Have you ever been to Newcastle? We have not, but we are very enthusiastic about the city! After 5 days of visiting, we really appreciated this city. It actually reminded me of Rotterdam during my study time at the Erasmus University from 1994-1999. Rotterdam did not have a good reputation in the 80’s and early 90s: rough neighborhoods, buildings in decay, a grim atmosphere. With the opening of the Erasmus Bridge, the development of ‘Kop van Zuid’ and many new shops, Rotterdam became vibrant, trendy and international. Especially the iconic architecture made the city look modern.
The same is happing in Newcastle: the Millennium Bridge is spectacular, the warehouses along the quayside have turned into great apartments and all sorts of pubs and cool restaurants pop up looking amazing in old buildings.
After sailing up the river Tyne for 1,5 hours, we came into the city center of Newcastle and the Millenniumbridge opened for us and we sailed under it. In the small city, which is actually a pontoon of 130 meters long directly after the bridge, we lay in between bridges, close to all the monuments like the Newcastle Castle, the Black Gate and St Nicolas Cathedral.
From our catamaran we see the Baltic Center for Contemporary Art, The Sage which is a silver building, dedicated to music and because of it’s shape called ‘the spotted dog’, and Saint Mary’s Heritage Center.
We really recommend a weekendtrip to Newcastle, a ferry from IJmuiden will take you there.
To us, one of the highlights was a Glow in the Dark Kayak Tour that was organized with 8 kayaks and they started at the pontoon where our ship was as well. All kayaks had led lights in different colors. They peddled under the Millenniumbridge which was also lit in many colors!