We left the train station in York this morning and are currently on our way to Edinburgh. Although our stop in York was pretty brief, we were able to fit in many exciting visits during our time there.
On our first full day in the city, we all rode a bus out to visit the Fountains Abbey, one of the few surviving medieval abbeys in the region. Although it is mostly in ruins now, the abbey still retains its majestic, solemn atmosphere. The mill on the grounds is still in working order, and the water gardens about a half mile away are kept in pristine condition. After having been in the middle of cities for so long, it was refreshing to spend half a day among the trees and gardens.
That evening we all attended a pantomime called Jack and the Beanstalk. In a panto, a story based upon a children's fairy tale is told through song, dance, and dialogue. The panto will often include references to current political events, local places, and famous cultural icons. Although most references probably went over our heads, we did catch nods to the Star Wars universe, Something Rotten!, and Dolly Parton, among others. Because the panto style encourages audience participation, we even got to be part of the show!
The next day, we all went to the York Minster together, a medieval cathedral found in the middle of the city. Being able to see so many examples of religious architecture has been a very neat addition to this trip. The visit only took a couple of hours, so for the rest of the afternoon various groups went to walk along the medieval city wall, explore the streets of York, or to relax in the hotel for our final evening in England.
When we arrive in Edinburgh, we'll head to the guest house and then have a few hours to ourselves before seeing our final show together. It's wild to think that we'll be headed back to the United States on Tuesday! For now, though, we're all excited for this final leg of our trip.