Newcastle is very walkable and quite easy to see the sites on foot, although there is also a local bus that is very convenient for getting between places. After we had seen the much anticipated opening of the bridge, we headed up the hill in search of St. Nicholas Cathedral
and the Castle Keep and then headed to the shopping area of town, in the general vicinity of Grainger and Market Streets.
The World Cup was in progress so we encountered several people wearing flags or other “team” wear and even had a drink of Newcastle at a pub just before kick-off. On our way we meandered around the shopping area and found the Earl Grey statue. Better known to us as the guy with a bergamot flavored tea named for him, we figured we had to at least learn something about him. He is in fact the person who introduced an act that would abolish African slave trade.
Near the major pedestrian area, we visited the Chinese Arch and then made our way to the Great North Museum, which had been closed for lunch. We waited just a few minutes and took a whirlwind tour of the Hadrian’s Wall exhibit and rushed through the other exhibits even quicker. We wished that we had more time in Newcastle, but still wanted to visit the Segedunum on the way back to the ship.
Our taxi driver wasn’t exactly sure what was at this site and told us it would take us about 5 minutes to see the Segedunum. She didn’t realize that the site also included a museum and bath house in addition to the fort area that could be seen easily from the road.
Although many of the Brits onboard found the port call at Newcastle a bit of a joke, those of us not familiar with it found it enjoyable. We happened to meet a Brit who was in the Marines who pointed out the former ship building yards as we heading to the next port, Edinburg.