Sunday was a treat. Instead of bumbling my way from Harrogate to York on the train, my brother met me, and we had a motoring adventure that ended for me in York but continued a bit for Matt.
Matt collected me in Harrogate at 10:00 in his rented red Nissan Juke. I, of course, moved to get into the driver’s side, a mistake I think we all make once. I was charged with navigating. Now that is totally fine if I have a map, and I don’t have to know the whole directions thing (NSEW) but can rely on the sorts of commands like, “Coming up soon the road will fork off.” (Say that quickly to yourself now.) Yes, I said that at least once. Matt has a good map and a sense of humor.
So off we went. Our basic direction was moor-ward. After that, we let the road take us. We began at the visitors center of the Yorkshire Moors National Park. Most folks were there to begin a longish walk across the heather, but there was a festival that day with reënactors and activities or kids. There was a man carving with a chainsaw and men and women in tartan and furs. We crashed around a bit and ended up asking the nice young lady behind the desk for suggestions. She sent us to Rievaulx Abbey. Great call.
It was beautiful, the weather cooperated, and we had a lovely stroll. Lots of people enjoying the day but not crowded at all. Hilarious overheard father/son conversation began with, “Alistair, you are not minding. You are not listening well.” Alistair continued to run around.
We had tea in the cafe there, ordering pork and apple pies with sides (“Pork pie salad?” the server asked as she brought our lunch). All delicious. I was climbing back into the car when Matt insisted that I get out and look at the horseman in full western wear fringed chaps, hat, boots, western saddle, standing by the fence drinking his tea from a china cup, tea pot at his feet. We felt it was rude to take a photo, but we wished to nonetheless.
Refreshed, off we went, driving the little white roads on the map. The weather changed every few minutes. Mist, rain, brilliant sunshine, wind, calm. The only constants were heather and sheep.
All in all a grand day out. Many many roundabouts later, we ended at my guesthouse in York. We walked into the city center where we dined on traditional foods (Yorkshire pudding, roast beef, lamb, potato and veg) and passed by a bookstore that had this delicious book in the window.
Thanks, Matt, for a wonderful day.