After waking up early and lacking any sort of hangover on Sunday after the wedding, Jon and I wanted to make the most of the hours we had left in Newcastle before catching our flight back down south in the evening. After indulging in the hotel breakfast and some hot coffees (and saying goodbye to the bride and groom) we packed up, checked out, and hit the streets.
We strolled along the Tyne Quayside and came across a little street fair, which was serendipitous since I loooove a good street fair. We bought some local cheese and sampled some fudge and ogled people, as you do. And I tried to understand what people were saying, but that Geordie accent is just too much for me and it was all nearly impossible.
Apparently in Newcastle farmers can grow onions as big as pumpkins!
We walked across the Gateshead Millennium Bridge, which does something really amazing.
Check that ish out…..this bridge was engineered to be able to rotate itself upwards to allow boats to pass underneath. We were so lucky to be walking by when one such instance happened-I was hoping we’d see it!
We kept walking, making stops on the bridge to watch the water, a quick trip to examine the wares at the Baltic Centre for contemporary art (housed in a very cool, historic, re-purposed flour mill), a walk across the other massive bridge, the Tyne, and a little wander around the bustling town center, where I stopped and took advantage of Clinique bonus time (can’t say no to that!) and we ate some sushi for lunch.
The view from the top floor of the Baltic Centre was pretty stunning, with both main bridges, the port, and that shiny bean thing on the left, which is an art gallery/concert hall.
I found Newcastle really interesting. A fascinating mix of Georgian architecture (similar to Bath) and really stunning modern stuff dotted here and there, with just enough grit and grim to keep things interesting. Somehow it all works. And imagine, Newcastle used to be mostly docks, ship building, and coal mining.
Jon’s always excited.
While I was disappointed that we didn’t have more time-I would have liked to head out of the city and go to the famous beaches and countryside-it was a nice weekend getaway, and I’d hit up Newcastle again for a city break no doubt. Much, much cheaper than down here in the south, good food, clean riverside views, and pretty all-around, with plenty of friendly folk. Why doesn’t anyone talk about this version of Newcastle?
See you next time, great English North! In farewell, I leave you this wonderful picture of my ever-cheerful life partner, carrying the flowers that I insisted on taking home because otherwise they were going to be thrown away. He only held them for a second, and apparently it was too much.