Sunday, 1 July 2012

114 Newcastle upon Tyne

Saturday 30th June
We spent the day visiting the land of the Geordies, Newcastle upon Tyne.
We had decide the previous day to get on one of those hop on hop off tour buses. We liked these as you get to see most things that ordinarily you would miss.
So we did a bit of internet research and found a parking place near one of the drop offs at about 1pm. It was at the Gateshead Sage music centre (Gateshead is basically part of Newcastle but on the south side of the Tyne.) The bus came almost immediately and we were off listening to an almost unintelligible language called Geordi and driving over the famous (for Geordies !) Tyne bridge.
The famous Tyne bridge. Complete with waste of money decorations.
A memorial to Queen Victoria.

One of the remaining towers of the castle.

George Stephenson and his sons. All famous engineers of which George invented 'Stephensons Rocket', a steam train that was seriously advanced for its age and set the scene for the golden age of steam trains.

We were on the bus for about 10 minutes and the commentary announced the stop for China Town.

There is one in every city. Including the Irish bar creeping in on the right.
Nice we thought, and got off for a Chinese meal. After about another 10 minutes wandering about we found a buffet menu and heartily chewed into as much Chinese nosh as we could eat without embarrassing ourselves too much.
Then it was back on the street and into 'Rosies Bar', about 5 doors along the street. It was a pub with a history that got its name from an Irish girl (Rosie !) who with a sugar daddy set up a very profitable and famous brothel at the venue. The sugar daddy died suddenly and Rosie went into depression. She was last seen briefly singing on the dockside of a ship about to part for New York in 1874.


These heads move sporadically and just enough to catch your eye and then stop. Its weird as when you look properly all is still. Makes you think you are even more mad that you give yourself credit for.

The gents toilet inside was a bit of an education. I suppose it did used to be a brothel after all.
Before you ask....No I didn't

But I can't say I didn't think about it.

By now it was about 3:20 and we decided to continue our bus ride. We went back to the stop and waited for the bus. We then noticed a timetable for the tour bus and saw that the last bus had gone about 15 minutes before. We had just paid £8 each for a 10 minute bus ride. Doh!
So it was now on foot for the rest of the tour.

George Gray. The outline designer of the city centre and an ex Liberal Prime minister. He is credited with civil reform and gaining extra rights for peasant farmers. He also had a hand in abolishing slavery and giving his name to a particularly foul smelling tea - Earl Grey.

Newcastle was a very friendly place and we did not at any time feel uneasy as you do in many cities. Our one criticism is that when new buildings had been erected they were soulless and made the place look clinical and dead. All in all though we liked the place.

This is the pedestrian Millennium Bridge. It hinges up to allow tall ships to pass. The deck is curved like the support beam - weird.
We then walked back to the dock area where Gromit was parked opposite and found a very lively bar on the quayside , the Pitcher and Piano. It was kickin man! Very busy with about 200 customers but again, all very friendly. I like Geordies, just wish I understood what they said.
At about 6pm, we crossed the Tyne, found Gromit and drove back to our campsite.

Sunday 1st July 2012.
Halfway through the year already. Where has the last 6 months gone ?
After the usual battle of "Pinch Punch first day of the month" which I lost, we decided to chill out for the day and watched the bike racing all day.

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