Durham (England, not NC)

This weekend I’ll be donning my hiking boots and camera bag: I have not one, but two trips planned over the course of 48 hours, so fingers crossed Annie doesn’t wake up in the middle of a sheep field 🙏

This morning, I woke up at 7am to walk to our bus stop, struggling against a mini-snow storm along the way (and in typical English fashion, it ended right as I arrived in the sanctuary of the bus). The bus ride was about 4 hours, and the highway was lined with beautiful green pastures, with white and black sheep dotting the fields. It was the perfect Scottish morning.

We arrived at 12pm, just in time for lunch. The town struck me as very quaint and historic – almost all of the buildings were old-fashioned, none reaching over 3 stories. The cobblestone streets meandered through the small town, filled with people, who were occasionally herded to the sides as a car slowly drove through.

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Seagulls flock the bridge into the city.

After wandering the streets for a bit, we found a small Italian restaurant called La Spaghettata on one of the main streets. There, we split some pesto/tomato and cheese garlic bread, and I had some seafood pasta.

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DELICIOUS tomato/pesto garlic bread

After a super filling meal, we headed over to the Durham Castle for a guided tour. It’s a part of the University of Durham, and parts were used for student dormitories, so we weren’t allowed to take pictures inside. But the cathedral was beautiful, and there was a choir and orchestra practicing, so we got a chance to listen to sit and listen in. In the basement of the castle, we saw the world’s earliest depiction of a mermaid on one of the old columns – definitely the highlight of my trip. Here are some pictures from the outside.

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Entrance to the inside of the castle.
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Outside near the cathedral
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Castles castles castles

After the tour, we wandered the streets a bit more, and finally found Market Place, an indoor market with over a hundred vendors (kind of like a Chinese flea market, except no haggling 😜).

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Glass lantern store in Market Place

After we visited Market Place, we had some time to kill before the buses left, so we kept walking the chilly streets. There were so many cute little stores, I wish I had time to go visit them all! But the pounds-dollars ratio is still not in my favor 😓

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Cafes behind a mini-alley
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Cute tea shops EVERYWHERE

The weather on the day was VERY VERY mixed – in the morning it was snowing, then beautiful skies as we drove cross-country, followed by patches of snow after lunch, but ending with a beautiful sunset. The sun was just setting as we left the city.

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Sun setting on a beautiful day
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Yes I got a selfie stick, and yes I have an Asian clique.

Anyway, I had a super eventful day, and learned a lot about the history of Durham. Unfortunately, didn’t know Durham was in England, not Scotland, until I googled it once I got home (so I guess learning “a lot” is stretching it). Can’t wait for Aberdeen/Stonehaven tomorrow!

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