The last historic town in the United Kingdom that we journeyed to was York. This was after nearly three weeks of fun and enjoyable education in Red Hill, London, Oxford, Stratford-upon-Avon, and Edinburgh during the Arts Festival entitled the Fringe.
As we were setting high in the viewing stands, next to the Castle, to watch the Royal Military Tattoo in Edinburgh…I could feel myself coming down with a cold. You know the feeling…a creeping malaise…accompanied by a runny nose and a sore throat…and a cough.
So we enjoyed very much the tremendous show…and returned back to our flat extremely chilled!
York, is fascinating! When we arrived I was is some disbelief that we were staying behind a large iron gate that was just behind the Minster. I hate to admit that I first thought that the great cathedral was called the York Minister? I soon discovered my American error.
The York Minster is the Cathedral and Metropolitical church of St. Peter. The denomination is the Church of England and the Churchmanship is Anglo-Catholic. It is one of the largest in Northern Europe. York has had a christian presence since the fourth century. “The church was damaged in 1069 during William the Conquerers’ harrying of the North, but the first Norman Archbishop, Thomas of Bayeux, arriving in 1070, organized repairs,” according to Wikipedia.
We stayed in the Garden House just behind the gate that is just behind the Minster. It was a lovely flat with the most unique stairs. We were told that they had been uncovered during the excavation for the basement of the flat and that they dated back at least 600 years.
I watched the most intriguing British Television Program entitled, “Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell” which was based on the best selling novel by Susanna Clarke, that began in York. The time setting was during the Napoleonic Wars and began with a Magicians Guild in York and the spellbinding conjuring of Mr. Norrell upon bringing to life busts in the Minster.
The Minster had the most resonate majestic bell that sounded on the hour and that we could enjoy fully due to our proximity.
On our last night in York my dear friend Jeff had asked me to accompany him to an evening designed to introduce him to prospective employees in his business, in Leeds. This turned out to be one of my most memorable events during my three weeks in the United Kingdom. Jeff and I have been friends for 45 years…and I was struck with the malleability of time! He asked me to say a few words about our beginnings as friends…and it was as if the 45 years had evaporated.
I met some wonderful, sweet people in Leeds and their kindness to me was enriching.
York has a mystical quality about it. It is as if you are communing with many souls that were there in earlier times.
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell would say that it was magical!