October 2, 2010

Day One

Waking on our first full day we were greeted by the most inclement weather. Rainy, cold, windy - exactly the sort of weather that lends itself to curling up with a book and staying indoors all day. But we had come to England to explore not stay indoors plus we figured we may only have this type of weather.

So we set off for Alwick. Alwick castle (a.k.a the Harry Potter castle) being our first port of call. Unfortunately because of the weather I didn't manage to get the greatest photos but it does show the grandeur of the castle.

The castle simply took my breath way. We did the tour of some of the inner rooms and the opulence of the furnishings was astounding.

Because of the weather I was constantly pulling my camera out from underneath my leather jacket, snapping a picture real quick then returning it safely to the protection of my jacket. Plus we quickly had to figure out the proper umbrella protocol.

We then walked - swiftly - to Barter Book (one of the largest second hand book stores in the UK). It was magnificent! There were first editions, rare books, the everyman's library, and miniature books. And the smell, oh my word, the smell!! It smell like history, literature and knowledge combined. I could have happily browsed for ages but it was time to move on.

One thing that struck me about Alwick was just the sense of pure history - from the cobbled roads, to the houses, to the castle. I notice that everything is tightly packed in - small houses, small streets, narrow stair cases.

It's like seeing a setting for one of my beloved BBC period films on every corner, down every road. For some strange reason I thought that I may see a few houses like that but for everywhere else to be 'normal' houses.

We decided to take a country drive in the afternoon because the weather was so bad. Winding our way up stopping at the Bamburgh castle.

Isn't it impressive? We didn't go inside instead just taking in the grand structure. Then slowly making our way back to the bed and breakfast for an early night.

We were in the northumberland district and I must confess I found the accent quite difficult to understand. I think I actually experience a slight bit of culture shock possibly because I was expecting everyone to be just like me.

There is such a sense of history, time, and place everywhere. I think I'm going to like this adventure.

Next... on to Edinburgh

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