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Trip Report Opinionated London: Day 3 (York)

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Today was daytrip day. After looking at the options, we settled on York over Oxford and Cambridge. It is fairly far but only 2 hours by train, not much longer than going to say, Bath. Unfortunately, York was a bad decision.

I'll admit the fact that it was freezing and windy may have affected my opinion, but the entire town is little more than a very genteel, and nicely packaged tourist trap. We went to the famous Betty's and stood in line for the same so-so tea, pastrys and surroundings that you can get anywhere. We went to the Castle Museum, which was dark, forbidding and rather amateurish. We walked around and saw lots of cutesy shops selling useless junk. We went to the shambles. A narrow street with more tourist shops selling more useless junk. The biggest disappoint was a place that advertised itself as the biggest cat paraphernalia store in the UK. Given all the potty UK cat ladies, I expected a feline Harrods. No, it was just a little hole in the wall store. I've seen many much bigger, better cat stores at home. Oh yeah, they have walls in York. (The train museum is too far off the beaten path on a day trip).

About the only reason to go there is the York Minster. Its main virtue is that it is very large. It is has some interesting bits too, I suppose. They run a very nice escorted free tour (after you pay to get in) and spent several hours there. We forked over extra to wear out our legs climbing up the tower so that we could see a few rooftops and freeze our cookies in the biting wind. Definitely not worth it, even on a good day.

With the free minibar, there hadn't been any reason to go out to drink, so this was our first chance to hit a British pub, The Golden Fleece, which is Probably the perfect name for a pub in York. It also got out of the weather and a chance to fortify ourselves for the trip back. We love British pubs. The UK might be expensive, but pubs are the one thing that are cheaper than at home, so we feel compelled to visit them as often as possible. The alcohol is just a bonus. We were also looking forward to getting some Cornish pasties, which I dearly love, to take back on the train for dinner. Unfortunately the real stores all closed early and we were forced to grab some rather blah Cornish pasties at the train station.

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