Day 21

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Today was an absolutely awesome day that passed with perfect timing. The day started with a bid farewell to some of the energy students who came to breakfast (they were a nice and mature group) Then the rest of our remaining group went for a day of castle tours! It started with Bambuargh castle (though it was originally supposed to be Alnwick Castle, since we had a tour booked, but apparently our booking wasn’t as important as another private function – we are thinking it was reserved for the shooting of a movie or tv show or something), which was an awesome castle – as it relates to my class, the castle was apparently a key part of Northumbria. In the castle, there was a museum about the Armstrong family – which was, and still is a large and important Northumbrian family, bit more on that later – and the rest of the castle was furnished in a way that would reflect the furniture of the family that lived there (which was pretty cool, especially the large hall). Then at the end of the castle walk, me and David (from the Duke group) played a game of old fashioned checkers (which he won because I played recklessly at first). After that castle, we went to the holy island of Lindsfarne (which has a land bridge at low tide, and is an island at high tide). At first, I was surprised by the island. I had formed these preconceived notions of what the island looked like, and the actual island didn’t fit my what I had imagined: I had thought the island was just the castle, but it was a fairly large island with a town on it; I had also thought the castle was the monastery/priory, but instead, the monastery was actually a nearly complete ruin and the castle was a fairly modern creation; and most of all, I thought the castle was huge, but it was actually quite small. Despite all of this, I came to like the island. The mead was fantastic (especially since I got the free samples), the priory ruin offered a different perspective on history (as it was a relic of what I thought it was), and the castle had a great view of the coast and the small town in the island (and it was slightly humorous to see Harsh hit his head on the low door frames in the castle).
Then after that trip, and after dinner, Harsh, Marissa, and I went to Newcastle to see the city and a little of the night life. We started with a dinner at an Indian restaurant (where we sat next to a gay couple, who were interesting to say the least) and then we took a long walk around going from one pub, club, or interesting shop to another. We eventually stayed at a place called Digital, which had some really good techno music (there was three floors, one had basic techno, the other older techno, and the top floor played more American hip hop) and we just danced for a while. Then after this we caught a cab back to Durham, which was actually a great experience because I talked with the driver (who was from Northumbria, and had a thick Jordy accent- which is apparently close to Norwegian because of his Viking ancestors) about things like his family history, the history of Northumbria, accents, northern Ireland, Catholics vs protestants, Britain’s being considered Americans by foreigners, and people hating other people (namely the Irish, Scottish hating the English and blacks and whites hating each other).

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