September 18, 2019 – York, UK
Written by Jim
A long departed family friend used to love to visit the Cabela’s store in Dundee, Michigan, Art…a big kid at heart…would delight in telling us, “I always park in Lot D, as D is for Dummies!” How does that relate to the UK, you say?
Well here, D is for Diesel! No sooner did I pull up to the station and start pumping fuel from the green handled nozzle than I realized that I was putting petrol…gasoline…into the motorhome. Seven liters went in before I got it stopped. My heart sank. Pumps in the UK have black handles on the diesel and green on the unleaded…opposite of what is back in the States. I should have remembered that from visiting the BP stations in the US, which buck that trend. Yes, the B in BP stands for British. Second mistake was driving across the road to a large parking lot. Just turning the key enough to have the dashboard lights engaged the fuel pump and introduced the gas into the engine. If this ever happens to you, only turn the key far enough to unlock the wheel. At this point, I’m thinking that I ruined the engine. I called Just Go and they asked if I was in a safe place. I told them I was. They then proceeded to call a mobile fuel repair truck. Diana walked to the grocery store around the corner and grabbed all she could carry.
Evidently, this is a ‘thing’ over here, as people have businesses that take care of this sort of issue! The repairman says that 200,000 people a year put the wrong fuel in their vehicles in the UK. My guess is the lion’s share of them are American tourists grabbing the green pump handle. The repairman drained the tank and fuel filter, added new diesel fuel and a can of additive. About two hours and £272 later, we were on our way. No muss, no fuss, no damage, no problem…other than a lighter wallet. Just Go called us back about an hour later to make sure we were OK, which we were. Onward and upward to York!
Our campground in York was situated on a bus line, so getting downtown was very easy. That meant we got our first ride ever on a double-decker bus! They were spotless going in both directions. We had wanted to see the interior of the York Minster, but our earlier fuel issues got us there too late.
Another masterpiece of stonework. The first church built here was a wooden structure hurriedly put up in 627. This one was completed in 1472 after hundreds of years worth of work. That was 20 years before Columbus sailed for America!
This window is the largest medieval stained glass portal in the UK. We will have to see the light coming through it on a future trip.
The other thing we wanted to see in York was The Shambles.
This is a fourteenth century collection of buildings that used to be the meat market in York.
Many people believe this street was the inspiration for Diagon Alley in the Harry Potter film series. It sure looks like it! It’s filled with tourist shops and…
…The Shop That Must Not Be Named. A perfect spot to pick up your wizard wear.
That wraps up our trip to York. Next up, we head north to a place that Mike from A Bit About Britain introduced us to earlier this year. It involves the North Sea, a castle, a maritime heroine, and a saint. Be sure to stay tuned for that. Until then, safe and happy travels to all!