Return to York, and meeting Uncle Len

Trip Start Jul 04, 2006
Trip End Jan 16, 2007

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Monday, November 20, 2006

G'day all. We have just woken up, Monday 27th November and are back in Elland at my mate Tony's place. It has been about a week since our last update, as we have been on the move constantly since then, and have not had access to the internet during that time. Got a fair bit to tell, so be prepared for a few blog entries over the next couple of days. We start where we are now, in Elland some eight days ago.

November 19th Sunday,
Last night we stayed at Dolly's sister, Nuala's place. Nuala was away at a show and was then staying with another sister, so we had the place to ourselves. First thing this morning she came home especially to cook us a hot breakfast before we head off. Their family always amazes us as they can never do enough for you.
After brekky we traveled from Elland to York which is only about an hour away, and after we had parked the car we went straight to the tourist office to arrange accommodation for tonight. Once that was organized we had a quick look around at some of York's amazing shops and streets before heading back to collect the car around 1.00pm and move it from the car park to the B&B we have booked as we can now get into our room. Once settled into our B&B we went for a walk around the historic wall that surrounds York. It is only a few kilometers so it shouldn't take us too long; however after stopping umpteen times for photos and to take in the sights, it seems to take us a lot longer than it should which is not unusual for us. I will let the photos tell the story as I'm sure they will tell it better than I ever could. The weather here is icy cold at the moment and it definitely feels like snow is in the air, so to warm up we decide to stop at one of the lovely coffee shops. One of the customers there said that it wouldn't snow because rain was in the air (we will see).
Next we are off to the York Minister, and today we are going to explore the Undercroft. Below ground are the remains of a Roman fortress (photography is not allowed so you could see if you can get some pictures off the internet) and the footing of an old Roman road. Viking, Norman, and medieval carvings, together with treasures and jewels of past archbishops are all here and it is truly amazing. Some of the carvings are so intricate you wonder how they have lasted after so many hundreds of years. The crypt is still used today for special services and is the final resting place of Saint William of York. We had a fabulous few hours before heading back to our room for a shower and a sit down before going out for tea. The weather hadn't improved at all and while we were having tea it started to rain (the lady in the coffee shop was right), so we had to stay in the pub a little longer than planned.
When we got home I phoned my Uncle Len who is my Dad's brother. I have never met him before so it felt a bit strange to hear this voice that sounds just like my Dad on the other end of the phone. We organized to meet him tomorrow at about 5 o'clock so that will be for me a bit scary and I'll let you all know how it goes tomorrow.

November 20th Monday'

After a full English breakfast we head out for a big day in the city of York. We are off to the Yorkshire Museum and Gardens (York's first and finest museum) that are set in the most beautiful gardens in the heart of York and lie on the banks of the River Ouse. The museum is home to some of the most fascinating archeology in the region as well as many squirrels that captivated Brian and I as we walked through the museum gardens. Also in the gardens are some of the most amazing ruins of an old cathedral we have seen anywhere and hopefully you will all think so to when you see the amazing photos Brian took. Inside the museum the history was extensive starting from if I remember rightly about the year AD76 to around the 1600's. You can't possibly remember everything that you read and see as there is just too much in the museum to fully take in, but one thing that stuck in my mind happened in the year AD122. The Roman Emperor Claudius invaded southern Britain in AD43, although it was not until AD80 that Roman legions occupied the north of England. Commencing in AD122 the then Roman Emperor Hadrian built a wall almost 80 miles long that stretched across the narrowest part of England to "separate the Romans from the Barbarians" of the north, a feat it achieved for over 250 years. We are going to see the wall tomorrow and I will tell you why this is significant then. We end up spending more hours in the museum than we had planned, but again that is nothing unusual for us. We had another walk around the City of York and visited some sites and attractions that we had not been to before that included some fascinating medieval streets. After that as it was getting dark Brian walked me back to the B&B so that I could have a quick shower and get ready to go out that evening to visit my Uncle Len. While I was doing this, Brian went out an hour or so to go back to the York Minster for another quick look at some parts we had not yet seen.
Off to Len's, and when we get there we drive him to his daughter's as Uncle Len has bad eyes he can no longer drive. This is the first time I have met my Uncle Len he is my dad's younger brother. He was in his late 20's when we left England, I was only little so I reminded him that I was the cute one in the family. It was a great visit and I now have a few questions to ask dad when I get home. Len told me mum was born in Sligo, Ireland which I didn't know, and he also showed me a photograph of my grandfather, and as far as I can remember I have never seen one before. My uncle George back in Australia looks remarkably like my grandfather. Uncle Len wants to keep in contact and now that we have met I will definitely keep writing to him.
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