|Me with Sujata, Sarika, a musician, and Asif at the old Elvet Bridge|
We had just arrived in the UK and had barely settled in our new home when someone suggested a trip to Durham. All seven of us were from different parts of India and had somehow landed in Newcastle together. We had even managed to rent a house together and were just starting to get used to each other and also to the bitter cold. The plan for a day trip in Durham formed quickly and all of us were up for it. Today, I happened to come across pictures of that trip on Facebook and it made me all nostalgic. Needless to say, it was time to write a time-turner post about Durham.
|A Reflective Moment on the Banks of the River Wear|
Durham is at 29 km driving distance from Newcastle. The train ride to Durham takes about 15 minutes. We reached the city at about 9:30 in the morning and were shocked to find that almost all the streets leading up to the Durham Palace and the Cathedral had been dug up. This made walking around very incovenient. Despite this, we did manage to cover almost the entire city on foot.
Durham Cathedral was the very first cathedral I visited in the UK. I was struck by its grandeaur. The Norman architecture, tall towers, stone walls, and the colored glass windows all painted the most magnificient picture that I had ever seen. I was so impressed by this cathedral that I made it a point to visit all the cathedrals I could in all the cities I visited in the UK, never tiring of the steeples, the crypts, the tall organs, and the naves, even though almost all cathedrals have similar feel.
|The Shakespeare Tavern - The Most Haunted Pub in the UK|
At the centre of the city, a huge farmer's market was on. We ate roasted chestnuts, fresh strawberries, and fish 'n' chips here. That was our lunch. I remember walking across one of the most haunted pubs in the UK - The Shakespeare Tavern, though we didn't step in. At that time we weren't yet used to the idea of entering a pub in broad daylight, so having lunch at one was out of question. I got over this bias very quickly though.
|The Walk along the River Wear|
I remember a beautiful, serene walk on the bank of the River Wear that flows through the city. Peace is what I feel when I think of our Durham trip, and I think the credit for this goes to this walk. We lingered here for quite some time after all our sightseeing, and moved away only once it got too dark to see anything. The gentle gurgling of the river, the perfect reflections, and the solitude of the place stayed with us for quite some time even after we had boarded the train back to Newcastle.
|The Old Elvet Bridge on the River Wear|
This trip definitely brought us all closer together. I would definitely love to go back to Durham, even if it is only to have a drink at the Shakespeare Tavern or to walk along the River Wear and relive my college days.