Wednesday, September 27, 2006

UK Trip! Sat Sept 2/06

Ah, Sowerby Bridge...

O had to get the car looked at in the morning, so he got up 8ish (on a Saturday, that's just nuts, surely) and took it in. They repaired it quite quickly actually, but then closed up the shop without calling him, so it took him quite a lot of tracking down to get someone to come and open the garage for him so he could get it again! Meanwhile, I slept in and missed the first half of the Rush Bearing Festival, which is something they do up here every year - a bunch of guys get together and drag a cart covered in rushes up and down and around all the twisty turny streets, replacing the rushes on the floors of all the area churches and stopping at every pub on the way.

L made me some breakfast (ooh, bacon & eggs, what a treat - no seriously, it is, I never eat that stuff!) and we relaxed until O came home around 2ish FINALLY with a car that wouldn't kill us, and then we were off to York, a longish drive in the rain, but pleasant.

We parked right beside York Castle - basically a short, squat cylinder - and started wandering the town. We got to the abbey eventually - where they LET YOU take pictures inside, see my Flickr page! - and got our tickets.

Before going around the cathedral itself, we decided to go down to the crypts - not long ago it was discovered that the whole place was in danger or imminent collapse, so they dug down around the foundations to attach these monstrously huge buttresses around the base of each wall with enormously long nut-and-bolt arrangements piercing through the walls, very cool - but while they were doing that, they unearthed all the old walls from the original Roman structures and stuff, so that was great. And of course, no photos allowed in the crypt. Damn. I mean, I could have snuck some photos, but you all know my guilt complex.

So we came back up and meandered around the interior of the church. Except for the lack of murals on the ceiling, it was just as impressive as St Paul's - AND I got to use my camera! I think I took about 150 or so shots just inside the cathedral. Can anyone tell me what's the deal with the headless chicks with the plates doing semaphore? We wanted to climb it too, would have been something like 200 steps, but they were closing soon-ish and we wouldn't have had a good view because of the rain, so we decided against it. So when we DID go outside, once they kicked us all out, of course the weather cleared immediately. Gah. But that's okay, we enjoyed it anyway.

Wandered the streets again for an hour or so, stopped at a café in a teeny little alley for lunch/dinner, got lost trying to find the castle, found it again, and drove back to Sowerby Bridge. Took some photos of the night view above Halifax, but it was really windy so they all turned out somewhat blurry. They still look good though!

When we got back we went to a couple of pubs - the first one was too tiny to move in, so we went to a second one, took quite some time to get something I'd want to drink (you all know I'm fussy) and then relaxed, very nice. Then a rapier dance troupe, complete with travelling musicians and an irish stepdancer, came in and shouted until we all stopped to watch, and they were pretty impressive actually so we all gave them money when the head of the troupe came around with a box on a stick. This never happens at home - if men come into a pub, shout, stomp on the floor and fling each other around, they don't get paid - they get bounced.

When we got home we watched a couple of DVDs and totally fell asleep to them *grin*. Ah, what a place...

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