84. York – Part 1

It has been such a crazy and hectic week, it is quite amazing that I am not passed out on my bed right now. I do have to give credit to my dear companion, Mr Coffee, for he has been quite a saviour. I’ve got to steer clear of it now though, before my heart starts palpitating and a whole array of caffeine-related problems pops out. Oh yes, I have had my fair share of caffeine overdoses. 😛

Anyway, back to the whirlwind of a week I had.

Since I last updated this blog, I’ve basically travelled to York, Liverpool (twice) and Edinburgh. I’ve also volunteered at a primary school in Bolton. Okay I can’t believe it myself, now that I’ve gotten it down into words. Woweee. I sure did put the travel shoes to good use, alhamdulillah! ♥

Let me write about York first, before everything becomes clouded and all the experiences jumbled up. Thank God I do keep a handwritten journal but hey, a blog entry is always good for rational (I hope) thoughts and lots of pictures!

Right… If I ever need to summarise the trip in one picture, this one has got to be it:

Two things: Vikings  and spectacular architecture.

This post is going to be about the latter.

I’d gone to York on a Saturday, taking the bus bright and early in the morning. Well, it was bright in Manchester, at least. The moment I stepped off the bus in York, I was unpleasantly greeted with a strong gush of wind and snow. Yikes!

It was so cold, mind you, I had to put on another jacket, making it 4 layers of clothes!

Of course, I guess I really should have had expected it, since York is to the North of Manchester, making it slightly colder. But then again, anything below 10° is cold, ’nuff said.

My spirits lifted while walking towards the city centre however, because look. at. that.

I’d read beforehand that York is a place that has extraordinary cultural and historical wealth, so I was indeed expecting a beautiful city. But I guess one can never truly appreciate such statements without actually seeing and experiencing it. My pictures don’t do it any justice, trust me, but I’ll try anyway.

The first thing that grabbed my attention was the York minster, for good reason. It is a structure that is truly awe-inspiring and unmissable. It is absolutely huge and towers over the town, and its presence is both daunting and admirable at the same time.

The immense cathedral is listed as one of the best examples of Gothic architecture in the world. As always, I was extremely fascinated by the place of worship.

Fun fact: The stained glass patterns in the cathedral were inspired by Islamic art.

York Minster is just… breathtaking. I just cant…… I truly felt so small as I walked through and admired the stained glasses, the arches, the pillars… Everything. Mashaallah, to have something so grand built in a time before the technology that we know of today, is quite mindblowing. Ahh, the strength of the human will to uplift (and boast) in the name of God. ♥

Of course, besides the dominant structure of the cathedral, York boasts a medieval heritage that is apparent in the walls enclosing it and the spider webs of streets that they have. Forward it a couple of centuries later and their buildings speak of an old England that is quaint and quirky at the same time.

I felt like I was walking along Diagon Alley! 😛

I loved how eclectic the town was/is. There were so many elements in it jumping out at you, you can’t help but feel slightly dizzy. The narrow streets, the myriad of architectural styles, the old ruins and of course, the Vikings walking the street, just served as a potent mix for me.

I think this picture aptly depicts the mixture:

The traffic light, the guy on the bicycle, the 4WD, the medieval fort and the Gothic cathedral. Wow.

Needless to say, being in town while the Viking Festival was ongoing was indeed a plus for the whole experience too. York in itself is such an interesting city but hey, when you throw a bunch of Vikings in the mix, you’ll get way more than you bargained for!

I’ll definitely be back soon, inshaallah, to write about the Vikings and all the other trips I’ve made because I aim to finish them before I *cough cough* go on another trip this weekend! I’ve got to run off now to start on an assignment (yes, I do have school here, heheh) but do keep a lookout for the next entry!

Till then, lotsa love and seize the day! ❤

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