York is surrounded by about 2 miles of old castle walls, which are great for strolling, viewing the city from above, falling off of, and finding little nooks in. The giant gates in the walls are called bars, not gates, and gates are streets (though streets can also be just streets). Also, the river Ouse is pronounced "ooze." It's prettier than it sounds, though.
Before the trip, I had reread (and shared with Miriam) chapter 3 of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. So when we went to York Minster we were on the lookout for speaking stones. And in a way, we found them. There was a service going on in the chapel at the time, and it was being piped out through various speakers tucked all around the Minster. So it really was like walking by a pillar and hearing it speak. Wonderful. We also got to go into the chapel for the last part of the service. I loved the organ music and the choir singing. At the end of the service, the choir filed out past us, still singing, and we could hear each part individually as they walked by, until they gathered together again in the next room and the harmonies recombined.
York is a pretty haunted place, but at this point it may have more ghost walk tours than actual ghosts. We went on the original one though, which was probably the only case (for the entire trip) of us allowing ourselves to be herded along with a gaggle of tourists like that. But it was worth it to listen to a great storyteller. The stories weren't even all about ghosts per se, but also about other unexplained and mysterious phenomena, like the walls of Clifford Castle running red with blood every hundred years, or a past life hypnosis session that described the crypt of St. Mary's church 15 years before it was actually unearthed and discovered.
- Used book stores. Unlimited time and money -- that's all I need. But I managed to restrain myself for the most part.
- Turkish delight. Yum.
- Eating Indian takeaway by (and on) the ruins of St. Mary's Abbey.
- Dancing on cobblestones to Strauss waltzes being played on a harmonica.
- Emperor Constantine distributing largesse in the form of oranges.