That so many Geordies seem to move away from their place of birth is a surprise. Indeed, Newcastle is a surprise.
The superbly renovated Victorian and Georgian architecture of Grainger Town stands comparison with that of any other town in the country and the Millennium Bridge is quite simply stunning.
The Baltic Centre across the river on the Gateshead bank of the Tyne is, however, a disappointment; unlike the wonderful Laing Art Gallery.
The Sage Centre, again on the Gateshead side of the river, perfectly complements the Millennium Bridge.
On a more human level, Newcastle begs a few questions:
Why do the young people go out in the cold winter's night air without coats and in shirt sleeves?
Why do the young people go around in groups of four or five girls and just one boy?
Why are the pavements so covered in chewing gum? Are the inhabitants trying to provide a non-slip surface to compensate for the ridiculous and dangerous tactile edges to crossing points?