Durham City, England

If my feet could talk, they probably have given me a good nag left and right. I was just in York yesterday, and today’s a different story. I’m still tired from the past few days and it feels like it’s gonna last forever. LOL. A month-long vacation may seem quite some time but when you’re enjoying, the clock just ticks so fast. So instead of staying in the flat all day glued to my phone, I thought it would be better to go on a day trip somewhere. Somewhere is generally a nice place especially when you’re not in your homeland, so much so in Europe.

If you had read my York story, then I’m telling you my station situation to Durham was no different. Same thing happened that I had to take a different train. Apparently, the train line cancelled several of its scheduled trips for days and I happen to be one of the unfortunate passengers who naturally panicked. Wonder what’s the first thing I did upon arrival at Durham station? Well, I had to know if I should expect a cancelled trip going back to Newcastle and voila! Fun times! LOL 😀

I went out of the station to try and find my way to the city center even though I was clueless where to go or what to find. I remember it was very foggy and the station is atop the city of Durham. I saw staircases one after another and I still didn’t know which way to go because the streets were almost empty and there were very few vehicles on the road. I had to follow a stranger and put my faith in her even though she had no idea she was being subtly followed. I found a Starbucks (THANK GOD!) and I let time pass a bit until the streets weren’t like a scene from a ghost town anymore. I’m not kidding!!

I would say that my day officially started after crossing the Framwelgate Bridge. It’s connecting the residential area and the town center. I love crossing bridges — it gives you this uncanny feeling that something awaits you on the other side and the anticipation grows on you as you walk towards the end. Guess what welcomed me? Zara! HAHAHA! Yes, a call for shopping!

One of the things I love about UK is that when they go sale, they really mean sale. I went to Zara for example and I got some really nice clothes for £5 and that’s Php 300-ish. Let me tell you that I never bought a single Zara garment when I was in Manila because a shirt would easily rip you off a Php 1000. See the difference? So imagine me fitting all the clothes in £5. I pity myself sometimes but hey, I’m wise like that. 😛

People watching is one of the things I love doing. It may sound creepy but trust me, when I’m alone I would normally just stop and let myself see hundreds of people pass by in front of me and I find it therapeutic. It also makes me a bit complex of some sort because I try to read people just by looking at their body movements and facial expressions. Weird, I know, but surely some people can relate. LOL. So being around a good crowd, thanks to the Christmas market, I never had a dull moment in this part of town. Solo traveling can be boring but I always manage to find more reasons to travel alone because there’s nothing more liberating than being carefree.

The city center is just a fragment of Durham. It’s big but not big enough and a perfect destination if you just want to have a different taste of England. I’d have to agree though with the cliche saying — “Same same, but different.” I mean, cobbled streets? Check! Gothic buildings? Check! Harry Potter vibes? Check! So after some uphill and downhill wandering, which was a bit tiring I must say, the crowd started to diminish and I get closer and closer to Durham Cathedral.

If York has York Minster, then Durham has Durham Cathedral. I’m never getting tired of seeing cathedrals around the world! The details and the work they put to make it look like that on the outside makes it so intriguing what to expect more on the inside! Lucky me ‘coz I also witnessed a choir practice composed of very talented children. I suppose they were preparing for a performance on Christmas Eve? 😀

Durham Cathedral also houses a so-called Open Treasure. I had no idea what it was I just had to check it out myself. Cameras are not allowed so I guess what’s in the exhibit must be really of that value and also considering that there’s an entrance fee. What I clearly remember though from the experience is how they curated everything beautifully combined with the next level of security. Pentagon is shaking!

I got back in the streets after my Durham Cathedral excursion and it kind of annoys me whenever I think about this — that Durham Castle is just around the corner and I completely forgot to check it out. I had way too much fun, and spent an hour or two I think, in the cathedral and I left famished. I went straight to the fish n’ chips place after — I’m sure of it! LOL! In any case, Durham is the closest place I visited coming from Newcastle so I can always go back to see more of it!

I figured that traveling can be really interesting at times that you just let your feet take you wherever and whenever but, I also realized itinerary still works better for me though it can be verily exhausting. I love Durham. There’s something about it that makes me stare at the photos I took of it. In fact, I already have a list of what’s to see next! I’ll see these places hopefully sooner than soon –> Durham Dales, Vale of Durham, and Durham Coast.

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