20.12.15 — Travel

The Flooding of York

Once again I have hit a time in my life when things have gotten ridiculously busy, and so my poor old blog has been neglected for nearly a month. Have no fear, however, for I am back – and with only a week left until Christmas!

Speak of festivities, as a family (plus my sister’s boyfriend), we decided that there’d be no place more jovial to visit than the ancient city of York. To this end, we hopped in a car and argued and sang our way across the Lancashire/Yorkshire border, headed through an eery little tunnel, and wandered through an arch into the old walled city.

Into York

As you may have guessed by the title of this post, York has suffered the brunt of the latest bout of newly named storms that the UK has had to bear. With the amount of rainwater inundating the city, the river that runs through the heart of the city had burst its banks in the most spectacular fashion…

No walking here today

There wasn’t going to be much walking down this footpath today.

My parents atop a bridge
A plaque as one enters York

We soon landed at one of the cities most famous (and most huge) landmarks: York Minister Cathedral. The aim of the day was a spot of Christmas shopping, however, and so we opted not to head inside, but rather I just took a few snaps of the exterior as we wandered past.

York Minister

After a quick snack, me and my dad left my mum, sister and company to head down towards some of the older buildings down by the river. It soon became very clear that not only had the parks and walkways around the riverbanks taken an influx of water, but that countless businesses and homes had been seriously affected too. It was a sobering reminder of how dangerous things like this can be, and the flooded areas were hauntingly quiet and still, with the fast moving flow of water the only distraction from the submerged buildings.

The streets were disappearing into the water.

A street disappears into the water
A once elevated walkway
These guys don't have to go far to practice any more

We had soon crossed the river, over a bridge the top of whose arches barely rose two feet above the surface of the water. On the other side we found yet more flooded streets, with impromptu temporary bridges built to permit access to buildings on the riverside. Modern buildings had very effective flood barriers in place, with an underground car park remaining bone dry despite sitting a good ten feet under the new water level.

Lifeboats at the ready
Nobody'll be sitting there anytime soon
Back over the river

As we crossed back towards the centre of York once more, the extent of the water’s spread inland became very clear, with whole parks and car parks unrecognisable under the water. One of York’s famous old tower monuments, which sits atop a grassy hill, looked rather resplendent with it’s reflection sitting below.

The tower
Just in case you hadn't noticed
Looking back over the river

It soon became dark, and we all soon became hungry, and so after a jostle around the Christmas Markets for a while, we headed out to find somewhere to eat. Heading through York’s famous Shambles, we stumbled upon a lovely little Italian where I discovered that I do, in fact, like tomatoes, and so that my whole life up to this point has been one massive lie.

Things will never be the same for me…

Residual water
The Shambles
A Renaissance painting