York, Day the Second

The second day in York I went back to all the places I had been on the ghost tour to see them in the daylight. I saw Shambles Street, which was the film inspiration for Diagon Alley in Harry Potter. It's original purpose was the butchers street, which meant that it was generally full of rotting meat. Pleasant eh?

The joke is that you can shake hands across the upper windows of this building, though apparently that only works if there are extra people hanging on the ankles of the shakers. The distance is just a little too much.

The Golden Fleece is reputed to be the most haunted pub in York, though I can't remember any actual stories from it.

This column is a remnant from Roman days. York is the furthest north the Romans went in their quest to rule the world. The column was found and erected beside the minster. There is an administration building near by, and there is a legion of Roman ghosts in the basement. They trudge wearily, only half of their bodies visible, as they are walking on the origional road through the village, which is two feet bellow the floor. Creepy!

I saw this man playing the piano in a square. You can see the minster in the background. He had wheeled his piano out and taken off the top. He was playing jazz. It was so cool to be able to hear the live piano being played outside. You see violins and guitars all the time, but a piano is a lot harder to move.

I went to Duttons for Buttons, a lovely shop full of nothing but buttons! I bought ... a fair amount. I would show you them, but I left them in Toronto when I went home. They are all very lovely though, and the ladies at the shop were very nice.

This building is a shrine to a St. Margaret. She hid Catholic priests during the Reformation and was beheaded. This house, on Shambles St. was the one that she lived in and hid the priest in. It's a regular little house, completely unremarkable, until you look a little closer. Then you get an unexpected surprise.

Back in the day theses cat statues had been put up to ward off bad luck. This one, including the pigeon, are old. There is also a modern architect who likes to put them on his buildings, as a throw back to the old tradition.

In the afternoon I hoped on a train and went to Durham, where I met up with my friend Catherine. She generously let me sleep on her floor (twice) and showed me around the lovely city that is Durham. There is another impressive cathedral there, of which I took a few photos. Unfortunately we got there just too late to go up the tower, but it was a gorgeous and warm day, so it was nice to just be able to walk around outside.

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