24 January 2009

Tyne and Wear

Gateshead Millennium Bridge over the river Tyne

Back in the fall we let ourselves be tempted by yet another offer from EasyJet and planned a trip to Newcastle and Durham here in the middle of January. Despite forecasts threatening the opposite in the days before the trip we ended up having sunshine for most of the weekend - and it certainly wasn't any colder than here in Geneva.

The old Baltic Flour Mills is today a museum for modern art

This was Lisbeth's first trip to this corner of England, but Tue was here no less than twice before: 3 months as an Erasmus exchange student in 2000 and again for one week of summer school in 2002. It was particularly amusing for Tue to see that although it couldn't any longer be same persons, the group of youths from the goth subculture was still hanging out at exactly the same spot on Eldon square.

A glimpse of the castle in Durham and the river Wear (rhymes with 'ear')

Although Tue was in the area before, this was the first time he spent time in Durham. Our locally acquainted guide, Alistair (whom Tue knows from his first trip to Newcastle), led us around showing us both the old cathedral, the castle, and one of the local pubs where we had a traditional British Sunday lunch.

We both agree that it was a great weekend. It was of course lovely to see/meet Richard and Alistair as well as their partners, Vivienne and Nicola, but we were also excited about being able to understand scraps of conversations around us on the train/in restaurants/on the street; to buy a pile of English magasines and books; to have lunch at Wagamama; to choose between a number of excellent beers in the pub; and not least that Lisbeth finally found a 'Lattice Pastry Cutter'!

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