Sunday, 18 January 2009

North Shields

We went for a little walk before dinner a while back. We left it a bit late and so it was getting dark, but I took the camera anyhow just to see what would happen. Most of the photos didn't turn out but I thought I'd share a couple.

This is standing in the car park at North Shields fish quay, which sells the world's best fish and chips, looking east at where the River Tyne flows into the North Sea. These are the lighthouses on the North and South Piers. One can walk along the North Pier in good weather; in bad weather, the Pier is closed as the waves can wash a person out to sea, even over the 4.5 stone walls that shelter the walkway.

It's a popular weekend past time for the locals to drive down the the fish quay, buy their fish and chips and sit in the car looking over this view while they eat (but in daytime). North and South Shields were fishing villages beginning at least back in the early 1100's when Tynemouth Priory was re-built. They provided food for the monks of the Abbey. (This link also has some awesome photos of Newcastle from the air).

Having walked along the promenade towards Tynemouth Village, I turned around and took this picture of where we stood, by the lights reflecting on the water. If you click on this picture, the tall building just to the left of those lights is called the Low Light. There is another building further up the river which is the High Light. In historic times, ships navigated their entrance to the river by aligning those lights. I believe those buildings are now private homes -- very unusual homes, I'm sure! If you go back to the (historic) link above, select 'slide show' and 'slide show of the harbour', the 9th image shows these tall white buildings on the riverside.

I tried taking quite a few pictures as it got darker, but of course most didn't work very well. I commented to Bill about the sound of the black waves against the prom. We could still see the white crests and sense the texture of the waves, but it was difficult to judge the height of the water in the dark. I've always found being near the sea at night to be a bit creepy. I just have too vivid an imagination, probably permanent psychological scars from sitting in the front row when we went to see Jaws.

It was nice to see the warm lights of home when we returned.

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