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York

Coming back to York is natural, although rarely so by car. We navigated the outer ring road uncertainly, making the minor mistake of taking the half of the outer ring road which is single lane and full of roundabouts. Even from there - the roundabouts, the traffice, the industrial estates - the Minster dominates the skyline, a visible call to gather people in to the city's dense center. Within the outer ring road, there is countryside, villages, town and then - suddenly - it is all the city and familiarity, past the circuit of the inner ring road I know so well. King's Manor, where I spent a year. The near-continuous defensive walls, now punctuated by traffic. The railway station, still one of my favorites for its long, slow curving space.

Walking knowledge easily trumps driving knowledge. I knew what roads to follow - not because of past driving, not because the GPS unit was giving us instructions too slowly in a muddle of curves - but because these were roads I'd walked innumerable times.

It's a brief trip, decided with a day's notice, only passing through: but it's good to be back.