Tuesday 15 October 2013--Spend the morning and early afternoon poking around Alnwick. I was here once before, briefly, when I was scrambling
to find a room after my presumed host on Holy Island spaced on my booking. At the tourist office then, I had the impression that I was at the
threshold of a good-sized town, perhaps the size of Morpeth. Today I find it's smaller than I thought--there isn't a whole lot more outside the
central triangle of streets. The main attractions here are Alnwick Castle and Alnwick Garden. These are privately owned, and I balk at the price
of admission, about £14 each. Instead opt for the little regional museum, for £2.50. Standing around museums often makes my back ache, and so it
is today. I head back to the B&B for a nap, stopping first for a very poorly-kept pint of Taylor's Landlord at the Plough.
Walk back into town after my nap and meet W, an online acquaintance from the whisky forums. I'd invited her to meet me in Glasgow for a concert later in the trip, and as it happens, she has some business to conduct here in northeastern England this week. We have dinner at the Black Swan, and enjoy a wide-ranging conversation. W has led a very interesting life. Among other things, I learn the proper method for discouraging a charging troop of baboons. We finish the evening with pints and drams at the John Bull, which has the feel of a pub set up in somebody's basement... well, that's what it is. What a funny place. There's a good choice of real ale, as well as a large array of bottled beer, particularly Belgian ales. There is also a fine selection of whiskies. Nevertheless, the place feels very much like a local. A very friendly local. I'd hang here any time... it's a shame it doesn't open until 7:00pm.