Newcastle - wow, what a town!

Trip Start Dec 26, 2009
Trip End Feb 06, 2010

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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Sunday, January 17, 2010

Well, you just couldn't ask for a nicer day, the sun is shining and its much warmer (shame it didn’t happen like this yesterday) and we couldn’t have picked a better day for sightseeing and photographing Newcastle. We can finally take photos of the view outside our window (have a look at how blue the sky was in some of the photos)

We decided to walk into town along the river, its a really lovely walk and there were some outdoor markets on – it was even so much warmer than yesterday (never been so freezing in all our lives but we still survived, I think people must get used to being cold, then hot when indoors, then cold again).

They have some really lovely buildings here and they are so old (of course) but it just blows us away when you read the plaques that say "built in the year 1080" and they are still standing even after all this time. I have attached quite a few photos of both old and newer buildings for you to enjoy.

It was good to just get out and about and see some of Newcastle as the only things we have seen here are the insides of clothes shops (its very good shopping here especially as the sales have been on). In all our time here and interacting with so many people (especially again in shops) there has not been a single person who has been rude or unfriendly – its just fantastic to finally be treated with a bit of respect and a smile, its not much to ask for (those Spaniards.....).

We just wandered around and I took heaps of photos – we found this old church with all these gravestones in the grounds just about in the heart of the city, and of course, this was like heaven to me – lots of photos – we found one (up on some blocks of stone facing up towards the sky – almost like a stone table, not sure why it wasn’t on the ground like all the other ones) but moss has grown into some of the letters (attached photo) and it looked really interesting but hard to photograph as we had lost our sun (its amazing, it is dark by 4pm here – very different to Brisbane but I do realise its winter here, you just have to make sure you run around taking as many photos as you can before the weather turns or darkness sets in) but at least it wasn’t raining!

Now, I have news for you all – wait for it – BA found our second lost suitcase (the one we had to buy in Spain and there is not much in it but at least we can put our third lot of clothes in there now and it certainly no longer looks new, its look at least 3 years old its so dirty!). They think they may have also found one of the original 2 bags they lost back on the 9th in Barcelona but not sure which one it is or whether its in London or Newcastle (we will now have to check tomorrow at the airport when we check in for New York) but will cross that bridge when we come to it (we have found that we just take “baby steps” and sort out a little chunk at a time instead trying to plan ahead too far, it works more effectively and there is not so much stress) . Its a shame we are not here for another 2-3 days because they said they would be able to deliver at least one bag to us but now we have to sort it out at the airport.

Bill has been hankering for fish and chips since he got here as it is a popular dish here of course being England so we found this pub (and of course there were about 6 big flat screen TV’s and all eyes were glued to the set as they were watching what we call soccer – they call it football which I realise it is, its just that to Bill and I we associate the word football with Rugby Union or Rugby League). They love, absolutely love, I mean really really love their football – it appeared to be no special game like a semi final or anything like that but it seemed to be so important, they all got into it and as our friends son, James, plays a mean game of soccer (we have watched him and he is good) we got into watching it too and were oohing and aahing along with the Geordies, it was good because nobody looked at us as if to say “get out of our pub you shouldn’t be here, its for locals only”. I am assuming they heard the accent and realised we were Aussies, god, they love Aussies here, apparently, we are a very friendly bunch when we travel (with strange accents) but more importantly, we are “honest, straight up and forthright and you know where you stand with us” and Geordies seem to like this as they seem to have a similar way of thinking (at least thats what I was told by many people I met at the wedding who live around this area).

So here we were sitting in an English pub, having fish and chips and bangers and mash (translate – sausages & mashed potato) and a beer (well, Bill was having a beer, as most of you know, I detest beer – the smell of it, the taste of it YUK, don’t know how anyone can touch the stuff – I much prefer a nice dry white wine or of course, there is always champagne – now your are talking!!) watching the football looking as if we had been living there our entire lives, it was just great to be able to do that and not worry about what the locals thought and soaking up the atmosphere.

From there, back into the cold, the clouds had set in but were not ominous, you could notice the drop in temperature though. Walked into town, looked around a bit (had to buy a luggage tag for the new red suitcase that BA had found) and caught the bus back to the apartment where we did some washing and packed the now “worse for wear” suitcase and off to bed and so ends day 5 in lovely and very special town known as Newcastle (home of the Geordies)!
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Debra McInnes on

Hi Guys, What an eventful holiday so far. I hope the rest of it is plain saling, but sayin that I look forward to finding out what else can happen. I don't usually like soap operas or reality shows but this is amazing. Enjoy.

Kevin Gillinder on

Oh, how can you hate beer!!! Did you happen to try a 'real ale' ? Which pup
were you in?

Oh, and Karyl, some of your photographs are JUST PLAIN STUNNING. I
would love a copy or two of the gateshead / river. Wow!

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