Black pudding, dirty jokes and two pints of lager
They still exist. The red phone booths in Great Britain. I found one in the centre of Newcastle and took my picture with it. Some English fellows walk by and start to laugh. Yes, another tourist in town taking pictures with a phone booth. It’s me!
We came by cruise ship/ferry of DFDS Seaways. Feeling a bit wobbly after a night on rough seas and in a bunk bed we decide that what we need is a proper English breakfast. We find one in a big mall near the statue of Earl Grey (the tea guy).
A sausage, white beans, two poached eggs, mushrooms, tomato, bacon and black pudding. The sizzling full English breakfast smells great, looks great and tastes even better. With the fat fuelling our bodies we are good to go for a walk. We have a couple of hours to discover Newcastle before the boat returns to the Netherlands again.
Discovering the history of Newcastle
The discovery museum is our second stop. It’s free of charge, which is something we Dutchies like a lot. The first thing we see as we enter the museum is the Turbinia. A 34-metre steam powered ship that was once the fastest ship in the world. The museum is bigger than we thought with multiple expositions. Theme of the museum is the history of Newcastle. From Roman times to the early millennium. It’s fun, educating and worth a visit. But the weather is great and we don’t have all day so we gotta get going.
We walk with the sun in our faces. We are extra careful while crossing the streets (traffic comes from another direction then we are used to of course). We find a small stairs that lead us to the river Tyne where we cross the bridge to and see this futuristic looking building. It’s the Sage Gateshead, a concert venue and also a centre for musical education. It looks great but you have to buy tickets for the shows and we don’t have the time, or the money to do so. So off we go again.
We enjoy the views of the river, the beautiful building we pass and each other’s company. All this day needs is a typical English foam-less pint so we start looking for a pub in the centre of town.
Two pints of lager and some dirty jokes
It’s two o’clock in the afternoon and the place is loaded with local beer drinkers. One of them approaches us and starts talking. Our English is pretty good but we don’t understand a word of his Geordie accent. He notices and asks where we are from. Then he sits down next to me and starts of with jokes. Real dirty ones. We still don’t understand everything so we laugh whenever we think we have to laugh. After three jokes he is done. We laugh once more and take another sip of beer while looking at each other in a meaningful way. Another man starts talking to us. He doesn’t seem to care we don’t understand him, he is drunk and has no teeth. It’s time to go. Though a bit strange, this was fun!
Grainger Market, a step back in time
Next to the pub we find the entrance of Grainger market. It’s like taking a step back in time. The candy store looks old-school, there is a place where you can weigh yourself for a pence, a shoe polisher, the smallest Marks & Spencer in the world and lots of food. We eat dumplings and shepherd’s pie before we return to the boat.
Newcastle upon Tyne is a wonderful place for shopping, sightseeing and food. And if you are ever around, go into the black garter pub, find the guy with the gold earring that tells a lot of jokes and tell John we said hi.