Starre Inn

I’m at Starre Inn in York right this second. I’m one my third pint so life is good πŸ™‚

My decision for where to go next this afternoon was made by British Rail. There was little going south from Leeds so I came up to York. I’ll be staying at St. Mary’s guesthouse for the next two nights, so I have all of tomorrow to wander around York.

York is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever been in. The walk from the train station to the B&B was over the Ouse, which is very pretty. The City Walls are impressive and magnificent. The area I am in right now is a collection of shops and pubs and is really cool.

It’s really hard to truly explain it’s beauty. I’ll have some pictures, but they’ll be limited too. You’ll just have to come here.

Where I’m at is an 18th century pub built around earlier buildings called Starre Inn. It’s a really neat pub with dark colors, stained glass, and, of course, good ales.

Earlier today I went to the Leeds Royal Armory Museum. This really is spectacular but I have to say I was a bit disappointed. I know why Larmer and I have different opinions. I was looking for earlier period weapons and armor and there wasn’t much. The Tournament section has a ton of fantastic 14th or later century stuff, which was beautiful. Larmer, who does an excellent job of recreating a later period was undoubtedly in heaven when he was there.

What I found more interesting were the non-European armor exhibits. The Japanese, Mongol, Indian, Islamic, and Turkish exhibits are fantastic.

Now, I might not have been able to see everything because they have a goodly chunk of the museum closed for construction, but I had hoped for more of my type of stuff. I did by another book on Viking Age weapons and armor. I also bought a gift for Phil and Tiffany, two fellow students at Mizzou. I bought them munitions for them to continue their war :).

So tomorrow is the real exploration of Eboracum. I’m excited. I also have been given the bus route out to Stamford Bridge. Don’t tell anyone, but I’m hoping to bring more water back for my cunning plans involving the fyrd at Pennsic.

Well, here I am in Leeds. I’m at a Comfort Inn. I know, I know, but it is right next to the train station in a building which has been a hotel a long time and well, it’s right next to the Leeds CAMRA pub for 2005.

What is CAMRA you ask? Well, it’s the CAMpaign for Real Ales. This is a political party I can support. Anyway, I had a Norman’s Conquest Ale (not great), a Cromwell Bitter (tasty), a Hungry Nettle Ale (good), and a different bitter I don’t remember to close the night because I had four pints in two hours :).

Anyway, tomorrow, I’m off to the RAM and then I’m not sure. York calls, but I’m told it’s swamped this time of year and I’m not sure I don’t want to go to Salisbury now.

We’ll see. The train provides a lot of flexibility.

For now, though, Cheers mates.

War of the Roses

Well, I just got back to a computer from being at the War of the Roses in Flintheath. I typed in a different post on my computer that I will cut and paste when I have a chance about my travels and some general thoughts, but here is an event report.

The trip to the event was pretty uneventful. The BritRailPass is very smooth and except for the taxi driver taking me to a strip club down the road from the archery club because that was the only club he knew of in the area, it went fine.

The archery club is right along the descent path for Lakenheath airbase. When I was walking along the driveway up to the event an F-15 was landing and it was only about 50 yards away from me. Beautiful. I was too slow, however, to think to get a picture and never had quite the opportunity to do it later.

Dirik and Solange, two friends of mine from Vatavia, took great care of me. They put up their pavilion, provided bedding and feastgear, and pretty much did everything I could want. Bigtime props to them for their help.

Drachenwald is very small people wise, and the event reflected many differences because of that. There were seven fighters. Poor Dirik was in armor about 45 minutes before everyone else was ready to go. The archery club had these foam target animals and when they did start fighting the scenario was a 30minute res battle to gather the animals up. It was pretty fun to watch but damn I wanted to fight.

Last night was a singing circle. Sir Elfin wanted some Calontir songs, so I made sure he heard a few. Genevieve, who is originally from Ealdormere, said she’d heard Ferd do Roland so I did that one. Her Excellency Dorothea, the current Vicereine for Insula Draconis requested some silliness so I did Swing Low Sweet Chariot with hand gestures. She said that was silly enough :). My big highlight was doing the Wanderer. I have now done the Wanderer on a longboat and in England. I’m enough of a goob to think that’s really cool. I ended up singing my voice raw, it was a blast.

Anyway, my plan now is to head to Leeds to see the RAM tomorrow. Depending on rail lines, though, I may go up to York first and come back. We’ll see, but I’m off on the road again.

PS: Words of advice from Dirik: “A bascinet is not an acceptable Valentine’s Day gift, no matter how good the price at Estrella.”

Pictures

So I’ve uploaded many of the pictures I’ve taken. They’re located here:
http://pics.livejournal.com/rhodri2112/

If you can’t remember the link, you can find the link in my userinfo page.

Today, I’m off to Brandon, Suffolk to go the event in Flintheath this weekend. Crashing arrangements provided by Calontiri Dirik and Solange. We’re everywhere ;).

Anyway, I’m excited about the train ride through the countryside.

I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do after that. I’m contemplating going up to Leeds to see the Royal Armory. If I’m there, I’m really close to York so I’ll probably go there to see some museums and, of course, Stamford Bridge.

Anyway, I may post again today but probably won’t tomorrow.

A Geeky Tourist

So after the British Museum I started roaming generally southward. I was headed for Trafalgar Square to pay my respects to Nelson, but did not necessarily hurry. The area around there is a very vibrant place, lots of neat shops, theatres, and people. It was quite enjoyable.

