Journeys, especially to new places, often unveil things previously unseen or unknown.
A recent hop “across the pond” to tour Yorkshire and the Northeast corner of England, turned out to be a journey of discoveries. I traveled with my sister, and we took a low-key approach, getting about by train and bus, which we found delightful. I had been to York as a student, but this visit showed me parts that I hadn’t seen before (some had to excavated!) Sitting in the grand York Minster for Evensong as the setting sun filtered through the stained glass and the stonework echoed with the voices of the choir – special joy. I saw Morris dancers in the square, and the hidden relic of the martyr Margaret Clitherow in Bar Convent.
Our explorations had a literary bent: We visited the ruined Whitby Abbey on a misty day at the seacoast and could easily imaging how the setting inspired scenes for Bram Stoker’s Dracula. On the other end of the spectrum, nearby Castle Howard inspired Evelyn Waugh to set Brideshead Revisited in its opulent halls and lovely gardens. From Durham, we explored Newcastle and Hadrian’s Wall, and toured the glorious Cathedral, sat in stillness next to the grave of Cuthbert, and listened to a contemporary Evensong in the nave. Ahead of us was the Herriot homage at Thirsk (All Creatures Great and Small) – with a nod to Downton Abbey’s environs. Did we visit Haworth and the Parsonage where the Bronte family grew up? Of course!
One of the highlights for me was the ramble in the Yorkshire Dales. We traveled train to Ribblehead (where we saw the Victorian train viaduct that I am pretty darn sure the Hogwarts Express transversed), and we hiked up the trail to the top of Whearnside, the highest of the Three Peaks in the Yorkshire Dales. We encountered few beings – some hardy local trekkers and an exhausted troop of Girl Guides, as well many sheep that grazed on the slopes – and we were caught in a thunderstorm at the summit, but we were dry by the time we made it back to the station.
I renewed my acquaintance with strong Yorkshire tea.
I also renewed my acquaintance with vin santo...
I have been applying myself to my work with enthusiasm since my return – I have deadlines to meet! Shows to launch! Dreams to fill!
Love and Peace,
D E C O
Art, news and thoughts from Santa Fe, New Mexico.
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