We'd returned to Salford in the Greater Manchester area after a week in sunny Rome. Back to reality, back to overcast skies and drizzle most of the week but that's ok. We spent some of the week hanging out with friends, seeing a couple of local museums, shopping, and we did a couple of road trips.
Early in the week was a meal out in a country pub in Cheshire, the Lighthouse.
We visited the Imperial War Museum on another morning and the John Rylands Library in the city center on another afternoon. Shopping at the Trafford Center was on the books for another of the days.
On Thursday we decided to go to York, one of our favourite cities but it turned out to be a disappointing visit. We had in mind a visit to the Yorvik Viking Centre/Exhibition which I'd never seen but heard good things about. Mind you, that was some time ago now. Things had changed.
We used one of the Park and Ride lots which worked really well. You park for free and buy a return ticket on a shuttle bus that goes into the city centre. We did that and got off at the stop nearest the grand York Minster. But, it was closed because it was being used for a university graduation. We went into the church next to the Minster, St. Michael le Belfry which was a nice little church. It also happens to be the one where Guy Fawkes, he of the Gunpowder Plot, was christened. Some nice stained glass in the church.
We decided to have lunch before the Viking museum and found a nice pub, the Golden Lion and we did enjoy that. We chatted to a couple sitting next to us about Canada as they wanted to go on a vacation there sometime.
When I finished lunch, I went outside to take a photo of the pub but the camera was acting funny. First it displayed a nearly black screen, and then it would not let me take a photo and gave me a "memory card error". I tried turning it off and on, taking the card out, using a different card, resetting the camera, everything I could think of. Very Bad Thing: My camera, just a few months old, seems to be buggered. That's going back to the shop as soon as I get home. Graham had his camera which is one of my old ones so he kindly handed that over so I could use it.
We made our way to the Yorvik Viking centre but in spite of hearing good things about it from people that have been there in the (distant) past, including Graham, it's changed and has been sanitized and we were quite disappointed over all (review to follow). What next? We just walked a bit and decided that was enough, made our way back to the bus stop and then to the Park and Ride to get the car. Basically we went to York for lunch.
The next day we headed to Sunderland for an overnight visit with friends. We took the scenic route through the Yorkshire Dales National Park which was great! It was misty and foggy and it added to the remoteness of much of the countryside. We stopped in the market town of Hawes for a meal at the White Hart Inn which we enjoyed and got to Sunderland about teatime. We had a quick drink at a seaside pub, just around the corner from where our friends live, and then enjoyed a really good meal at Jayelle's cafe next door. (review included).
The next day was sunny, yay! We started off the day with bacon sandwiches and drove down to the North York Moors National Park where we planned to visit the ruins of Rievaulx Abbey. We'd seen it on a tv documentary earlier in the week and Google told us it was not that far from where we would be so that's where we headed. It's in a little valley down a narrow road. The cafe was excellent for lunch and we spent a few happy hours exploring with the aid of an audio guide. Very much worth visiting!
We got home on Saturday evening and on Sunday, took in the Manchester Christmas markets which were crowded but I did enjoy seeing them.
I flew home on Monday but am already planning another quick visit in January to attend an event and see my sweetie once again!