'The road is there, it will always be there. You just have to decide when to take it.' - Chris Humphrey
Travelling is a unique experience that I encourage anyone to do as much as they can. Unlike what most people think, and I've mentioned this before, travelling doesn't have to be super expensive! Sure, sometimes you'll have to compromise on spending money on gifts and things you don't really need, in order to cover petrol or parking expenses...but other than that, there's no reason why travelling can't be affordable if you compromise on the right things.
If you'd ask me if I would rather go on a trip around the world or explore towns in the UK, I would always choose to get on a plane and go somewhere new. But this is where money comes in...and while I would love to travel the world and go to a new country every month, I can't afford it.
So, last weekend, I ventured to two different towns, quite far apart, in less than 24 hours! I'd never been to York or Scarborough, so why not get in the car and drive somewhere new?
I arrived in York at 8:00am and I was so impressed with this town! Founded by the Romans, no other place in northern England says 'medieval' quite like York. This town has an extraordinary cultural and historical wealth. The attractively unusual and old-fashioned narrow streets, as well as all the shops with very low ceilings gave this town a quaint appearance. I fell in love with its culture.
The Shambles, a medieval shopping street in the town where most of the buildings date from between c. 1350 and 1475, was the highlight of the trip, for me.
The roads were empty, and all you could hear was the sound of the Cathedral bells ringing. As soon as they stopped, the town went quiet to the point where you couldn't hear a fly!
Soon after, you could hear steps here and there, as people started approaching the streets to go about their days. But if you think the beauty was lost by it, you're wrong. It only made it an even more adorable place.
One hour went by, and I could hear music echoing from the streets. A musician played a few songs, and I sat on a bench to listen for a while.
Soon after, the shops and cafés started to open. I looked for a place with vegan options where I could have some breakfast. I really wanted a coffee.
I was so happy to come across this café. The 'vegan and gluten free cakes' by the window immediately caught my eye. This is where I would have breakfast. I ordered a breakfast sandwich with spinach, tomatoes and hummus and a coconut milk latte. It was really, really expensive, and I am sad to say that I was disappointed with the food. It was very basic, the sandwich was soggy and served with salad and crisps?! Who has crisps at 8am?
I wasn't sure I understood the concept of the café, although it looked quite cute on the inside. The staff was nice, but I felt a little bit as if I wasn't welcome...and that's not what you want when you walk into a café. My coffee, however, was really good, and they served it with a Biscoff biscuit.
Before I headed back to the car park, I stopped for a quick look around the Museum Gardens.
I headed back to the car park, then continued on with my journey. The next stop? Scarborough!
I was so impressed with Scarborough! I had no expectations whatsoever, but wow...what a gem! I could easily live there. As soon as I arrived, I parked near the train station and headed towards the South Bay Beach!
On the way down to the beach, I noticed the incredible architecture of Scarborough, and the respect for nature surrounding all buildings. With a vibe very different from York, Scarborough is a more 'open' town. The streets are wide, there's lots more traffic and noise.
Once you get down to the beach, there's a lot more to see: markets everywhere, fisherman trying to sell their fish; food stalls everywhere! Then, of course, you have the Olympia Leisure, a huge arcade place. There were restaurants spread out along the beach, right by the sea!
My favourite thing about this place was definitely all the boats by the water. There were seagulls flying about, and even donkeys on the beach for children to ride. I am against animal abuse and cruelty, and while the donkeys were being fed and looked well, I still couldn't help but feel sad for these animals.
I chased a few seagulls for some photographs, and some let me get really close to them. While some were just chilling by the water, other seagulls watched all the boats go by. The more adventurers flew around - some quite close to people's heads.
I felt a inexplicable freedom from being close to the sea, but somehow this same freedom was overpowered by other feelings. Unfortunately, I couldn't help but see so many dead sea animals from all the food stalls: crab-fish, shrimp, and all the seafood you can think off. All I remember, as I shook my head, was thinking 'this world really is mad'. How can we still kill innocent animals for out own pleasure? Animals are friends, not food!
So much death and death-traps around me... I couldn't help but feel sad.
More serious than this, I actually came across a sign by the beach that read 'stop attacks, never feed the gulls! #yourfoodisnottheirfood'. I can't even explain how that final hashtag made me feel. I also noticed so much plastic around me.
It was with a bitter-sweet feeling that I left Scarborough.
I walked towards the car park and drove back to Newcastle, which took about 3 hours. I didn't run into any traffic, but my foot was aching by the time I got home. I didn't make any stops and I arrived in Newcastle just after 4pm.
I loved this trip! I kept reminding myself of how much there is to see in the world, and that all it takes is will-power, a little planning, and very little money.
Next week, I will be visiting another two places I've never been to in the UK, and I cannot wait for the weekend.
I hope you have a great week. Speak soon!