Angel of the North
"I visit frequently" isn't exactly accurate... "I fly past it in a car or a train" would be better, but in June after a shopping trip to Newcastle, a few of us decided to stop for a closer look at this famous landmark.
I remember sitting on a train once. As we approached Newcastle, an old woman looked out and was astonished. Turning to her daughter, she exclaimed, "Oh look, Judy, it's the Angel of Death!" I'm sure the Angel of Death isn't quite as good looking though.
It is hard to get a sense of just how big the Angel is when you see it from the road or the railway. It looks big, certainly, but not that big. Only close up can you really appreciate its size...
Today (16/8/07), the Guardian newspaper reported that "the British public" found the Angel of the North to be the second most disappointing tourist attraction in the country, only beaten by Stonehenge. Most disappointing? I don't get it. It's a statue...on a hill...surely seeing it from a car or train window is better than not seeing it? What do they want it to do, flap its wings and sing?!
Who is this "British public" anyway? I'm British, a member of the public, but I don't remember being asked of my opinion on the matter.
I think this article will actually do wonders for Stonehenge and the Angel of the North...secretly, us Brits love to complain and moan and whinge and be disappointed, and now that we know the Angel of the North with its lack of visitor centre and no shop selling the usual array of fudge, tea-towels and factory rejects of the Edinburgh Woollen Mill, guarantees complete disappointment, we'll flock there in droves!