York – Friday June 22nd, 2007

We got up at 8:00 AM and had breakfast of hashbrowns, blood pudding, eggs and bacon. We then walked the few blocks to the Jorvik Viking Museum. It was impressive and well worth the visit.

This museum has an automated tour in the first section where you ride a chair similar to a ski lift that takes you along different scenes of what York might have looked like during the Viking age. It showed street scenes, domestic scenes, etc. The dwellings shown had thatched roofs and mud packed timber. At the end of the ride is the next section where you get out of the moving chair and walk through displays with skeletons showing battle injuries, pelvic punctures, shattered skulls, chipped femurs etc. Life as a Viking was not easy.
The museum also showed iron bowls, cups and iron tools. Coins were also shown and there was a chap there playing the part in a Viking village and minted a couple of coins but pointed out that any man caught making coins from pewter instead of silver would get his hand cut off. I wonder if the Royal Canadian Mint would do that.
Since we also wanted to see York Minster before heading to Stirling, Scotland we couldn’t spend a lot of time at the museum. It was a full day.

York Minster
Walking from the Jorvik museum to York Minster, we passed a Subway restaurant so we bought lunch and brought it with us to the Minster. We ate it on the steps before going in. York Minster is the largest Cathedral in North-west Europe. It was one of the tallest and longest I’ve seen. The stone is a sandy brown colour, with a central transcept that seemed close to two hundred feet high. Higher than any I could remember in England, France or Spain. One wall of the transcept was almost entirely stained glass in five panels. The choir wasn’t as intricately carved as some of the Cathedrals in Spain but was just as beautiful in its own way.

On to Stirling
When we finished touring the cathedral we headed back to the car park and were on the road headed to Stirling by about 4:00 PM. It took us longer than expected and we didn’t arrive in Stirling at our B&B until 10:30 that evening. What surprised us was there was still a little twilight left due to the northern latitude.
The route we followed from York was the A1 to Newcastle, then the A696/A68 to Jedburgh, and past Edinburgh then the A9 to Stirling.

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