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Archive for the ‘Newcastle’ Category

UK Bus Tour, Part IV: Leeds – Stirling, May 22nd – 29th 

Wednesday, May 27th 2009 


The night before we were more tired as we used to be, maybe our walks around Sunderland on Tuesday were much more efficient that we had thought… I am not sure, but whatever it was made us get up before 10 AM without any problem J. That was going to be the last morning we had breakfast in The George Hotel in Osborne Road, Newcastle. 

We took all our stuff with us again after 3 days at the same place with new destination: Glasgow! The biggest city of Scotland! It took us 3 hours to get there with the super-van driven by Miha (as usual), maybe more because the GPS sometimes got crazy and changed our route… very funny. But anyway, in the middle of the way we stopped the van in some private property in order to see the remains of the Hadrian’s Wall, the wall that marked the northern boundaries of the Roman Empire in Britain. While some of us were taking pictures on it, the rest of the group stayed at the van just in case the owner of the house complains about our parking… 

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At the same time the van was being invaded by loads of  animal manure smells every 10 minutes, I was looking at everyone of us. Half of the group was sleeping with sunglasses covering their morning faces, Thomas was typing his day on the blog with the laptop, Casper was checking our route on the GPS and Miha was driving perfectly as always… 

We reached Glasgow at 2.30 PM. I still do not know how but we could park the van in one of those streets. Quickly we took all our promotion material and looked for Caledonian University in order to stay there 3 or 4 hours doing campaign. During those hours we met more people than any other day, why? Because we had such a great stand in front of the library. Actually it was a very good idea because students had their finals on that week, so lots of them were studying over there. A bunch of them approached to us to get to know what we were doing. 

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We got lunch at the cafeteria, splitting the group in two teams. I think street action that day was one of the best we had in the whole week. Although young people might not know about politics as much as old people could know because of the experience in life, it seems to me that they are more open-minded so it was easier talking to them about European Elections and encouraging them to vote the fourth of June. Some of the old people I found on the streets during the tour think that European Elections are a waste of time because nothing is going to change… that is what I am talking about… 

But hey, we had a new surprise! Thomas brought a new girl into the group while he was holding one of the posters on the streets. She introduced to us (she was from Czech Republic) claiming that she wanted to help us because our work was so nice J 

After our street action, we were taken to the European Restaurant in the centre of Glasgow by Marco, one serbian friend of AEGEE living in Glasgow, who took us to watch the UEFA Champions League Final: Barça – Manchester (It is not necessary to say who won it… hehe – just in case Barcelona! -). 

After the game we went to the hotel, changed our clothes and got ready for an international party in some cool club. I do not have to point out that we danced like party animals (as always) and we had lots of fun… Even going to bed late, we know the next morning we will do our best for sure!  

 

Belén, AEGEE-Alicante

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UK Bus Tour, Part IV: Leeds – Stirling, May 22nd – 29th

Day 4: Newcastle – Sunderland

 

After our energetic day in sunny Newcastle, the enthusiastic campaigners returned to our hostel for rest and recuperation. Following an Italian dinner, we embarked on some drinking games with a difference…the punishment for failure was not alcohol, but a deadly concoction of milk and the luminous Irn Bru (apparently a Scottish delicacy). Many rounds later, with most participants feeling a little strange in the stomach, we retired to bed at some ridiculous hour in the morning.

After a beautiful day in glorious Newcastle, the idea of spending a day in nearby Sunderland was not so tempting, however after breakfast (some were brave enough to have the full English….), we made our way to the coast and to Sunderland. As usual the bus trip was lively with Miha playing the tunes, most notably ‘Number 1’ and ‘In for the Kill’, two songs of the tour! As we approached Sunderland it began to reveal itself. Unlike its neighbouring city Newcastle, it would be fair to say Sunderland doesn’t have the same visual impact. Largely industrial, Sunderland seemed dreary in comparison to the vibrant and cosmopolitan Newcastle. Despite our initial impressions, this would not dent our energy and willingness to promote the European elections.

Having arrived in Sunderland we spent about 15 minutes preparing materials. In particular a long chain of balloons; this would form the centrepiece of our campaign in the early morning. With ‘Y vote’ stickers all over our bodies (even on our shoes too) we started to advance into Sunderland. Like a well drilled military machine, General Mario and Lieutenant Miha led us on a march singing the infamous ‘Y vote’ songs. We certainly attracted attention like this as we paraded through the streets of Sunderland.

Upon arrival in the centre of town, Mario led us in a rendition of the ‘Tell me why?’ song (totally different from anything the Backstreet Boys may have ever sung). The girls provided the reasons for voting on June the 4th while we boys simply asked ‘Tell me why?’ Our next task was to spend some time campaigning in the central shopping centre in Sunderland, giving out bracelets and making people aware. After this we had lunch and then a short time for shopping. We left Sunderland behind us and made our way to the coast. We managed to find a cute pebble beach, and this was a welcome relaxation after the last few days, the sun even poked her head from behind the clouds to show us a quick smile. Some of us threw stones, some made stone statues, some bathed their feet, and one even swam! A few photos later and we were back on the tour bus to Newcastle again.

Our Spanish ladies decided that this was the night for Sangria, so a few hours later we were preparing Sangria in the hotel, and had Pizza for dinner (well something pretending to be pizza anyway). More drinking games followed, but the participants were tired and it showed. We slept at a more ordinary time, as the next day we would make the great voyage north and across the mighty Hadrian’s Wall, the only barrier protecting England from the fearsome Scots. Little did we know at this point, that our vision of Hadrian’s Wall was far grander than reality, but that is another story…

 

James, AEGEE-Oxford

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