Sunday, September 23, 2012

Newcastle upon Tyne, England

The modern day Newcastle is probably best know for its beer and its football club.  But did you know THE Earl Grey (eponym of the famous tea) hails from Newcastle?  In the 1500's, Newcastle was THE coal shipping region of England.  And going back still further, the Roman Emperor Hadrian started his famous wall with the Segedunum Roman Fort in the Newcastle area, trying to effectively fence out the "barbarian Scots".  

The very beginnings of Hadrian's Wall in Eastern England (with replica built behind)

On another day off, we decided to adventure to the nearby town of Durham by train.  This is a definite "must see"!! The Cathedral (which allowed no interior photography), located along the River Wear is among the most spectacular of all churches I've seen.  This UNESCO site is hailed as "the largest and most perfect monument of 'Norman' style architecture in England".  The adjacent Durham Castle is a University (and was the setting for  Harry Potter's Hogwart School's dining room.  Sadly, it was not available to be visited that day, due to a wedding.  What we DID find out though, was that rooms could be booked there as a B&B, and dining in that famous room, and a tour come with the overnight stay.  If we'd only known....

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