November 18, 2015

An Afternoon in Newcastle

Small fact about myself, I was born in Newcastle but raised abroad. It only occurred to me recently that the only thing I kind of know Newcastle for is Georgie Shore, which I don't even watch. So while visiting relatives up North, I made time during one afternoon exploring the city centre.

The first thing I noticed when stepping out of the train station, was how well Geordies live up to their friendly reputation. With this being my first getaway since New York, the contrast in just small, casual interactions hit me hard. From the florist by the station, to the taxi drivers and even retail workers. On our day of playing tourist, the first thing we did was catch the sunrise by the Tyne.

After shower and breakfast, we made our way into town to check out the castle Newcastle was named after. It was surprising to discover how compact the city centre was. It turned out, the castle was only 30 seconds away from where we were staying. After a hunt for the ticket booth, we navigated out way around the maze of a castle before checking out the view on top.

From there we walked up Grey street, known for it's grade I buildings. This was what I was most looking forward to checking out as it's been raved about. However, aside from it being a beautiful street, it was mainly just restaurants on the road. I was disappointed by the lack of independent boutiques that it used to have according to my older relatives.

After passing by the Early Grey monument at the top of Grey Street, we headed into Grainger Market to avoid the busy shoppers. The market has a mash of things, from fruit and veg to a Marks & Spencers stall, there's bath bombs, Turkish lamps and even some vintage style clothing. After a browse, we settled on getting a snack at an affordable Turkish stall adorned with the tiniest tables and stools. Our day basically ended after we got sucked into the Eldon Square shopping centre. Admittedly, doing a lot of window shopping in the Fenwick beauty hall. Next time I stop by, I plan on not being lured in by all the stores and partake in some more cultural activities. 

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