Okay… so it’s only Thursday but I couldn’t think of a snappy title for today’s post!
Newcastle – Tuesday…
I wanted to catch the 2:12 train to Huddersfield so after a leisurely breakfast, I packed my bags – again – checked out of the hotel and headed for the train station where I dropped my bags off at “left luggage”. I didn’t want to drag them around while I did a bit of sightseeing.
The sightseeing bus conveniently picks up right outside the rail station so I jumped on that hop on-hop off tour around Newcastle. I was completely unfamiliar with the city, and now, after seeing just a bit of it and hearing about what else is nearby, I’d love to go back. I picked up a bit of history of the area –
- Viking, Romans & Hadrian’s Wall
- the remains of New Castle – the Castle Keep and Black Gate are pretty much all that is left of the castle that gave the town its name
- Earl Grey tea is named after the 2nd Earl Grey (Charles – a prime minister in the 1830s) – he was from Newcastle
- Newcastle University – another downtown U, established in the 1830s
- shopping – lots of shopping – in some ways the shopping district reminded me of Nottingham.
On to Huddersfield and my first major transportation blunder of the trip – not bad after almost 6 weeks! The taxi driver and I had a communication problem – I thought I clearly said “Elm Crest” – twice even – and he heard something else which I cannot even repeat. I’d looked at google maps and knew the B&B wasn’t too far out of town, but as the driver headed out of town and up into the hills I kept wondering…we’d gone a good 5 miles when I suggested we were headed in the wrong direction. One good thing – I had the B&B phone number in my cell phone so I called and turned over the phone to the driver. We turned around and eventually found the place. He only charged me what it would have cost from the rail station but was really unhappy when I handed him a Scottish (rather than British) bank note. He would’ve taken it but luckily I had the 4 pounds in change…
My B&B, the Elm Crest Guest House, is fantastic. It’s in a beautiful 1820s home. The hosts are so helpful. They set out tea & a flapjack (no calories, I’m sure) after I got settled in. Nice, comfortable room with a private bath – tiny but who cares?! The hostess asked if I had plans for dinner and suggested several restaurants and take-out/delivery services. Yay for Chinese delivery! Hot & sour soup with chicken curry. I spent the evening online reading everything from email to friends’ journals, writing and reviewing fic, and chatting with Al in Glasgow & Emily in Virginia.
I had a leisurely Wednesday morning and headed to the University to talk to Graham S., the e/IR guru and secretary of UKSG.