Right, I’ve had it. One more hour and I’ll be safely on the train back to civilisation. It is good to have a break now and then, but I’m done with the rest of England. There’s a reason why my LJ/blog tag for anything about London is ‘the centre of the universe’.
I’ve learned my lesson – from now on I venture beyond the M25 only for Liverpool or Scotland. Erm, and possibly the airport since most of them are pretty far out of London, but you get my point I think?
I’m sure York is perfectly charming, and I will concede that it’s very clean and easy to walk around. It’s compact like Edinburgh is compact, but without the constant hills that leave you searching for a sherpa and oxygen masks. And therein lies the rub, it is a lot like Edinburgh, much like it’s similar to Chester and Oxford. Building your McDonald’s into ye Olde English storefronts has lost its novelty for me (though weirdly, I do like the merging of eras, in an ‘appreciating the tacky’ kind of way).
Another annoying trend that’s pissing me off in Manchester, Belfast and God knows where else – the ripoff of the London Eye. I’m not saying London has it copyrighted or anything, but it’s very different getting chucked up in the air when you have the dirty majesty of the Thames and world-famous landmarks as far as the eye can see. I splurged a whole £6.50 on the Norwich Union Yorkshire Wheel and I was actually looking forward to it on such a sunny day. But oh York, you forgot the view. What’s the point in being hoisted on high for panoramic views of… suburban house, rusting trains in the depot, and the roof of the building they’ve stuck the wheel next to. Nice idea maybe, shame about the execution.
I’m sure if you’re stuck in Bumfuck, Nowheresville then this place must seem like the height of sophistication. Sure, the museums are pretty informative and clearly well-funded, but the National Railway Museum didn’t grab me the way that the London Transport Museum did (and I don’t get any discounts here either!). It’s surprisingly quiet in the City Centre on a Saturday night, and choosing a hotel located in the midst of about 12 churches certainly made Sunday morning a loud, if not entirely harmonious experience. You know that episode of the Gilmore Girls when Luke and Lorelai break the church bells? That.
If you enjoy the slower pace, charming tea rooms and food that comes smothered in gravy (ok, that last one is pretty awesome) then don’t let me put you off. The major redeeming feature of the trip was a walk along the city walls, with a refreshing lack of history-blighting railings. Although after the twentieth pas de deux with idiots who didn’t understand the concept of passing in single file, I was close to just shoving people off. I, however, am done with England and will be conserving my funds and travel time for branching out into the corners of Europe I’m yet to discover. As long as there is Ryanair and I eventually get my replacement passport, all will be well.