|Tower of Castle of Durham, Photo by Mary M Payne|
After the Cathedral I decide against seeing the Castle opposite which is open to the public.... only a few rooms and not the tower, though.
Never mind, I don't need to see every monument and I do want a cup of tea. I pop into a tiny tea shop to write in my "cahier".
|Love the milk jug and clever teapot with cup|
After a few minutes, I decide to get a lunch with my tea and order a tuna melt that comes with coleslaw and chips.
I wander out to see the town.
|Market Square , Durham, Photo by Mary M Payne|
The Market Square is nice so I dawdle there for a few minutes and see that the town is full of the familiar chain stores ...not many original boutiques. There are a Waterstones Books, a cheap version of W. H. Smiths without the books, Boots Chemist, Tesco's , Greggs pastries. etc. etc.
The shops are uninspired but the stroll is new. I buy a pen at Smiths, 3 pounds sterling for a nice ballpoint but not the top of the line. Things are pricey , I see.
|Market Square, Durham Photo by Mary M Payne|
But look how clean everything is , it is an agreeable little town. I go into Waterstones to browse English books...
|River Wear Butterfly Photo by Mary M Payne|
then I take one of the footpaths along the river to go see the Oriental Art Museum of Durham University. This is the best if not only Oriental Museum in the Northeast and I find out it has a fabulous collection.
I see some examples of every Asian country represented in this small but beautifully presented museum.
I find out that the Egyptians buried small mummies of snakes to ward off evil going into the next world. I find out that as the Chinese venerate jade, they made jade "armor", knee pads, breast plates and the like.... of jade to cover their dead for burial.
My favorite few minutes was spent on a video of the way the Chinese make ceramics in the ancient style: hand thrown in a kiln of bricks made the same way they have always done and hand painted. All the artisans are ancient, very old men in this video except the young male and female painters. What does that tell you about a disappearing art form?
Here is a little info from the site of Durham University Oriental Museum.