Saturday, 11th November 2006

Virginia and I spent a long weekend in York, an old city with Roman / Anglo-Saxon / Viking and Norman pasts. York is haunted by old buildings and walls and ruins and history. Ghosts too to judge by the number of "Ghost Walks" on offer.

We first went and saw the National Railway Museum. Being able to see such a range of engines in one place is great, technology in that era looked so good with all the levers and dials and tubes, but the highlight for me was the warehouse of railway related material. Items from china to clocks to models of liners. In their heyday the railway companies not only had trains and lines but also hotels and ships. We visited York Minster after the Remembrance Day services. I climbed the tower (275 steps, very narrow spiral staircase) to see the eagle-eye view over York. My knees and I wondered if I would make it up! Surreal was the Chapter House, with the seats set into the octagonal stone walls.

We saw the interesting Victorian Street in the York Castle Museum, and took the ride in the Jorvik Viking Centre. This well-done ride through a mockup of Viking York (which they called Jorvik) reminded me of the better rides in Disneyworld Epcot (now mostly replaced by rollercoaster routines.) The staff had good information to impart. I learnt of a Viking board game called "Hnefatafl". One does live and learn.