A weekend away in York. Part 1

Friday 06 February 2015 – York.

El and I had a look at going to York one weekend last year, it was at short notice, but even so 400 pounds for return train tickets was a tad excessive, and rather off putting. We went to Rye instead – and had a really good time. However, York was still high on our must visit list. Just after Christmas I saw an advert from the train company for cheap tickets to York so I grabbed a couple of return first class tickets for a very good price and this weekend we are off.

It has been a very busy month, work has been full on with my project getting good traction, and after some disappointment over the festive season we seem to back on track again. I am still enjoying it in the main, though it is building towards the new implementation date and I can feel the stress building.

Through work and Cyclescheme I have picked myself up a new commuter bike. As it salary sacrificed and I do not have to pay cash for it I have bought a new bike rather than picked up a second hand ride. Through my friend at Walthamstow Cycles I picked up a  Ridgeback Vanteo, with nice mud guards. It looks very serious and grown up.

???????????????????????????????I have ridden it to work a couple of times and it is pretty quick and I really do not regret my choice of buying a bike with gears. I struggled for ages over whether to buy a geared bike or a single speed, but gears and practicality won out over style and I am really glad of that.

I have also joined a team at work to undertake the mission of completing the Oxfam Trailwalker 100km walk in July. I have thought about doing it a couple of times, so when I was asked if I wanted to join a team I did not hesitate. It is great to have a physical goal to aim for and walking means El and I can do some of the training together. Much better than me having to disappear for half the weekend to run or ride. It is a really long way and will require some proper training time – he says sitting on the couch in front of the TV!

In support of my training and finally doing something I have talked about for about 15 years I have signed up with a personal trainer for a few weeks to work on my flexibility and core strength, both of which are close to non-existent. I saw a tweet from someone I follow on Twitter mentioning a local PT – MotionE17 and thought I would check him out. After a working meet up session to discuss what I wanted and what could be done I signed up and have really enjoyed the experience so far. It was good to get what I wanted out of the sessions, something that does not appear to happen with all PTs from what I understand. Happy 🙂

End of the news, back to the start of the York visit !

What can I say about the York trip?  loved it – and I think that sums it up nicely. I took a lot of photos so I will have to split this post into three to fit them all in. That plus the fact it is now over a month later and I just do not have the time at the moment to write qll three posts, but at least all the photos are done.

I met El at Kings Cross Station just before 4:00, unlike on Virgin Trains, our cheap first  class tickets did not get us into the East Coast lounge, so with a bit of time to spare we stopped in at the bar in Kings Cross and had a pre-trip celebratory drink before heading off to the train on platform zero . Platform zero – that is a cool start to a trip!

IMG_1189We took the high speed train to York, there were only a couple of stops so it was a fairly quick trip, lasting almost exactly two hours. We left on time and were soon flying northwards with the sun setting out the very grubby windows.

IMG_1191The journey was good, we had some pretty reasonable food, and a couple of drinks, all covered under the first class ticket and we arrived on time in York at 18:30. We had pre-booked a hotel which was only a ten minute walk from the station so we took a slow stroll, across the river Ouse. almost to the cathedral before heading off to the Churchill Hotel.

IMG_1317The walk from the station had me pretty excited, there were old city walls, an old church and the Cathedral on the darkened sky line.

As a major town, York appeared on the history radar when it became the northern English centre of the Roman Empire in 71AD. It is located at the confluence of the major trading rivers, Ouse and Foss. After the Romans it was a major centre for the Anglo Northumbrians before becoming the capital of Scandinavian Jorvik between 875 – 954, after an initial invasion by Ivar the Boneless in 866. I had to mention that just because he has such a cool name.

The town is small and largely concentrated inside city walls first built by the Romans; it is very walkable and bristling with history. I was really looking forward to the morning….

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Wannabe writer and photographer. Interested in travel and place. From Auckland, New Zealand.

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