Yes, we visited another castle over the weekend. This one is the “new castle” of Newcastle so it was fitting to finally go see it after my being here for almost a year. I will celebrate my first year as a resident of England on the 20th of this month. It took me a while to get use to the cold, the walking, the bus, the subway, and all the other new-found experiences that completely threw me for a loop when I first got here in 2009.
But last night I was thinking that if we were to win the lottery, I wouldn’t really want us to move anywhere else in the world. Sure, with the monetary means of travelling we would visit Florida as much as we wanted but we both like it here. We live in a nice neighbourhood, there are things to do and see (like castles!) a stone’s throw away. Sure I’d get a bigger house and chock it full of shiny electronic gadgets for making my life more convenient but being here is just fine by me.
So, on to the castle. We set out early on Saturday with the temperature being about 32F (I forgot to mention that I’m still trying to get use to the cold) and went up the hill (and we have hills here that I have to walk up – lots of hills.) Once we were in the city centre, we stopped at St. Nicholas Cathedral which was completely amazing since they had grave markers and plaques dating from the 1700-1800s and as early as the 1400s. What I always found fascinating about the cathedral is that at the art galleries we’ve been in, all of the old paintings show St. Nicholas Cathedral in them.
After our little visit to the cathedral we walked across The Black Gate to Castle Keep. The thing about this castle was that it was narrower inside than Edinburgh Castle and we had to walk up these big, steep steps that wound all the way up to the top. But at the top – wow, what a view! You could see the Quayside and Central Station from up there. Quite a neat experience. Inside the castle they had ye olde toilets, models of how the city buildings looked over time, and some historical artefacts. I was interested in the history of the new castle but sort of disappointed that there weren’t more bones and creepy stuff around. I’m sure a ghost tour will solve that.
It was a really great experience to go there since it is a huge part of the city’s history. Plus, I love being around the city to explore on the weekends even if it is 30 some degrees outside and I have on the biggest, puffiest coat I can find. Being in the city is just such a great feeling. After living in the residential areas for so long that are hours away from any city life, it makes me feel more a part of the place when I’m hanging out in the city centre. Now, if I could make myself take a bus journey there on my own.