The Long and Winding Road

Posted: August 28, 2009 in Ramblings

Our next day was a long and mildly interesting highway drive from Beaumaris all the way to York.  Anthony’s left-ear hearing aid had shorted out, so once we checked in, he went off in search of a hospital or someplace that could repair it.  Chris, Alex and I took the sightseeing tour bus ride and saw a lot of interesting stuff from the top of an open-air double-decker bus.  I had been reading C. J. Sansom’s “Sovereign” (about Henry VIII in York) so this was a very timely trip.  After the tour was over, you could either stay on the bus to get back to your starting point, or get off and walk.  We opted to walk back to the hotel.

Along the way we saw a gorgeous Victorian-style brick building…which had the modern and mundane Pizza Express located inside it!  This nearly made me cry.  I suppose it’s good in that someone is still getting use out of the building, but…Pizza Express?  Waah.


After the three of us reached the hotel, we puttered around a bit and then Chris (peeking at a map) said, “Hey, there’s a shopping mall a couple blocks away.  Want to walk over and do some shopping?”  Of course my shopping had been seriously curtailed during this trip – it’s difficult to be comfortable poking around a shop when there are three guys either waiting in the street impatiently, or wandering around the store impatiently!  So I agreed.  We set out with the map in my handbag.  Note that we had no cell phone during this stay.  Maddie and Brian had offered us one of theirs, but I declined, on the grounds that Ant has a cell phone, and if they needed to reach us, they could call him.  It didn’t occur to me that maybe WE would need to call Ant!

“A few blocks away” is how this place appeared on the map.  “Past the second roundabout.”  Well, it became clear, about a mile past that second roundabout, that the map was not drawn anything like to scale.  We plowed on.  At about mile 2, Alex started complaining about being tired and his feet hurting.  (Mine were too, but I tried not to complain.)  Chris actually carried Alex – for about 20 yards – but Alex is near 70 pounds now, so that made it really awkward (especially since it was really hot, too).  Alex steeled himself to keep walking after Chris promised him we’d take a taxi back home instead of walking.

At about mile 3, I started complaining!  But we plowed on.  There were several free Park & Ride buses that kept going past us (leaving the mall and going back to the city) so we decided that if we ever got to the mall, we’d take the bus.  Several times we thought we were there, but it turned out to be a small shop with no mall attached.

Finally, at about 3.5 miles, we reached the mall.  There wasn’t much to it..after all that…but we did get Alex some dinner since he was hungry.  We poked around for a while, tried to phone Ant from a pay phone (unsuccessfully), and then hopped on one of those buses to go back to the city.

The bus dropped us about a mile from the hotel.  It wasn’t really – it was only about half a mile – but we walked quite a ways in the wrong direction before pulling out the GPS and realizing our error.  So, we turned around to walk in the correct direction, and got caught in a rainstorm!  Totally soaked!  Well, there was nothing to do at this point but laugh about it.  By the time we got back to the hotel, Ant was waiting (but his hearing aid had not been fixed), and Chris and I were ravenous.  However, Alex and I were too tired to go out for dinner, so Ant and Chris went out, while I ordered room service.  Aah…’tis an ill wind that blows no good.

So that was our first day in York.  Tomorrow, our second day, a much better day overall!

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