Newcastle trip
(17/02/06 - 19/02/06)

Rich and I made the journey up to Newcastle by train on Friday (17th) afternoon. Such a long journey - luckily Rich was well behaved and read quietly most of the time, otherwise the journey would have felt a whole lot longer. Liz met us at the station and took us back to their home where she fed us ginger biscuits (yum!) while we waited for Zig (Graham) to get back.

In the evening we went out to a pub in town where we met up with Vinny and Roz - sadly no photos were taken so I can't let you see what they looked like. I think we all behaved quite well - I only giggled a little, and Rich was happy as he got to try some Chinese beer (Xing Tao I think). However, the highlight of the evening was probably Liz walking/running back home and climbing onto an renovated classic car that was advertising a shop.

After an interesting nights sleep on Liz and Zig's fold out bed (Rich was hogging most of it) we wandered out towards the Newcastle Millenium bridge, and the Baltic art centre. On the way there we came through a 'bottle trail'... which was marked out with green bottles. I was for some reason very excited by this and I insisted on having my photo taken with each one... that was before realising that there were about 20 along the route.

Here I am pointing to one of them (I'm not going to inflict them all on you - if you want to see more then check out the photo gallery link at the bottom of the page) and in the background you can see Zig making a 'loser' L with his fingers - not very nice of him was it?

We walked on and on until we got to the Newcastle Millenium bridge - which tilts to let boats pass underneath it. I wonder if anyone has ever been jilted off the bridge when it decided to tilt? Luckily we all seemed to make it across with out the dreaded tilt happening... The bridge is much nicer than the one we have in London - and it never had the embarrassment of being too wobbly either! Rich likes the bridge so much that he has a framed picture of it up in his room.

The photo on the left (hopefully) is of Rich and Zig standing on the bridge and both looking well pleased with themselves. Isn't it a nice photo? - I took it!

After we had made it across the bridge we went over to the Baltic centre (which you can see behind Rich in the photo that should be on the right). The Baltic was very impressive, with all kinds of exciting things to look at. On our way in they had a coffee table that was wired up with lots of little saws that were slowly destroying the table. The saws were powered by a centre-piece of fruit that had little electrodes stuck in them. We went up in the scary glass elevater to the top floor (passing the exhibition displaying photos of huge numbers of nude people).

The view from the top of the Baltic is fantastic - it's a great vantage point over Newcastle as you can see the Millenium bridge and the Sage (theatre/opera building) as well as the rest of Newcastle laid out beneath you. The top floor of the Baltic has a crane for kids to go up in and collect lost balloons from the ceiling. Looked like fun - but I didn't get to have a go :-( We went back downstairs and Liz wandered around the gift shop (which did have some really nice things in), while Zig tried to get her out so that we could get lunch.

We quickly wandered around the Sage as we were nearby before hooping on one of the Newcastle electronic buses (Rich liked these - and took some film footage for some reason). After eating some tasty pasta, we wandered around a few shops before heading back to the house for a quick game of "Lost Valley of the Dinosaurs!"

Ah! What a fantastic game! There's the volcano that erupts gradually, the pterodactyl who can swop down at any time, 6 dinosaurs that may attack you, the dreaded swamp monster, and all that wonderful gold which you have to go and steal. We didn't have enough time to finsh our game though as we had tickets to go to a comedy club that evening. Vinny and Roz also joined us for the comedy - and much humor ensued.

The next morning we had a lazy start, but still managed to make it over to a little cafe/restaurant for a very tasty breakfast, where they give you very flexible straws - take a look at the photo gallery link below to see mine. After breakfast/brunch we went over to the petting zoo to look at all the cute (and damp) animals - I thought the bunnies were the best, perhaps I can persuade Rich to let me have one at some point? Sadly that was all we had time for - so off Rich and I trundled back on the train towards home.

More photos