I made it back OK from Newcastle yesterday evening, coming home to find Dave and two of his coworkers immersed in a daylong curriculum planning exercise in our dining room. Happily, not long after I arrived, it morphed into a warm, welcoming chili dinner!
So let me share some of my Newcastle photos. I spent almost all morning wandering the town. I walked down by the riverfront, where the arched Millennium Gateshead Bridge echoes the shape of the older Tyne Bridge, just upstream. In between, there's the silvery slug-shaped Sage Gateshead concert hall.
There seems to be a lot of urban redevelopment going on in central Newcastle. That made for good photography -- you know how I love old, weather-beaten shopfronts.
I walked through the elegant university campus and into Leazes Park...
...where some of the pathways are inlaid with metal flowers.
Also in Leazes Park, I found a herd of urban cows! That white cow kept an eye on me the whole time while its companions grazed. Clearly it was the lookout cow. I kept my distance.
This is another view of the Sage Gateshead. I called it "slug-shaped" above, but from this angle it looks more barrel-shaped. It's a very interesting building -- the shape seems variable, depending on the angle, and the color reflects whatever's going on in the sky.
This is another interesting building on the Gateshead riverfront. It's now a modern art center, and if I'd had more time I would have visited. I told Dave when I got home that we have to go back to Newcastle at some point. I didn't get to do all that I wanted!
Just before I got on my 3 p.m. train, I was sitting in Starbucks when this group of young women walked by, clearly ready for a night on the town. I'm not sure how they manage in those heels!
Overall, I was very favorably impressed by Newcastle and Gateshead. I expected industrial grit, but the cities are quite artsy and youthful and vigorous. I'm serious when I say I need to go back!