in the distance somewhere with all those red roofs.

    I wonder if those piegons ever fall to their death??? If they do, it would be hard to tell which ones just didn't wake up and which ones just had enough and commited suicide. I guess somethings are better left unanswered, its easier on the family that way. Chris P