Some days start and you know the weather is fine to go to the coast. That is what happende today. Not that we had planned on going to the coast but as it happened that is where the next attraction was.
We went to Sunderland to visit the National Glass Centre. I had read that it was next to an open part of the England Coast Path and as a result a nice walk from the Metro station. They were right, along the river Wear we found a nice bunch of sculptures on the banks basking in late summer glory. Walking there was already a nice treat and took a fair bit of time, not because it was far, but because we kept stopping. The glass centre is a nice building, modern yet in an almost old fashioned way. Inside the light is captured to show off the glass. We saw a nice exhibition from glass artists and the glass history of Sunderland. From one of the main glass centers in the industrial era it went to no glass factories . Only the glass degree at the university and the artists remain.
We watched two magnificent workshops. The first saw live molten glass being made. A hot job, and so much skill at work. Molten glass is such an amazing thing to see, almost liquid thick with what it can be made into, based on the skill of its guide.the second one was more intricate, precise work. The man that did the show, used to make laboratory equipment and the skills he uses are much more refined, less hard work, but incredibly skillful.
After the wonderful events there we walked to Roker which is the beach and marina are, on the promenade we admired sculptures. SO had this idea of eating mussels, but all we could find was fish and chips there, little refined, and to be honest not what we wanted. Thankfully we had our sandwiches so at least we had something we liked.
Next was the old church of St. Peter. Open to all visitors it said, but where? All doors except the one at the front were closed. Yet the one at the front had a locked fence in front of it. After trying a number of locked doors SO found a side door that was open and we sneaked in. Not only was it open, but there was a guided tour going on! We joined the tour through the little church and heard many interesting things about it. The oldest part of the church dates back to Bede‘s time, hence is Saxon. Of course many things have changed since that time and the main parts of the current building are Victorian, still it is a nice church to see and hear about. One our way back to the metro we stepped into the monkwearmouth station museum. This is and old station building with original Victorian features. Let ‘s just say; it was a fun little museum, but we were glad that we did not go all the way to Sunderland because of it. But as a nice closure to a good day it was fun.
Back in Newcastle we walked to the gastopub we had found and had a lovely if somewhat heavy meal. I mean braised oxtail is very very nice, but it did mean that I walked back to the hotel slightly burpy. Another nice holiday day was coming to an end