Time for a weekend away again. Together with two friends we have decided to go on a cruise! A short one ... but still ...

On Friday afternoon we take the car to Rotterdam, Europoort, where our friends are already waiting for us. A nice surprise at the beginning of our trip: parking at the ferry terminal is free. We check in and board the ship. I have been on this ferry before years ago but am again impressed by its size. On board they have a Four Season restaurant, a couple of bars, shops, a casino, a cinema and a small playground for kids. In the evening there is life music and a disco ... so one thing is for sure ... you won’t get bored!

With the help of some stewards we find our cabin – small but clean. Even the bathroom is pretty good. We drop our stuff off and head out to explore the ship. We end up on the Sun Deck and enjoy a beer and the view over Rotterdam harbor (I have to say the beer is better than the view :o) Later in the evening we find the restaurant and have dinner (buffet style, good quality and service). By now we have undocked and are moving towards England. The sea tonight is pretty rough and the ship is moving heavily.

The next morning starts with a bang. Via loudspeakers we are woken at 6 am. A bit early for our taste but at least you really can’t oversleep. We had decided last night not to have breakfast and after a slow morning we disembark at around 8 AM in search for the shuttle bus for York. The bus was easy enough to find, unfortunately we have to wait for almost three quarter of an hour for it to fill up. At around 8.15 AM we get going.

Danny and Ewo want to spend the morning visiting the Yorkshire Air Museum in Elvington and our bus driver is kind enough to drop them off half way to York from where the two hitch-hick to the museum. For those that are interested in plane spotting and the museum, please drop me a line for in-depth info.

Ela and I stay on the bus. We get off at York central station. From here we set off on food to explore the city. I would say that York is a typical English city: not too big, lots of narrow, winding streets, with old tumbling houses and Starbucks wherever you go. I love every minute of it! First we grab a sandwich and a coffee (yuck!) at a small take-away. Then, with cameras in hand, we start our tour. First a little lost, we wander through the streets. It is nice and quiet and we have time to take it all in. I am definitely impressed by York Minster. After having spent some time there we head for the tourist information center. Here we get a better map and some more information on the city. We decide to do follow the old city wall for a while. We walk behind the Minster and around the old city center. We are lucky with the weather and enjoy the walk. We visit the Richard III museum. The exhibition is located inside one of the city wall towers and tells the story of Richard III, King of England (1483-1485). Personally, I don’t find it too impressive - lots of stuff to read about English history, only thing I find interesting is that you can crawl trough a small door into an ancient prison cell. From there we follow the wall for a bit longer and then double back into the city center. Next stop: castle district where we decide to visit Cliffords Tower. Nice to see but then again, very small and considering the entry price of 2.60 Pounds, I would have expected a bit more.
A little later Danny and Ewo call. We hook up again in front of York Minster and then find a little café to grab a bite to east. Before heading back to the station for our shuttle bus to the ferry we visit Barley Hall museum, a medieval townhouse. It takes us about half an hour to talk through the rooms, trying out old costumes and children’s games from those times.

We are back at central station in time, buy ourselves some breakfast for the next morning and take the bus back to the ferry.

Once back on the ferry we are all ready for a short break. Once recovered we have dinner again at the restaurant. We are surprised that the buffet is exactly the same as last night. But what the heck, the food is good and we enjoy it just as much as we did the night before. Later on we have a couple of drinks at the bar and then hit the pillows.

Waking up on Sunday morning is just as bad as the day before ... via loudspeakers we are told that it is 6 AM and that breakfast is being served ... good for them ... we decide to have breakfast in the cabin and head out again at around 8 AM.

We are back at home on Sunday at around 10.30 AM. Time enough to enjoy the rest of the day relaxing at home. York is defiantly worth a trip! But one thing needs to be said ... England and especially York is expensive!!

For more information on York please visit York Tourism.

For photos of our trip please click here.