Walking a Kiwi around York

An early start for a Saturday as I had to pick up Sarah from Leeds station at 9:35. I met her in London when I was couchsurfing with Lynne, and she said that she hadn’t seen the north of the country yet. A shame, as it’s far better than flipping London, so I invited her up for a weekend.

The weather was nippy but clear skies meant it was nice for a walk, and we drove to York where we tried to find somewhere relatively inexpensive to park. Realising that this was wishful thinking, we settled on a place that charges £4 all day and walked into the city centre.

York’s a lovely place and an ideal city to take visitors from outside the UK. Durham’s another favourite of mine, but York is more convenient from Leeds. The Minster is a wonderful building, but unlike most other cathedrals in the UK (and Europe) costs money to get inside. We just admired the stonework and wandered around the narrow streets.

The ramparts are good for a stroll and we circled the city on them, stopping briefly at a souvenir shop where the owner proved to be a very chatty and interesting bloke. We also spent a while in the gardens, laughing at squirrels running round with mouths stuffed full of nuts. Well, it’s getting to that time of the for the little blighters to start storing and nesting.

We settled on a nice pub outside of the central area for lunch and chatted for well over an hour before making our way back to the car and into Bradford. There we dropped our stuff at Kim’s and made our way to the centre where a completely free and secure parking space awaited us at the train station – thank you Chunky and GNER!

The train into Hebden Bridge was swift and packed. The local Rotary organisation put on a very impressive fireworks display each year. Unfortunately, we were too late to make it for the pre-fireworks festivities (rides, sideshows, hog roasts etc) but were in good time for the display itself. With a drink inside us and a warm feeling from Britain beating New Zealand 44-0 in the rugby (not that I care, but I just had to keep mentioning it to Sarah), we watched around £50,000 being blown up in a variety of pretty colours.

As the cold started to bite, we located another fairly empty pub and enjoyed a couple more beers until Chunky called to say he was finished work and we met him at the station for a lift to the Gasworks in Bradford. We didn’t stay long, but as ever I bumped into one or two people I’ve not seen for almost two years. Sarah had been out on the pop the night before, and had managed an hour’s sleep before catching the train, so not too long afterwards, we hopped in a taxi back to Kim’s and crashed out.

Oh, and thanks to Steve for the extra duvet as Kim only had one spare one!

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