Amanda and the Lake District

Beep, beep, beep. It’s 0800 and I’m not working today so why am I getting up so early? Because I can’t book a Virgin Trains ticket less than 24 hours ahead via their web site and phone reservations are only open from 0800 to 2200.
I decided to visit Amanda a couple of weeks ago. She has been living in the Bridge Hotel for quite a while now and I keep putting off actually planning a trip up. So…I skipped the planning and just bought a ticket.

Have I ever mentioned how much better train travel is than air travel? I, being unfamiliar with Euston Station, arrived one hour before my train departed. This was about 40 minutes more than I needed. This happens to be just the right amount of time to purchase and casually eat breakfast – how convenient. And when do you ever get this good of a view out of a commercial plane window?

I’m back to low-tech recording methods: my digital camera and Psion Revo are both out of commission. I’m looking for a Revo replacement (any ideas?) and my camera should be fixed soon. For now, I am relying on my trusty Lomo and a pen and notepad to record my adventures.

I say that I did no planning, but it’s not entirely true – I confirmed that the “gale force winds with severe flooding” that were reported in the area were not going to be occuring where I was actually headed. I also ensured that Amanda would be there! The weather should be cold, but not extreme and Amanda will be there.

This trip brings my UK city travel count up to three (four if you count brief layovers in Dover to catch the ferry to France) – Cambridge, Bath, and now Keswick.

Virgin offered to upgrade me to first class for £20. I now wish I had taken them up on the offer. I’ts not like an airplane where I’m trying to get more legroom…I’m just a snob. Most of the people in standard class are fine but there is that 5-10% who eat smelly food, leaver their mobile ringer on its loudest setting, and play their headphones so loudly that they turn into speakers. It seems that even in the last 15 months since I’ve been in England that the traditional English code of keeping quiet on the train is being rapidly destroyed. This is great news for people travelling in groups, but sad news for the solo traveller like yours truly.

But now I must sit back and enjoy the ride.


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