York! Where the Vikings and Saxons are there to greet you.

Laura Althorpe is a senior at CSU and will be exploring her English heritage at University of Leicester for the Spring semester of 2014. You can visit her blog directly here: http://leicesterlass.wordpress.com/.

[Originally posted February 26, 2014]

Last weekend I took a day trip to York with the same tour group which did the London tour at the beginning of my trip. We took a coach up to York which is north of Leicester by about 2 hours. Unfortunately we left a bit late from Leicester and then left from York quite early in the day so I only got to spend about 5 hours there. I had some friends who went there for a weekend at the beginning of the month and now I wish I had done that because I barely scratched the surface of York.

York was amazing because it has some of the oldest history in England. That might sound silly because England is so old, but what I mean by that is that this history is preserved in York. The original Roman wall still surrounds most of the city and is so well cared for that you can actually walk on the top of it (which I didn’t get to do, sadly).

We arrived in York at around 11 am on Saturday and our very cheery tour guide Claire, took us Snickeling! What Snickeling is, is using all of the small alleyways between buildings, which are called Snickelways, to cut through the busy York streets so that you can cut out some of the bustle and noise and get different views of various sights. We did this first to get to York Minster. We cut through a Snickelway and emerged on the west side of the Minster to a much quieter and calmer side street from which we saw this view:

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Following the Minster we ventured into the very busy streets of York where we found the Red Imp, and some of the busiest and smallest streets of York (again, think Diagon Alley) where you can “shake hands across the street”. You can clearly tell that these streets were once meant for horse drawn carts, and we even saw a few of them! Along with the mess they made.

The Red Imp

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Also going on in York that day was the annual Viking festival. We managed to catch a glimpse of the Vikings and the Saxons marching through the streets on their way to reenact a battle. This was fun to see (reminded me a bit of an Anime convention!) but it made things much more crowded.

After that the tour split up for awhile and my friends Max, Maxime and I went and got some lunch from the market. We met back up with the tour group after some additional wandering and we hit up the National Railway Museum to finish up the day. Trains aren’t completely my bag, baby, but it was quite interesting. We got to see a lot of the royal trains used by many of Britain’s past and present Monarchs, as well as the Hogsmeade train from Harry Potter. Hogwarts, anyone?

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After that we headed back to the bus and got back to Leicester so it was a really quick day in York. I don’t regret going but now I have yet another place on my list of “Places to visit again”. I guess that’s just part of the fun of all this traveling!

Max, Me, and Maxime outside of York Minster

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How Amanda Spent a Weekend in England

This weekend I hiked the Yorkshire Dales with my best friends. It was the best weekend I could ever ask for. We treated ourselves to a bed and breakfast with the BEST beds ever; it felt like I was sleeping on a cloud. This time, we actually all had a bed too (which is rare, usually we find someone on the floor or in the bath tub). The bed and breakfast included a breakfast full of organic, free-range, and homemade food. We had a traditional English breakfast and the best hand-pressed coffee in the world.

On Saturday, we milled around town and had lunch at an adorable pub in Leeds. We made a new friend, a local drunk guy, who bought us a whole bottle of red wine! I’m not usually a fan of red wine, but it was delicious! Then, we hopped a train to Skipton and ate some dinner in town after a long nap. I had the best red snapper in the world and the price didn’t end up being too bad, because I shared it with Kendall.

The next day, we took a taxi to Malham and hiked around (see pictures). It was BEAUTIFUL and I died a little inside, missing the nature and beauty from back home. Colorado makes it ridiculously easy to enjoy nature and beauty, because it’s right outside your door step. It was freezing, so our hike was cut a bit short. It was well worth every penny spent to see a bit of nature for a day. 

We ate lunch in town, had some hot cocoa, and headed home. It was a refreshing weekend of good sleep, good food, and good conversation ❤

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Amanda is a junior studying journalism and technical communication at CSU.  She is attending the University of Leicester for the spring 2013 term.  

Amanda arrives in England

What a day! I finally arrived into Heathrow today after an 8 hour flight with a slight delay that had me panicked.

Anyway, finally got my Travelex card and some currency. The exchange rate still baffles me and I swear they use Monopoly money over here; it isn’t real! From there, I met a ton of study abroad kids from around the US and Canada. We chatted and everyone is super friendly! We are all in the same boat which is a nice change of pace from my other international encounters. Usually, I’m the only person with a zillion questions. Now, we all have em!

Anyway, we all went to ASDA, which is like Wal-Mart and I picked up a few things for the room. When I got home, I had a roommate from South Korea named Sue! She’s really clean, which is awesome and she’s nice too! An added bonus 😉

From there, we had a questionable dinner of salisbury steak and mashed potatoes and were invited to drink at the pub. I had some room issues to attend to so I headed back early. What a day, what a day.

I feel like a freshman again, that’s for sure. I don’t know my way, I got lost in ASDA, and I ask loads of questions. Everything here is so different, yet strangely familiar.

Hopefully tomorrow goes easier on me, but I doubt it. We have a full day planned of getting a tour, getting bus passes, getting ID passes, etc. I’d like to register for classes soon, but can’t be too picky!

All in due time, I suppose…

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The University of Leicester

Amanda is a junior studying journalism and technical communication at CSU.  She is attending the University of Leicester for the spring 2013 term.