Trip to York

Yesterday we went on a day trip to York for our International Studies course that we’re taking with Mark Johns here in England. It was a really fun trip. It feels like we must have spent more than a single day there. We just saw and did so much! I think that really is one of the best parts about our flat trips. We manage to do so much in so little time. We climbed on our bus for York at 8am on Saturday morning. This gave us yet another chance to see our funny bus driver, Bob, and hear more of his interesting stories. Each trip we have a few students who are assigned as ‘experts’ about particular places that we can see while we’re there and so these students research and then present a small speech about the place they were assigned. This time I was assigned to be an expert on York Minster. On the bus ride those of us who were assigned to be experts gave our little speeches in order to prep everyone else for everything we’d be seeing in just a few hours. The best part about these assignments is that unlike EVERY other report I’ve done in my career as a student, these speeches are followed by the opportunity to actually SEE and experience what you researched. Everything that you read comes to life in front of you. All of the stories and facts become real places and things. I love being able to see and experience everything that I’ve read so much about. On arrival in York we met up with a tour guide in order to get a walking tour of the city. Our tour ended up being much longer than we expected, but the tour guide knew SO MUCH about what he was talking about so it was very fun and interesting. He brought us all over the city to many historic places and had plenty of facts and stories to tell. My favorite part about the tour was that the tour guide kept saying things like “Oh this is a pretty new building, it was built just 200 years ago” or “This is a very modern building, it was built just in 1770.” I couldn’t help but laugh. He was calling these places modern and new when they were about as old as my country! Haha. Following the tour we all went separate ways towards the museums we were most interested in seeing. I was so excited for the “Jorvik Museum,” a Viking museum, that I just walked off without a thought in my head about where my lunch was. By the time it hit me that I didn’t see Michelle, who was carrying my backpack with my lunch inside. I freaked out, ran back to the place I’d last seen her and then had yet another freak out moment as I realized that I had no idea where the group I had been walking with had gone. I stood like a stupid American looking left and right and forward and back until Elise grabbed me by the arm and started pulling me back towards the rest of the group. Thank goodness she decided to stay behind and wait for me. We caught up with Chelsey, Noah and Julia and went to a small coffee shop for some warm beverages. (It was really chilly in York. The wind just whipped you around.) I had a nice big cup of Caffe Latte and a raspberry and white chocolate muffin. Yes, that was my lunch for the day… Then we walked over to the Jorvik Museum. The Jorvik Museum was quite a bit of fun. The first half of the museum was a ride through a set-up that showed what that exact spot probably looked like back in Viking days. It was stocked with creepy, moving people, disgusting smells and interesting facts to go along with it all. (The ride was pretty fun too if I do say so myself.) The second half was all exhibits where you could take a look at actual artifacts that they found and then read all about the research they’ve done on that artifact and others like it. There were time-lines, interactive computers and stories throughout it as well, so it ended up being pretty good review for the “Blood and Treasure” Viking course that I’m taking at the Uni. The queue for the Jorvik Museum was really long, so we had a long time to just look around and enjoy our surroundings. This included cute children, quaint shops and a man with a guitar singing “Hit me baby one more time.” It was a pretty picturesque surrounding. Haha. At one point I saw a woman walking by with a huge fox skin around her neck. I was just about to point her out to everyone else thinking she was an everyday Brit (they often wear ridiculous fur coats in England) when she started creepily peering over Julia’s shoulder. Then she just sparked up a conversation with Julia and it became obvious that she was just an employee of the museum. Apparently she asked Julia if she was going to be doing some invading today to which Julia said she was. She then asked Julia where her sword was, showed Julia her own sword and then asked if she knew of anyone who might be any trouble. Julia pointed to Noah, of course, and they set about bartering a price for him. At this point we had all come in to the conversation and were very ready to find a price to get rid of Noah. At first we said a sword, but no, a sword was too much for him. Then we said sheep, but she was not going to trade sheep for him. She finally said “Well, how about three chickens?” Chelsey, being the fair trader that she is, said “Well, we could probably trade him for just two.” And so it was settled. Haha. I think it would have been a pretty fair trade too. (Kidding, Noah.) After the museum we decided to walk around the Shambles in York. This is a little street that has not changed much since the fourteenth century where once butchers displayed their meat. In fact, if you look carefully, hooks still hang from a lot of the buildings. We had fun wandering through little shops for a while. There were all kinds of interesting treasures to be found. Then we headed to the Treasurer’s House, a National Trust Site, where we got to see the house of Frank Green. It was very funny and interesting. Frank Green was a man who came into money through an invention, something about hot water, that his father invented. He used this money to do ridiculous things such as send his clothes to London for simple washing and decorate the Treasurer’s House. The man had no taste and so the whole house is a funny attempt at style. It was definitely worth the stop. At the end of the tour of the house you enter a section of the house that was lived in by a lawyer for the last 40 years who just passed away this year. Now these rooms hold a bathtub wish well with water dyed blue, a huge photo of Frank Green and a room of dress up for children. Elise, Chelsey and I may have had a little too much fun playing dress-up… Next we met up with everyone else for Evensong in York Minster. It was a beautiful church inside and I was so glad to see all of the things that I had researched. Most of all I enjoyed seeing all of the medieval glass that York Minster is so known for! It was pretty incredible! Then we all split up for dinner and I went with Julia, Noah, Michelle, Kennedy and Sarah to a little Italian restaurant and had really really good pizza. I tried really hard to understand what all of the workers were saying in Italian, but I still have A LOT to learn. Haha Then we met up at our starting spot so that we could get back on the bus and travel the 2 hours back to Nottingham. It was a great day in York. I think I may have to go back some time in the next eight or so months. Cheers ladies and gents

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