Thursday, 23 June 2011

H'Awayday to the Toon 22nd June

Nothing too extreme this week, just a trip down to Newcastle for a couple of drinks with an old pal. Woke up to the filthy weather that we have come to associate with June 2011 and opted for a lift to the station. No point in starting the day wet. Squeezed onto the Dunblane - Edinburgh and got a fold down seat in the vestibule.
 Waverley was pretty busy and now that most East Coast trains don't run through from Glasgow we were kept guessing about which platform we needed to be on. Inevitably we had to climb back up to the footbridge and make our way to the outermost edge (Platform 8). Our coach was almost full but at least there were no serious anti-social types. On balance I thought that the trip south was worth the £8 that it cost.

Generally the weather was pretty miserable on the way south although it did cheer up a little around Alnmouth and I got this shot of a field of poppies as we slowed down for the station stop. I can't remember a train south that stopped only at Alnmouth before getting to Newcastle. How odd.

 Arrived on time in Newcastle and met up with CJB. We trialled a few congenial hostelries, including the absolutely splendid Crown Posada as well as the Bridge, both old favourites.  

Nowhere was particularly busy but my recommendation for lunch took the biscuit. It was a tapas bar on a steep hill leading down towards the Quayside where I have dined well in the past. The only customers as we arrived soon shot the craw and left us to it in splendid isolation.

All too soon it was time to return home. I had time to take a picture of the front of the train before settling in to the luxury of first class. It cost a pound more than second class would have done and included coffee, a large tumbler of red wine, quite a good sandwich and a slab of cake. Good old East Coast. 

The weather was much better on this trip and both Alnmouth and Berwick looked very pretty in the sun. It is not easy to take level photos out of a train moving at about 100 miles per hour.

Back at Waverley I just missed the Linlithgow connection and had to console myself with a pint for 25 minutes until the next train. 

All in all a satisfactory trip but no records broken. Next time I must try to do every stop on the Tyne-Wear Metro.

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