We arrived in Hull, and after a hearty English breakfast went off to see the sites. Trouble was that after a night of rough waves, or maybe it was the bad merlot from dinner, seasickness had set in. Suffering from weakness and the feeling that I needed to go to the bathroom at any moment, plus the shoulder and neck pain that’s been plaguing me for weeks now, it took some effort to gather our stuff and make it out off the boat for the one hour bus ride to York itself. The bus ride as long as it was turned out to be an opportunity for my body to ‘heal’ such that I felt much better when we arrived in slushy, gray York. Welcome to typical English winter weather.
The cold wasn’t that much of a problem and the snow actually gave out a certain charm but walking on treacherous icy sidewalks was dangerous especially for Teko’s 71-year old father. Even taking it slow wasn’t slow enough, it was almost always a disaster-in-waiting just with wandering around. We sought temporary moments of relief in places such as the Minster which was huge and impressive, and in various quaint shops in the old town. The Shambles entirely lived up to its name – though it did remind me a lot of Diagon Alley especially with the sight of Harry Potter-themed stores along it – and the Railway Museum was a sight and our final stop before boarding the bus back to the ship.
I have to say York does charming quite well and JK Rowling is a genius for taking advantage of it – the winding uneven streets, storefronts with cleverly baked goods and wizard wands – it really did feel like the movies were brought to life. Our 6-hour recon of medieval York was short and stressful but a good diversion anyway from our usual year-end rituals of doing nothing and staying home. I see how York can be an attractive destination and it’s sad that we had to experience it under less than ideal conditions but who knows – I may find myself back in Old York if only for a taste of Five Guys.