And it is good that it was enjoyable for Nelson’s Column was hidden by scaffolding with an advertisement on it. I’m guessing it’s under renovation and I’m hoping that I can see it when I come back. Despite my disappointment in not seeing the Column, it was still a fascinating place. Lots of people roaming around. I was by far not the only tourist. Interestingly, the first monument I saw there was a monument to England from the Commonwealth of Virginia given in 1921. Very interesting that there’s a statue of Washington in Trafalgar Square. Also, I did not stay for the Bollywood concert but they were setting up the stage for that.

Next to Trafalgar Square is St. Martin’s-on-the-Field Church which is really interesting. It has a pretty cool gift shop but what it specializes in is having brass plates to do rubbings. Lots of different plates, including Robert the Bruce, Richard I, and The Black Prince. It’s well worth the peak after seeing Trafalgar square.

Made it back home through the metro and I’m beat.

British Museum

I’m sitting in an internet cafe between the British Museum and Trafalgar Square. I’ve been strolling around this area for a bit, after having gone to the British Museum. The BM has too much stuff. I’m only moderately being facetious. It’s overwhelming to enter in there. It’s a daunting feeling realizing you could spend weeks there and not properly see all there is.

Of course I went directly to the European and Medieval exhibits. I have now seen the Sutton Hoo helm from 6 inches away. Hopefully, they can clean my drool from the glass case. It’s not like any of us have not seen it but it is a little magical to see it that closely and really appreciate the detail. I’m planning on coming back again and looking at it again, but it was awesome to see.

I have to come back as I did not even see the Rosetta Stone. I simply walked through the Egyptian, Roman, and Greek exhibits to get to the Medieval one to see the Sutton Hoo exhibit. Did I mention there’s a lot of stuff.

I did make a tactical error. I went to the bookstore. There were several things that I’d been wanting and some stuff I hadn’t been aware of. I’ve already put all that I bought (a bunch of books and some souvenir stuff) in the post to send back home. It’s going by boat, so who knows how long that will take :).

The one souvenir thing I think I’m going back for is the Rosetta Stone puzzle πŸ™‚

Three days into England. I’ve felt the dirt and grass where Anglo-Saxon England died and seen the exhibit of its greatest archaeological find. I’m not saying this to make any of you jealous, though many of you will be. I’m saying it because I still have to remind myself that this is really happening.

Thanks mom, dad, Irene, and Ed.

Success

Well, I have successfully avoided the Sambuca for one evening.

Nevertheless, I’m still tipsy πŸ˜‰

To those of you who said I might not like English ales because their warmer and flatter than what I’m used to, my liver regretfully informs you that’s not the case.

We went back to the Black Horse, by the way, and drank with Eddie and Mia’s friend Ian, who’s an absolute hoot. Their Rocky Horror Picture Show story is one to hear, so remember than Halv :).

Well, I’m off to bed.

Cheers, mates πŸ™‚

PS: My luggage was delivered this morning, so I’m all set.

The Locals The Call It Senlac

What a day. Eddie and I drove down to Battle to see the Hastings battlefield.

It was fantastic. Battle Abbey itself is very impressive. The shop is in the main wall, and the museum is over the main gate. The main building is now used as a school. Much of the old Abbey has fallen into ruin, but the buildings that remain are impressive. The Dormitory is a series of beautifully vaulted rooms. The Cistern is fascinating. The remains of the Chapter House, Chapel and Crypt are all neat as well. There’s a plaque where the original altar was built supposedly on the spot that Harold died. Incredible.

Eddie and I did the walk around the battlefield itself. The hill is substantial. Between the hill itself, the thick, high grass, and the Saxons, simply charging up the hill was an impressive feat. In the Bayeux Tapestry, there’s a second hill that Harold put some troops on. As I was standing in the field, I was looking but I couldn’t find it. The only thing that might have worked was on the other side of the battlefield from where I expected it to be. I asked a tour guide and he pointed right to where I had originally thought and said that there used to be a hill there but likely was quarried for stone to make the Abbey. That’s the hill they think is the one referred to on that panel. What was once a hill was moved up as a fortified abbey. Fascinating.

I have lots of pictures and as soon as I can I will be putting them on the web somewhere.

I bought a few things in the gift store, but I resisted the Β£80 tapestry showing the sailing scene from the Bayeux Tapestry. I thought about it, though πŸ˜‰

The Abbey walls and trees shut off the field from the mundane world. Once into the field, you can’t see anything that isn’t medieval. However, it’s right next to a road and the front is right in the middle of the town. There are a series of shops and pubs and restaurants out in front. Eddie and I had a pint and he got the steak and ale pie while I went straight to dessert and didn’t pass Go by having the toffee pudding with toffee sauce. Delicious.

Anyway, the plan is to lounge about for a bit and then later hed on to the pub and meet with some of Eddie’s mates. I will not drink Sambuca tonight. I will not drink Sambuca tonight. I will not drink Sambuca tonight. At least I hope not πŸ˜‰

A Win, A Tie, and A Loss

The Win? I had a great time last night. We went to a real nice pub called the Black Horse and watch England in the World Cup. It was a great experience seeing true soccer fans in their element.

The Tie? The game was a great game, with lots of action, three great goals plus the game tying goal in the 89th minute, and a lot of drama. In the end, it was a 2-2 tie, which was probably appropriate given how well both teams played.

The Loss? I fought the Sambuca and the Sambuca won.

Opinions and fiction of person misplaced in time.