This follows directly on from where my last ramblings left off.
This came highly recommended to us by friends, but you have to book your tickets in advance and you get a specific time slot to visit. However, on the plus side it is totally free. Unlike the Shard which was 30 quid to go up. I have to say, we loved it.
But first, the building its in. This is really cool too. Apparently, its called the walkie-talkie but that's pushing things a bit far. Just to show how much good taste I have, it has apparently won several awards for ugly buildings. Originally, it was meant to be much bigger but planners made them scale it back as they feared it would dominate. God knows what the original would have looked like as this is bloody massive.
It overhangs the street below in two directions which give a slightly odd effect close up.
I used to work in the City when I first left university. Nothing glamorous involving a bank of computer screens and multi-million pound takeovers. I worked in a wine merchants on the end of London Bridge (where little Waitrose is on the map below if you're interested). It was a bit of shock to the system to realise that it was 25 years ago, so not really that surprising that the place has really changed. And, has it ever?
The building I worked in has long gone and there is a great mix of old stone built buildings in tiny narrow streets and lanes and massive steel and glass skyscrapers. For example, Canary Wharf tower used to dominate the skyline out to the east. Now you have to work to find it.
When I was there, I loved the Lloyds insurance building and I'm pleased to say it still looks modern and edgey all these years later. Never realised it before, but once rush-hour is over, the city is a great place to wander. Loads to see, lots of history and, as everyone else,is busy at work, its pretty deserted.
In the weather we had over the summer, even Liverpool is nice. I have always liked the Albert Dock area, although it is a complete tourist trap (I preferred it with the weather map floating in it). The new shopping area is just soulless and apart from that its just another small British city. Will make the effort to go to the Cathedrals one day.
Mrs. E went to university here so she loves it and I used to go out here regularly when I was doing my PGCE. It is (or at least was) a top night out. But, dey do dat der, don't day dow?
Also, Liverpool, you could make something of the Beatles being from Liverpool and everything, you know. Seriously, the shameless way they milk this is quite tawdry at times. The day we were there McCartney was playing a gig in Matthew Street (where the old Cavern club was) but even so, the shameless cashing in is a bit over the top. Also, as the woman at the consulate (we were sorting Mrs. E's visa out.) pointed out... He can't sing anymore and should know when to pack it in.
The last post concentrated on the Baltic Art centre in Newcastle. This second one on the Toon looks at the rest of quayside in Newcastle. I have to say that there is a bit of a bridge theme to this summer's posts. Not very photogenic, but definitely worth a mention is the Biscuit factory, which is a 10 minute walk up from the Quayside. Its an art gallery cum shop. They display the work of, mainly, local artists of all kinds and act as a kind of agent for them if you feel moved to buy. Importantly, there is a cracking little coffee shop there too and a restaurant which is supposed to be ace but we didn't try that.
Like lots of places in the UK, Newcastle has really changed. Loads of money has been spent tarting up the Quayside and surrounding areas. A load of new riverside flats, student accommodation, restaurants, bars (of course, its still Newcastle!) art galleries, fancy shops and God knows what else.
We were there on a lovely day which always helps. It might be a bit different on a wet Wednesday in November as the temperature drops and the wind whistles in. But the day we were there was the kind that the planners had in mind when they planned it all.
This will be a blog about my latest shots and what I liked or was trying to do with them
I am a teacher of Economics and have worked in various schools in Europe & Asia. One of the things I love doing is getting out and about with my camera.