There is something infectiously fun about traveling! As I write this I am sitting in a hotel bar just having finished what was possibly the worst pizza of my life. But we can’t judge the whole of Newcastle by this sub-standard pizza! I was traveling for a solid eight hours to get to this city and I am determined to enjoy it. I am sad to say that Hamish was unable to accompany me due to the dreaded ‘W’ word; where is my backup when I need it!
The bar that I’m in is pretty typical of what is to be expected on a Friday night. LOTS OF STUDENTS EVERYWHERE, I’m guessing that they are pre-drinking before a big night out on the Newcastle Strip. I can hear that a girl called Charlotte thinks she is good at singing to the table to my left, and guys are trying to get lucky with a group of girls in the distance to the right. The bar girl asks if I’m local, only of a global scale I think to myself, replying “no, just visiting.”
I recommend that you avoid getting on long coach trips with a group of wrestlers. I was sat (for eight hours) in front of three that discussed nothing else the whole journey – literally nothing. Who they had fought, who they liked in the wrestling world, who they didn’t, funny stories, and on and on and on. Fortunately I managed to drown most of it out with loud music, only catching fleeting snippets of “this was the first time I had been chucked out of a ring” and suck like.
I haven’t actually told you why I’m visiting Newcastle: I am here to attend an Open day at the Northumbria University. For those that enjoy traveling this is a perfect reason to go trotting around Britain. It must be so expensive?! * Actually, no. I am working to a budget like many of the people reading this would want to be. This can be achieved by getting coaches instead of trains, and using late hotel booking sites as I have done. The coach journey back tomorrow is costing me only £9.00! YES! THAT’S ALL! I really shouldn’t be complaining about the previously mentioned pizza that cost me £3.95. Anyway, an early night is required before an early start in the morning to see the sites of Newcastle city, plus the whole uni thing… just don’t think about the coach journey back.
Well, what a day it’s been! The city centre of Newcastle is stunning. There is a mixture of modern and Victorian architecture that is a treat for anyone's eyes.
It was impossible to stop constantly taking pictures the whole morning. There was of course the main reason that I was here – to visit the university. Definitely a worthwhile trip just to see this vibrant and busy place. The people were great to talk to about information, it was well organised, something I admire, and the sun was shining. The physics labs looked swish and very snazzy, the whole campus was modern and clean and I generally felt very comfortable.
I write this second part of the trip whilst on the coach journey home, we are now five hours and twenty one minutes in. My advice for surviving long journeys is this:
Have a good long music playlist
Have a good novel if you enjoy reading
Have a tablet with long battery life, and a large number of programmes downloaded from BBC iPlayer
Have snacks and drinks.
No wrestlers to listen to this time either, just a nice relaxing journey home. They say that journeys home often feel shorter…I find this to be false. This definitely feels longer that it did on the way here, maybe because there’s nothing to look forward to in the same way. Oh well! Only about an hour left… then wait for a train in London… then finally arrive back home.
I will have been away for about 40 hours when I make it home. Is that all? It’s been a chance for me to become more independent as a travellers. I feel much more prepared for uni life after this, a successful trip all round then, I’ve become quite good at this tourist lark, shame it’s got to end really.