The wall: Edinburgh to Newcastle – June 15

We took a bus from Edinburgh to Newcastle. We had originally planned to take the train, but the bus turned out to be a good deal cheaper.

This statue is close to the university in Edinburgh. Can you tell?

It was a ride of only a few hours, much of it through pretty countryside. We passed close by Traprain Law, a hillfort site with many finds of Roman artifacts that was important in my dissertation. It was nice to get another look at it, even on the move.

Traprain Law from the north

In Newcastle, we dragged our luggage around from bus station to train station where we got on the metro. A long ride on the metro took us to Whitley Bay, where we spent the night before our first walking day. Whitley Bay looks like an old seaside resort town which has fallen on hard times, but is starting to make a comeback. Just down the street from our bed and breakfast was a long beach. Across the street from the beach was a strip of nightclubs and restaurants. Many of the buildings are old and in poor repair, but the businesses in them seem to be thriving and you can see things are starting to be put back into better shape.

The beach at Whitley Bay on a cloudy afternoon

We had dinner at an Indian restaurant in the beachside strip. We got a great prix-fixe deal and had some of the best Indian food we’ve ever tasted.

The Indian resturant where we had dinner is one of these

The room in our B&B was simple, but comfortable. The one problematic thing was the shower: no matter how you adjusted the controls, it just kept alternating between cold water and scald-your-skin-off hot. You could manage to have a decent shower by jumping in and out, but it took a while to get properly clean. Brits and their showers just boggle me: of all people in the world, you’d think they could figure out falling water. (To be fair, this was the only time we had trouble with the shower. In other places it either worked all right or we had a bathtub.)

Tomorrow the walk begins

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