Today was spent within York. The day started off with a walk along the city walls. A tour of the Micklegate Bar museum was taken soon thereafter at 10:00. In the museum, we were able to try on many different costumes and helmets. History says that Richard the Butcher placed a duke’s head on a pike outside the bar.
A tour of the Treasurer’s house was taken after Micklegate. This included living accommodations from the 14th through 20th centuries. We were able to do a bit of time traveling to see how living was from century to century. Three houses were bought by a wealthy Englishman and turned into one giant house.
The Jorvik Viking center was one of the highlights of the day. We were taken on a ride with animatronics showing how the Vikings lived and how markets and society functioned. Human skeletons were showcased in glasses. Wounds from weapons were featured and shown on the skeleton. Weapons and armor reproductions, leather and wood artifacts, and a preserved cellar wall were a few more of the attractions featured in the museum.
York Minster was the highlight of the day. This was the first cathedral we had visited during our trip. The amount of detail in the architecture was amazing. The height of the vaulted ceilings in the nave of the cathedral was incredible. One of the highlights of the minster was the tower tour. We traveled up a spiral staircase (a LOT of steps) to a middle platform. This was at the height of the transept towers. We stopped to take some great pictures and continued our way up a separate spiral staircase. This one led to the high central tower of the minster (google a picture!). The roof was incredibly windy! Gusts of wind would blow you back a step each time. We were able to get some good pictures, and the view was incredible. We were able to see for miles around.
To finish off the day, we had High Tea. This is a big cultural icon that we had not yet experienced. The food was delicious and the tea strong (just the way I like it!). We were served a three tier tray, along with two pots of tea. The first (lower) tier of the tray included small finger sandwiches. Smoked salmon, ham, egg salad, and chicken breast were the sandwiches served. Egg salad was my favorite. The second tier included a scone with clotted cream and strawberry jam. The clotted cream tasted like light, slightly sweet, butter. The strawberry jam was by far my favorite part of this tier. The combination of the scone and jam was delicious. The third tier of our High Tea included our desserts: chocolate cake, macaroon, and a tart. The chocolate cake was extremely rich, and a bit too thick for my tastes. The lemon macaroon was tasty. The tart was also yummy. Overall, the scone was my favorite part of the tea.
York Minster was my favorite part of the day, and I look forward to seeing more cathedrals in the future due to their well preserved and intricate designs. The tower view was well worth the climb!