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Outdoor museums and indoor comedians

UNITED KINGDOM | Saturday, 28 August 2010 | Views [381]

Catching the tram around the outdoor museum - too lazy to walk!

Catching the tram around the outdoor museum - too lazy to walk!

I had just over a week to kill before my next stint working and so decided to head north to Scotland while the weather was still relatively good (i.e. not snowing). Three days of rain in London before heading up did not bode well though.


I started the trip with a visit to Newcastle to see some friends from Uni. On Saturday night we stuffed ourselves silly at an all-you-can-eat Japanese and Chinese restaurant – usually a waste on me as I can never eat enough to justify these sorts of buffets but this time there was fresh sushi and beautiful King Prawns, definitely worth it!

The following day we headed out to Beamish Outdoor Museum: a “living museum” consisting of a small town of old buildings all kitted out with historical items, a small farm with some incredibly fat horses, an old coal mine with a steam train that was on Thomas the Tank Engine (I forget which one), and a working tram that transported us between the spots. The only disappointment of the day was that we were unable to watch the candy-makers at work due to the crowd huddling in the warm, sweet-smelling shop away from the rain. I was gutted. We also managed to find a coffee shop run by an Italian couple who made the best coffee I’ve had since I arrived in the UK.

All too soon it was time for my train to Edinburgh, so I bid my farewells and headed north in an attempt to escape the rain that had followed me from London. I arrived around 7pm and was excited to see that the streets were still full of people enjoying the last day of the fringe festival. After stopping to watch a guy shimmying up and down a pole (like a gymnast, not like a pole dancer) and the tiniest female contortionist I’ve ever seen, I made my way to Castle Rock Hostel to dump my bags before heading back out. As luck would have it, one of my friends from England just happened to be in town, and just happened to have finished watching a comedy show only 3 doors away from the hostel when I arrived. So we headed back into town and found a pub where we could watch another show. Unfortunately I had left my passport at the hostel, not wanting to take it into town, and had forgotten that I had handed in my driver’s license for a UK license that still hadn’t arrived. And it happened to be the first night that I was ID’d in over 3 years. Typical! Even though she knew I was not under 18 (I wish I still looked that young!) I wasn’t even allowed to remain in the pub despite not drinking. So I fast-walked back to the hostel, changed my now-sweaty shirt, and returned with my passport, only to have the other barman serve me happily without requiring my ID! So I couldn’t resist commenting, “Oh, so now you don’t need my ID” at which the first girl came over and said, “Oh, are you the lady that came in before?” So I handed her my ID with a cheeky, “If you’re going to make everyone show their ID then you need to be consistent about it!” And yes, I made sure they didn’t spit in my drink!

The random comedian we ended up watching turned out to be really good, with a knack at involving the crowd with his banter. After an hour of cackling at his set we headed back out into the chilly night and had a couple of drinks at an outside bar before I snuck back inside the hostel a good few hours later than I expected to arrive. Oops!

Tags: beamish outdoor museum, comedian, edinburgh, fringe festival, newcastle

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