August 2014

York Minster East Window Closeups, Part 2

Chuck Sun, 2014-08-31 07:30
We continue yesterday's blog with more up-close views of the east stained glass windows from the York Minster Cathedral. The artist depicts the book of Revelation in these windows, and in the panel above we see the seven thunders across the top and the angel in the center (red wings outstretched) as he tells Saint John in the bottom right to not record what the seven thunders told him. The windows on display at the York Minster--the ones you see here--have already been restored. They will be returned to their place in the east end of the church (the apse) once all panels have been completed...

York Minster East Window Closeups, Part 1

Chuck Sat, 2014-08-30 07:30
Our Typical View of Stained Glass Windows The stained glass windows of the York Minster Cathedral in York, England are the oldest medieval windows in the world. Normally we have to admire them--contemplate the lessons they were intended to teach the mostly illiterate--with craned necks from the floor of the church. The same is true of any grand European cathedral: we must admire their artistry from a distance. What if you could get an up-close look at those windows? We were afforded that incredibly rare opportunity when we visited the York Minster: the east windows have been removed and are...

The York Minster Cathedral

Chuck Fri, 2014-08-29 07:30
A Transept Window at the York Minster I will admit that when Lori said we had to go to the York Minster Cathedral I was not overly excited. We've blogged about the "yet another cathedral" syndrome before, but after spending a few hours at the York Minster, I found the visit was more than worth the £10 admission, even for the most jaded of cathedral tourists. The York Minster Cathedral is one of the largest churches in the world. Its layout is the classic cross of intersecting nave and transepts, and its style is thoroughly gothic. As opposed to Catholic cathedrals, the York Minster also has...

Cool Viking Names

Chuck and Lori's Travel Blog - Danelaw Map from Wikipedia
Chuck Thu, 2014-08-28 07:30
The Danelaw: Viking Controlled Britain From

A Trio of York, England Guided Tours

Chuck Wed, 2014-08-27 07:30
Our "Free" York City Tour In our half-dozen trips to Europe, we've taken perhaps a half-dozen guided tours; three of them occurred within a twenty-four hour period in the town of York, England this past week. It isn't necessarily because we've had a sudden change of heart on guided tours (we actually have nothing against them, we just don't normally seek them out), it just sort of worked out that way. The day we arrived in York, it was pouring down rain and we found the station and city a madhouse owing to a series of horse races going on. We spent the afternoon safely, quietly, and...

Britain's National Railway Museum, York

Chuck Tue, 2014-08-26 07:30
The Ultra-Sleek Duchess of Hamilton Britain's National Railway Museum in York is a delight for two quite different museum-goers. First, there are the men--like Chuck--who grew up in a time when the staple and gold standard in toys for boys was model trains. Second, there are the steampunkers, but we'll get to them in a bit. The National Railway Museum is adjacent to York's train station and occupies train yards used for various maintenance purposes on these massive machines that have inspired the male imagination for nearly two of centuries now. With two main halls, the museum is jam-packed...

An English Cemetery

Chuck Mon, 2014-08-25 07:30
Perhaps this blog would be better timed on Halloween, but we find cemeteries--especially the old ones of Europe--to be such fascinating places to visit that we couldn't wait another two months. We had the fortune to spend part of a day at this great little cemetery at Saint Mary the Blessed Virgin church in Easthampton Village looking for a family stone. We found it, along with a whole bunch of other history. There's nobody famous buried here--no writers, politicians, or sixties rock drummers--just quite a few people who were "sacred to the memory of" and beloved parents, sons, and daughters...

Liverpool's Dueling Cathedrals

Chuck Sun, 2014-08-24 07:30
Not so long ago, some people had plans to build the largest church in the world in Liverpool, England. The Roman Catholic cathedral for the diocese of Liverpool was, ambitiously, to be larger even than Saint Peter's in Rome. What got built, however, fell quite a bit short of that goal. On the other end of Renshaw Street, however, is the grand Anglican Cathedral of Liverpool, the second largest church in the United Kingdom (after Saint Paul's in London) and the fourth largest church in Europe. It is a massive, neo-gothic structure completed only in the 20th century, perhaps a testament that...

Notes from our Time in Manchester, England

Chuck Sat, 2014-08-23 07:30
Machester Cathedral While our interlude in England has only been 2 and a half weeks, we realize that's longer than most people take for an entire vacation. Yet, even with a couple of day trips to nearby Liverpool and Chester, it's far short of what a visitor would have to experience to become an "expert" on a destination. Nevertheless, we thought we'd make a few observations on our time so far in England. Chicken and Bacon Hot Pot English cuisine gets a really bad rap. We've had our share of the expected staples: fish and chips, bangers and mash. But we've also had roast and hot pots (what we...

Rediscovering the Beatles in Liverpool

Chuck and Lori's Travel Blog - John Lennon Statue, Liverpool
Chuck Fri, 2014-08-22 07:30
We were born in 1965, which means that we're too young to have been caught up in Beatlemania first-hand. It feels good to say that: we don't get to say "we're too young" too often anymore. Being children of the 70's, however, we did have a second-generation appreciation of the Beatles. We weren't rabid fans clutching precious scraps of paper that John or Ringo had stepped on, nor were we caught up in the Paul-is-dead conspiracy listening intently to Revolution Number 9 played backwards on the turntable. But we knew plenty of people who were all of the above. Instead, we simply liked their...

2 Splendid English Churches

Chuck Thu, 2014-08-21 07:30
Saint Mary the Blessed Virgin Church, Eastham Village, England One day during our time in Manchester, England we took a train to the nearby town of Chester. From there we took a local connecting train to the village of Eastham. We were in search of a church with a memorial plaque and family grave for ancestor's of Lori's brother-in-law, Randy. In typical English fashion, the very moment we found the church it started pouring down rain. Luckily, an arch at the entrance of the church's pathway through their ancient cemetery provided us cover. Saint Mary's the Blessed Virgin in Eastham Village...

Around The World in 80 Days

Chuck Wed, 2014-08-20 07:30
Given the title, some of our followers might assume that we've set a new travel goal. While it is faintly enticing, we're referring instead to our recent night at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester to see the stage edition of the Jules Verne classic. Most of us read "Around the World in 80 Days" in elementary school, but in case you didn't, or if you need a refresher: rich Victorian English eccentric Phileas Fogg makes a bet that he can circumnavigate the globe in 80 days, which he--with his manservant Passpartout--sets out to do. Of course today the world could be encircled several...