Day One of York (Official Post)

Today we started our journey by getting on a train to York. My first impression of York was different then what I had experienced in Edinburg. The people here are very relaxed and easy going. It was a busy day though cause many people were out and about shopping, going to the market, visiting friends, or even celebrating some exciting event that is happening in the lives. One thing I find very interesting is that everyone is so welcoming, not that I didn’t picture that before but was happy to see that the people are actually super nice. After making a quick visit to the hostel to drop our luggage off, we started walking into town. As we were walking into town, I noticed that all the shops are very close and tight. Most of the stores we saw from the outside are clean and tidy which makes it easy for customers to do their shopping. First stop we made in town was at a local take away bakery. At this point we were all pretty hungry so we were happy to see food in front of us. We all ended up eating a Cornish pastry. I tried the steak and potatoes pastry and I thought it as really good. It definitely had hit the stop and honestly, I could eat another one. As I was admiring the other pastries that were in the window, I noticed that most of them are relatively big in proportions, like you could share with someone if you wanted or keep to yourself.

We went to two different medieval historic sites; Micklegate Bar (Henry VII) and Monkgate Bar (Richard III). Both of these places were very interesting in their own ways but also had many similarities. Most of the Micklegate Bar was amazing, what I thought was unique and stood out to me was the section on sanitation, caring for the sick, and seeing what ingredients they used to make certain medicines back then. During the time of Henry VII’s reign, most of the time, the city was dirty and smelly but from what history tells us, they tried to get it under control but that just wasn’t that happening. They narrowed it down to four areas in which could use some improvements, such as; refuse disposal, sewage disposal, pollution, and securing a pure water supply. Hospitals at the time were dirty as well, so people decided to cure their patients in their homes instead. As we walked through the streets, you can tell they it is hard to keep the streets clean and that there are many chemicals going through the air. As we look st today, sanitation has definitely changed but the air is pretty dirty and smelly. One thing to keep in mind is that it was hard to control it back during medieval times but today can be controlled better today.

Walking along the York City Walls was one of my favorite things we did today. The walls extend for two & a half miles and encloses an area of 263 acres. The remains that are located among these walls signify the limits and indicates the size of the settlement within them for over the past 1800 years or so. The walls include all four of the original gates: Walmgate Bar, Monk Bar, Bootham Bar, and Micklegate Bar. One thing I really noticed about the walls is that the medieval structure really stands out. The structure of the walls are detailed and fun to walk around since you got to see what is inside and what is outside of the walls. One of the most fascinating things about the walls was that it was built during the reign of Henry VII, which was constructed in 1490s. The structure of the tower was built in bricks instead of stones. The walls are beautiful and if I was living in York I would be walking on those walls everyday if I could.

The last stop we made was at Betty’s. Betty’s is a tea room and we had the traditional afternoon tea, which consisted of: Betty tea room blend, four different kinds of small triangle sandwiches, a scone with jelly, and there pastry deserts. My personal favorite was the salmon sandwich and the lemon macaroon. The tea settings as so elegant and classy, which brings up a question about how was the tea sessions during the medieval times? I would have loved to experience how they had tea in the afternoons. It was a great way to end the day and definitely look forward to my next afternoon tea experience.

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