Welcome to Northumbria


It’s a cool pleasant evening here in Wark in North Umbria, England. As I write my first blog entry, it’s hard to believe how far we have traveled in the last 24 hours. Our Aer Lingus flight out of Boston was quiet and completely uneventful. We landed in Dublin just as the sun was beginning to rise over the horizon. Our plan was to head to a Starbucks for a leisurely cappuccino, but that’s when the insanity began. 

There were about 100 of us in line to have our passports stamped for our onward journey, but each passenger was interviewed about their travel intentions. Our passport agent was extremely friendly, but holding our passports we were asked where we traveled to last summer which was no easy task at 5:00 am (midnight US). I was also asked to prove we would eventually be flying back to Boston.

Our Aer Lingus plane to Newcastle in the U.K. was a small modern plane with propellers. We taxied out and sped off down the runway, but something seemed to be missing: power. As the pilot slowed to a stop, I realized we had experienced an aborted take off. Youch! The pilot taxied back to the stand where they “sorted it all out” as he said and we were on our way.


We are staying in the village of Wark at the Hotel Battlesteads. The chef here told us that Robert Burns once stayed here after giving a talk in Newcastle. 

The restaurant here is excellent and we were treated to an espresso size cup full of delicious mushroom soup made from truffles. 


Tonight we walked around the tiny village on the footpaths following the Tyne River. 

We look forward to a day of exploring tomorrow.

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