York Minster

It is the undoubtedly magnificent cathedral of York–and here I give you the pics.

Dean’s Park. It was wort it coming here in autumn, for sure.

Inside shots:

In addition to the normal entry fee (£11.50, valid for 12 months), you can also purchase a trip to the tower for an extra fiver. This means climbing up 275 steps. When I was offered this, my immediate thought was, I probably won’t regret it, so I said yes.

I didn’t regret it.

Although when the woman selling the tickets told me about 275 steps, it never occurred to me it would be this:

I’ve never climbed that high up a spiral staircase, so yay for another new experience!

Trips up the tower are done in groups at regular intervals, so I just joined the next available one.

Reward in the form of panoramatic view of York.

York

You’ve probably heard of York, beautiful walled city with rich history. I finally made a trip there and took over 200 photographs. It was only the day after that I discovered I had the wrong setting on my camera. Some time before I had set ISO to 6400 (I’m not sure why) and forgot to set it back, which is why so many pictures were taken with a narrow aperture and don’t look as good as they should. Live and learn I guess.

But here are some that are okay enough to be posted:

I didn’t get a chance to walk along the walls. I wanted to see the cathedral and city centre first and by the time I got back, it was dark already. The clocks have gone back the previous weekend, what can I say. But at least I got some autumn leaves, which I couldn’t have got had I gone there in the summer.

One of the best known landmarks here is York Minster. I will do a separate post for it but here’s two shots for now.

The narrow streets are really something else.

The Cat Gallery, a shop for all cat lovers. Did I buy something for myself there? You bet I did!

Old Trabant

This month marks 30 years since the end of Communist rule in Europe. Berlin Wall, that unmistakable symbol of the East/West divide, fell on the 9th November 1989. While scrolling on Twitter on the day of the anniversary, I came across this article by Ken Sweeney, where he calls Trabant cars “chariots of freedom”. What has a car got to do with the collapse of autocratic regime?

Well this. Trabants were manufactured in East Germany; I remember there were plenty of them in former Czechoslovakia. They were quite awful, a subject of ridicule and to this day bring back memories of those times. But, as Ken notes, they were also the vehicles that transported people from East Germany through the newly open border to the West. Thus, chariots of freedom.

Surprisingly, I happen to have some pics of them too.

This is from 2013 when I was visiting my family back home. Taken on a motorway, obviously, near or just out of Bratislava. Brother and me went on a short trip when we spotted it in front of us. Of course I had to take a pic. Looks like someone is a fan!

I never take pictures of cars, I never learnt to drive and I’m not interested in them but I never miss an opportunity for a good random or weird shot. Even long before I conceived the idea of Random and Weird Phone Shots.

There is also a model of Trabant displayed in Imperial War Museum in Salford Quays.

I just love how something so awful can decades later be thought of in any positive terms at all. I like a good redemption story.

They say a car needs to get you from A to B. For East Germans, that A and B were more than just places on a map.

Autumn 2019 Collection

I decided to make a recap post of some of the nicest looking photos I took this autumn. I’ve been lucky with weather; even though we still had a lot of rain, there were enough dry and sunny days to take some good shots. Although you’ll see two of these were taken indoors.

An oak.

A bowl of apples, my favourite fruit.

A cup of pumpkin spice latte. Normally I drink black coffee only; this for me is a once-a-year indulgence.

Two collages. The top one is made from smartphone shots taken on a walk, the bottom one is pictures from Heaton Park this autumn.

Another smartphone shot; this is Cathedral Gardens with Chetham School of Music in the background and the fountain where ducks occasionally hang out.

And I end this with two shots taken around the Manchester Cathedral.

Have a good November!

This is what you get for going to London for People’s Vote March…

Only Sir Patrick Stewart speaking on the stage!

This was my fifth anti Brexit march (I covered the first three on the blog before; the fourth one, which I didn’t post about, took place at the end of September in Manchester during the Conservative Party Conference). One sometimes wonders what the point is, why we still bother, but we do because it’s not the end yet.

I spent the whole time with three other guys from our coach from Manchester. As the coach dropped us off at the Embankment instead of Hyde Park, we decided to walk straight to Parliament Square, where the stage was set up for the rally and which was the end point of the march. So, we didn’t do any actual marching but we saw all the speakers. It’s the complete opposite of last year, where I did march but couldn’t even get to Parliament Square because it was so packed, the police had to turn people away at Whitehall. It’s really good to have experienced both.

I didn’t plan to blog about this march, or any other march again, I don’t want to clog my blog with Brexit posts (it seems to me there are too many but what can I do when I feel it every single day?) but at the same time, I feel like I need to give it a shout out. Truth is, it was an amazing, fantastic, beautiful experience and probably one of the best days of my life, despite getting up dead early to catch the coach at 6:30 and spending altogether about 11 hours on the said coach.

I would do it again.

If you want, you can read more about the march here.