During April and at the beginning of May I made two day trips to Durham and Newcastle. Durham
My parents and Angie dropped me off in Durham on their way to Edinburgh. Durham is a wonderful historic city between Darlington and Newcastle. Durham is quite small compared to York and Edinburgh. It took me only half a day to look around the main attractions.
I had a walk by the River Wear where you can look up to Durham Cathedral, the city's impressive landmark when everyone sees when arriving in the city especially by train. Then I visited the cathedral which is an impressive building. The cathedral was built from 1093 to 1274 AD and I took the opportunity to climb up the tower and got great views despite the weather being overcast. After visiting the cathedral, I had a wander round the castle, now a students' residence. We were not allowed to go inside the castle unless we joined a guided tour so I just enjoyed seeing it from the outside.
I spent rest of my time drinking coffee and pottering around the historic part of the city and soaking in the atmosphere before getting my
train home back to Leeds. Newcastle
I recently spent a day in Newcastle with my friend, Ruth. What impressed me with Newcastle are the amazing independent cafe culture and the free art galleries. We began our day catching up at a Fair Trade cafe not far from the train station. We then spent some time at the Laing Art Gallery
. We saw an impressive Japanese art exhibition, "Japanese Wave", exhibited temporarily at the gallery. We admired the artwork and artefacts by the Japanese artists, Hiroshage and Hokusai, in the Edo Era during the 19th Century.
The Introduction to the exhbition was thought provoking and this enable me to reflect on how I look at life now compared to before:
Japanese Wave - Living only for the moment, turning our full attention to the pleasures of the moon, the snow, the cherry blossoms and the maple leaves; singing songs, drinking wine, diverting ourselves just in floating, floating; caring not a whit for the pauperism staring us in the face, refusing to be disheartened, like a ground floating along with the river current; this is what we call the floating world
I felt moved by this and this added a new dimension when looking around the exhibition.
After the visit at the gallery, we had a lovely love at Pani's
, an italian restaurant/cafe I highly recommend. After lunch, we just enjoying catching up and sampling the cafe culture. We wandered through Grainger Street renowned for the Georgian architecture, Grey's Monument and Eldon Square.
In all we had a wonderful day and I look forward to returning
at the beginning of July to sample more of the cafe culture and seek inspiration in the art galleries. Newcastle is a funky place and an ideal place for spending a day or more...it is not a demanding city but perfect for those who want different things out of a city break.
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