settling for Newcastle in place of Jedburgh
Newcastle upon Tyne Travel Blog› entry 54 of 68 › view all entries
As it turned out, no trains stop in Jedburgh, so I had to skip the abbey listed on my itinerary and carry on to Newcastle. Beyond pastures and coastal cliffs, the land struggled to flatten out. As the hour of eight approached, the wisps of purple clouds overhead painted the atmosphere like brush strokes on canvas and the blue sea was even brighter than the sky above.
Asking for directions to the nearest hostel, one railroad employee referred me to another and he to yet another. Clare, a natural beauty with red hair and a bright smile, was more than helpful, even spotting me a pound for the metro to Jesmond. I had a hard time finding the place and there were few inhabitants out of whom to ask directions.
Once I had located Newcastle’s YHA and checked in, I reviewed my itinerary, but had no notes on Newcastle because it was an unplanned destination. Taking some advice from the YHA clerk, I first went to Bigg Market, but only dance clubs remained open at that hour, so I went on to the posh Quayside strip instead. A girl on the street pointed me in the direction of Pitcher & Piano bar, a hip, trendy joint, although the blaring pop disco tunes were not to my liking. From there, I approached the river and admired the Gateshead Millennium Bridge, a semi-circular pedestrian crossing supported from a hyperbolic arch (like that in Saint Louis) skewed above. Turning back, I landed at the bar on the river’s edge where, alongside the building, I was amused to encounter a pair of inebriated girls in nature squats creating puddles on the concrete pavement. Inside the bar, I had one more drink and called it a night.
Endeavoring to follow a city map in the absence of signs naming the street quickly became galling, but I found my way and was back at the hostel, out of the cold by 2:00am. I had been unable to find a place and was out of my portable snack foods, so I went to bed famished. Although the city is burgeoning and modern, I had found nil value in a tourist visit.