Today was the second rest day in York. It was nice and sunny this morning so Jos, Patrick and I cleaned bike and oiled chains. Jos and I had tubes to patch so we did this while we drank coffee and relaxed in the sun.
Agnes and I set off to see the York Castle Museum and the downtown area which is called the Shambles. The York Castle Museum is in the old prison which was built in 1068 by William the Conqueror. It operated as a prison in various forms, debtors prison, women’s prison, until 1910. In 1938 John Kirk took it over and turned it into a museum. He had been a local doctor and had taken all sorts of things as payment over the years. Everything from horse tack to fine china was taken and collected. This was placed in the museum. The museum then collected store fronts from around the area to set up a Victorian Street. The lights cycle from day to night and you can go into some of the shops to see people in costume and talk about their business. They have a huge World War One gallery. It is very well done and well kind of scary. There is a “1960’s”gallery with a collection of things from the 1960’s. It was kind of fun watching the visitors gawking at stuff I grew up with. Agnes and I spent about three hours visiting the museum.
After we got out of the museum we hit a tea room for sandwiches and tea. Refueled we strolled down the Shambles which is a medieval street in the center of York. The street is probably no more than 8 feet (2 m) wide. The entire downtown area is a walking area. Agnes and I had lots of fun looking in all of the tourist trap shops at the made in China souvenirs. There was a shop which was called the “The shop which shall not be named”. It sold nothing but Harry Potter paraphernalia. I would have loved to go into the shop but there was a twenty minute line up to get. There was an Air Force military band playing and a fly over of four planes. Before heading home we walked up to the York Abbey which is one of the largest cathedrals in England however it was not open to the public as a service was on.
As the afternoon was getting on we headed on back to the boat. There we sat in the sun and drank a bottle of champagne which the boat owner had given us. The metal deck was really hot and soaking up the warmth was great. A home cooked meal of sausages, salad and rice with strawberries and ice cream for desert topped off a great day.
Tomorrow is a big ride of 75 miles with three major climbs. I think that the majority of the ride is on smaller roads so it should be a god ride.