Saturday, May 15, 2010

19/365 A city in North Yorkshire

Welcome to York, England!

I spent most of my week in this fantastic city in the northern part of England, in North Yorkshire. The total population is under 200,000, so it's quite cozy. I went to England with my boss to meet with a new client, and their headquarters is about 20 minutes outside of York. We stayed at a hotel in the city centre, so we could walk to just about anything our hearts desired.

We flew out of Indianapolis on Sunday afternoon, arriving in Manchester on Monday morning. From there, we took a train to York, dropped our bags, freshened up, then set out into the streets. The goal? Keep moving, stay awake, and enjoy some of the little bit of free time that we had.

The aesthetic and historic centerpiece of York is its minster (cathedral). Built in the Gothic style, this cathedral contains more stained glass than any other cathedral in Europe. One window is even the size of a tennis court.

Luckily, this area of England was spared from much of the bombing in WWII.

While we were there, a choir was rehearsing, and their voices completely filled this monstrous cathedral. It really added to the experience, hearing a large choir sing music from centuries past.

This round rose window is one of the artistic highlights often mentioned in regards to the York Minster.

Our afternoon in York was cold but beautiful. I was glad I had a pair of gloves and a scarf with me -- the high had to have only reached the upper 40s.

Not far from the minster is an area called The Shambles. For centuries, this narrow street housed several butchers. They're all gone now, but you can still see many of the hooks outside the doors where they hung the fresh meat.

I find the architecture of this street interesting -- notice how the second and third levels of the buildings are built out over the first. One of our cab drivers (who was quite passionate about his knowledge of York's history) said that this style derived from taxation. People were taxed based on the area they owned on the street, so to gain more space but not more taxes, they extended the upper levels of their buildings.

It looks precarious, but it definitely is clever!

Monday was a bank holiday in England, so residents and tourists alike were out enjoying the town.

Tuesday? Time to get to work.

Camera: Canon 40D between 3:30 and 5:30 p.m.
Cathedral face: 1/250s, f/8 at ISO 100
Nave consists of two photos merged for HDR: f/3.5 at ISO 1250
Window: 1/125s, f/4 at ISO 250
Choir: 1/60s, f/3.5 at ISO 1250
Shambles: 1/125s, f/5.6 at ISO 100

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