We bought the tickets from a machine and what a complicated thing it was. Why can't I use my Oyster Card? Each of us seemed to end up with three magnetic striped tickets for a return train fare. The train was quite comfortable and the journey to Durham fast.
To interrupt the flow, the day before I had to tell our non Anglo travelling friend about the Geordie language, the word toon, but more importantly as the word is quite different, bairns. Babies and children into their teen years, are bairns. I had noted a puzzled expression on his face when the word bairns was used. Bairns is not a word that can not be spelt phonetically in normal English, but you could say bens and stretch it right out.
One entrance to Newcastle Central Station. It has been extensively renovated since we were last there. The entrance has been glassed in and it is quite modern inside and well laid out.
There goes our cab.
No stifling diesel fume build up, like at our Southern Cross Station. No, this was designed for steam trains.
It wasn't using the overhead wires, so it must be a diesel or diesel electric. For Victorian's, it felt and sounded a bit like a VLocity train
Here we are at Durham.
Handsome station building and it is still raining.
Look down there. What is that building? We walked down the hill in the rain and crossed the Milburngate Bridge, vowing to get a cab back.
Ah, lookysee. Durham Castle is there somewhere, but the skyline is dominated by Durham Cathedral.
The River Wear flows through the township.
We took a short taxi ride up to the cathedral.
Very hard for a point and shoot camera to capture the full cathedral. The building was completed in 1093. Unbelievable. I felt a slight shiver as I entered the church. I don't know why and I had not experienced that in any European church or cathedral. There is a 66 metre (217 ft) tower to climb, for a fee, with all sorts of dire warnings about heart attacks and the difficulties of rescue. However, somebody's partner made the climb and was very proud of himself, even though, as he said, the views weren't anything special. Quite so. Wet and grey skies look similar from the ground to what they looked up in a tower.
We walked back into centre of town. Still it rained.
Town square, adjacent to the market.
We found a nice enough place for lunch and coffee but we didn't feel inclined to hang around Durham. The weather was just too awful.
I can't remember the details, but the trains arrived out of order and the one we intended to catch was behind what was supposed to be a later. It did not matter. They both went to Newcastle.
Heads down, peering at a phone screen, the same the world over, as life passes them by. Ok, I do a good bit of phone screen staring too.
I like the train livery.
Crossing the Tyne River, with a menage of bridges.
It was a huge family dinner that evening at Lau's 202, a chinese restaurant, which of course has western food too. Sister 2 only eats English food. There were about 15 adults and 6 children. This Art Deco building opposite was interesting.
We had again taken the 7 seater taxi to get to the restaurant and the chap said he would pick us up any time before 1am. I laughed. As if we would be out that late given we met up at 6. Well, the photo below was in the next day's camera shots, so it was taken after midnight. From here we went in two taxis to Sister 2's house in Elswick, which was half way home. I stayed about an hour and then with our two friends, went home in a taxi. R stayed on with sisters and had a 'family moment' that extended until 9am and he arrived home at 9.30 in a surprisingly good state. No time for sleep. We are out again this morning.