The train from London to York, stuck somewhere half-way, finally lurched forward again after a 90-minute delay. The safety gate at a level crossing had frozen in the upright position, so the train could not proceed until it was freed. As the train limped in to York station under heavily laden skies that were once again starting to unload their burden, I figured I was lucky. I could have been stuck back in London, and who on earth would ever want to be stuck there…?
As I hauled my bag to the hotel about 15 minutes away, passing groups of happy teenagers who looked like the weather had kept them away from school for the day, I started to realise that I had a rare opportunity that afternoon to take some urban winter photos in a place I’d never been before. Every 15 minutes it would dump like a day-long blizzard, then suddenly clear up. There was hardly a whisper of wind, so the tree branches were feathered beautifully.
After dumping my bag at the hotel I headed straight for the old town and York Minster, the second-largest Gothic Cathedral in Europe after the colossal Cathedral in Milan. There were a few people about, but hardly any traffic braving the snowy roads, so it was fairly quiet as I padded through the streets and over bridges, pausing to take in a few sights on the way.
The sun was now low in the sky about a half-hour before dusk. I found myself alone in the immense churchyard, making a slow circumnavigation of the cathedral as the sun played off the snow draping the spires. Though I’d read how spectacular it is inside – much of it reconstructed after a devastating fire in 1984 - I left that ’til later, savouring the late-afternoon light and contrast with the brilliant layering of snow.
Enjoy the slideshow if you don’t mind this technical problem I ran into: I tried to remove from the slideshow the two photos already published above, but couldn’t figure out how. Still have a lot to learn about this blogging thing.
Monday: frozen out of the Yorkshire Air Museum.