Day 7 - The Past and Present Riches of York
The DFDS Princess Seaways docked early this morning in Newcastle, England. What's really nice about DFDS is that you can stay in your room right up until the ship arrives. We had a really nice buffet breakfast with a table by the window so that we could see some of the many seaside villages along the way.
We are staying for three nights in York which is a really lovely historic town. Towering above the town is their own version of the London Eye Ferris wheel, but it really doesn't detract from the historic nature of he town.
Our first stop on our exploration of the town was The Yorkshire Museum. On the grounds, people were out relaxing in the sun with a picnic and exploring the ruins of an old abbey that dates back to the 11th century. From a distance it looked like a garden fair was taking place, but it was actually an event called Wild Wednesday which was a series of hands-on science and history activities to help children five and under engage with museum collections and learn by play.
Inside the museum it was like following a timeline into its past. There were skeletons of prehistoric fish, a dodo bird skeleton which wasn't from here, and many Roman ruins. There were four beautiful statues that had been in the abbey in the 11th century and were discovered when excavating a building where they had been used as base stones. Many of the pieces had the most fascinating stories of discovery. There was an old sword a dog had found recently in the mud and brought it to a five year old boy which is priceless. They also had boar broche worn by King Richard III whose body was discovered recently under a parking lot. They showed a video about how they were able to determine his appearance through the use of technology looking at his skull. They were delighted to discover that he looked just like his portrait which was painted 500 years ago.
Walking around the town this evening I saw many wonderful shops. The York Minster was beautifully illuminated. We met a nice couple from Berlin and spent some time with them at an old fashioned pub lit by candlelight learning about their life growing up in Germany. They too love York. The historic part of this town is truly beautiful. At the museum they said, "York has 4,000 years of history. Go out into the city and make it your own." I think I'll do just that tomorrow.