You would think that after driving for 6 or 7 hours yesterday, that I would be adjusted to driving in the UK. Not so. Before heading to York, we decided to go to the local tourist office for advice. It was just a couple of blocks and a roundabout away. However, it was not easy. Navigating the roundabout, turning into the correct lane, avoiding on coming traffic on narrow roads, whew!
We decided to go to a Park and Ride car park just outside York to avoid driving in downtown. Used the GPS to go to the Monks Cross shopping centre by mistake instead of the Monks Cross Park and Ride car park. Then we got very lost trying to find the park and ride. We finally asked a fellow who took pity on us and drove ahead of us to the car park!
We eventually got downtown around noon.
We found the Yorkminster. The minister was built between 1220 and 1470. It is largest Gothic cathedral in northern Europe. It has impressive stained glass. We climbed the 275 steps to the top of the tower.
After climbing the tower, we dropped by Betty's tea room, which is apparently a Yorkshire institution for their famous bun called a Fat Racal. (I am turning into one, Cathy)
We left York and headed for the Rievaulx Abbey ruins near Helmsley. We got very lost. We got back on track and then came upon a detour. Then we got very lost again. This time we got a chance to drive on some very narrow roads, including some two-way single track roads. Meeting trucks on these roads required a maneuver similar to the night bus scenes in the Harry Potter movies. (Thought we were going to have to pull bits of trees and grass out of the side mirror,Cathy)
Unfortunately we didn't get to the abbey until after it was closed so we just got some photos from a distance. The abbey was founded in 1131 and by the 13th century was home to 150 monks and over 500 lay brothers. It was one of the 850 monasteries and shrines that were closed by Henry VIII during the Reformation (around 1540).
Returned to Pickering without going astray and had a wonderful supper. This is a great area and can say that this B&B is one of the best we have stayed in.
Tomorrow we hope to do some touring of the North Yorkshire Moors before heading further north to Alnwick in Northumberland.
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