On Friday, K and I set of with our C.R.E.W friends on a Xmas shopping trip to the famous York Xmas markets. Armed with my trusty huge purse and my spendthrift daughter (money no object) I readied myself for a day of experiencing a huge and substantial drain on our bank account. We travelled there via coach, not my favourite mode of transport of course, but for once I didn’t feel travel sick (well not on the journey there at any rate, and the nauseous feeling during our return journey was not entirely coach induced as you will soon ascertain from continuing to read this post. (Self inflicted.)
On arrival in York, we all disembarked from the coach and I was pleased to see that the coach driver had chosen a familiar spot that I knew well, fairly near to the train station, as our rendezvous point for our return journey. It was only 10.30 am and as we were not due to return to the coach until 16.00pm it gave us some very valuable browsing and spending time. Added to that, there was actually blue sky as we all made our eager way across the bridge towards the main shopping area. K and I had also taken some maps from a young man who was conveniently positioned with maps in hand as we disembarked from our coach. Hmm. Trouble was there were no Xmas markets marked on the map. Undeterred we continued on towards York minster. It was very busy with shoppers, and we made some frequent stops as we went, one of them being British Home Stores.
Now it just so happens that I am a big fan of British Home stores especially at Xmas time as they usually stock some really fantastic (and quirky) gifts. You can guarantee that you will find something for the most awkward to buy family member in British Home stores and lots of the gifts are also quite hilarious.. We made our way with our chosen gifts to the checkout. A lady was stood in the queue with her son and her mother. We got talking as we waited but suddenly her mother was taken ill, and luckily I happened to be stood at the other side of her mother and so I helped to hold her and lower her gently to the floor. She had fainted. As soon as I was sure that the daughter aided by the shop health and safety staff could cope we then continued to the checkout to pay for our purchases. Later as we made our way further along the shopping area, an ambulance passed us heading for British Home Stores so the lady must have been taken to hospital.
At last we found a few market stalls down the Coppergate shopping area and asked one of the stall holders where all the rest were. (He was selling lots of different sweets including some of our favourite weight inducing fudge which of course we duly purchased) We made our way to the main Xmas market as per the given directions by the sweet seller which was in the direction of the Minster. This market was quite large, and all the stall holders were dressed in Victorian costume. (see some of my photos that I took of them in there Victorian attire) There were some wonderful things to buy, wooden clocks made out of driftwood, a stall full to the brim of Russian Dolls, plants and Xmas wreaths, jewellery, lavender gift sets, knitted scarves and hats, and also a stall selling hot chocolate with either Brandy or Baileys Irish Cream. Of course my lovely daughter K made a bee line for this stall as soon as she spotted it, citing she was cold as the excuse to partake of a hot chocolate drink laced with Brandy. Hmm.
I must admit it was warming (she gave me a few sips of it as we walked along slowly making our way towards the York Mister.) By now, it was roughly dinner time so we made our way to the local Micky D’s for the usual dinner. When we emerged from there it had begun to rain unfortunately, but undeterred we soldiered on with our hoods now up to keep us dry. The shops looked absolutely wonderful, so colourful with all their Xmas wares. I really could have spent an absolute fortune. We made our way to Carphone Warehouse to buy K a new mobile phone as the local orange shop did not have the model of mobile in stock that K wanted. (One of my presents to her for Xmas.) We passed a restaurant where some delicious looking meats were being carved up by the chef in full display in the window. Of course we also made our way back to the chocolate laced with Brandy stall for a welcome second helping. By now, I was beginning to feel quite dizzy and light headed!
Hmm. Time to begin to slowly make our way back towards the river I think. “We’ll have a cup of tea in that cafe near to the river” I said to K, “We can keep warm in there and go to the toilet as well.” As we made our way along, we passed two young men on drums who had accumulated quite a gathering of spectators. They were very good, so we braved the rain to stand and listen to them for a few minutes before continuing on to the aforementioned cafe. Here we made the silly mistake of sitting down at the table next to the door, so every time someone came in, we were assailed with a cold draft, and as the door was hard to shut properly, I then spent the next hour or so that we were in there continuously getting up and closing it properly. We examined the menu. Hmmm………..hot chocolate. No thanks! Tea. Yes. K had some chocolate fudge cake (how does she do it without being sick I constantly ask myself) and I had some Carrot cake. (Yes I know I am not supposed to eat it, and I did suffer afterwards for partaking of forbidden food but. ……)
Eventually it was time to go and after a quick toilet break where you had to negotiate the steepest steps I have ever seen in order to use them, we slowly made our way back to the coach for the journey home. By now yours truly was feeling pretty grotty. What is it with me and day trips? That’s now the second time this year that I have spent the return journey feeling nauseous! Remember Carlisle anyone? Its all that indulgence! K spent the entire return journey asleep (as usual) so I suffered in silence until we arrived home. Luckily for us the driver chose to return fairly near to where we live (bottom of the cat steps actually) and very kindly stopped to let us off the coach. We waived goodbye to our fellow passengers and then made our way home. A wonderful and very enjoyable day despite the fact that our bank account is now is a far worse state than before we went. Good job Xmas only comes around once a year!
More photos of our spending day out in York HERE.