I arrive at work and I consider the fact that my flight bag is a bit heavy. So at dinner time I head to Tesco’s at Aston to see if they have a wheelie suitcase. They don’t have bags at all! and so to the One Stop centre where there is big ASDA. yep they have wheelie bags but none the same dimensions as my flight bag. I opt for the IT super glide bag. If I get one of these will I get it all in or will I look a plonker in the middle of the office?
As you can see it was a squeeze but I got it all in.
Time flies by and at 5pm I get a lift to Moor Street Station, which I arrive at for 5:15pm.
All I have got to do now is wait until 18:50 for my chu chu to London Marylebone.
Eventually it is shown on the board for platform one.
So i head over there. Many trains come and go, along with people filling them. Some of them going to London, but I have booked and have a dedicated train for £6.
Then it started to rain. And rain and rain hard. Until the platforms started flooding and where I was sitting on a bench became and island. Eventually I had to move. The rain died down, the passengers all disappeared and my train turned up.
Now I never use this route because it is slightly slower, but for the price it is unbeatable. I site opposite a girl how is permanently plugged into her phone and laptop. I watch the world go by and keep Facebook update with station progress. I get a comment back” if your going to Inverness why are you going south to London. that doesn’t make sense, your going the wrong way?!” As we enter the M25 the train picks up speed that it hasn’t done for the rest of the journey and makes no further stops. Before you know it we are in the lovely Marylebone Station and it is 8pm. I have until 9pm to get on the train in Euston.
I head to the machine for a tube ticket and pull out all my change to pay with. Can you believe it I was too slow getting enough money in and it cancelled. I had to start again which caused a few huffs behind me from the impatient travellers. I get my ticket and head down the tube escualtors and begin thinking oh my its been a long time since I’ve been in London, I used to do this all the time, and it brought back memories of wandering around the endless tunnels. I head to the Bakerloo Line platform south. The tube isn’t busy and I head to Oxford circus where I change for the Victoria Northern Line to Euston Station.
I arrive at Euston, no sign of Alan or Zoe. i give them both a call but neither of them answer. Have they changed they’re mind about going away with me. I hed outside to the square and Alan calls me back. “where are you Nack? we are by Nandos” I se them walking my way, it is good to see them, and it suddenly feels like the holiday has begun.
We have a cup of tea from the shop in the square where I’m asked if I’m taking them out, “yes I say.” “and milk?” he asks. “Yes”, I reply “I’m taking that out too”.
We have our teas and eat some sushi that Zoe has brought from her favourite London Sushi bar, when Alan says we really should get our bags as the train leaves in ten minutes. So we head to get their bags from the bag storage and find the platform the Caledonian Sleeper is at. Oh this is exciting.
this is one long train. We find our carriage and our stewardess who arranges a carriage with adjoining door so we have 4 beds for the 3 of us. She explaings they are tiny so she will show Alan the cabin first and then he can advise us accordingly.
We settle in. My it is small but then we aren't going to have a party in here.
We read the book and it explains that if you want breakfast you need to order it 30 minutes prior tot the train leaving. We all agree we want breakfast and Alan finds the Stewardess quickly. She appears at our door with him and explains that as we are going to be in Inverness at 8:30 we are better off going to a cafe there, unless we are in a rush to go somewhere straight off the train. So no we agree and no breakfasts are ordered.
The cabin is explained in detail, and whilst you can’t see it there is even a sink in here!
The train moves off yeah har.
thankgod the the extra bed to put our bags on, where else would they have gone? We finish the food off and
head to the buffet car in excitment. My aren't the walkways narrow.
the buffet car area is full, we were too slow! but the next carriage is really comfy seating and so we sit in there, with a beer and tea.
at some point there is no more scenery to see and Alan suggests that as we are getting up early in the morning that we should go to bed.
I let them head off before me to give them some room and privacy whilst I watch out the window for 15 minutes or so. When I get up to go back to our cabin it never occurred to me that a, I didn’t take note of the carriage we were in and b, I didn’t take note of the cabin we were in. Oh no i can see that magic hotel moment I had once in London where I got the key to the wrong room from reception at 1am where I promptly walked into a room turned the light and two people awoke, sat upright quickly, looked at me and all I said was “my mistake go back to sleep” and left. I wander through the buffet car remember the only two facts I could, our carriage had a corridor on the left and we were the last two cabin in the carriage. The next 4 carriages were on the right, which I didn’t recall, I thought they went left right left right. Then there was one on the left. I walked to the end of it and and tried the door. ah look there our bags. Alan and Zoe snoring away. I got in my oh so very comfy bunk bed and went to sleep to the clatter, clatter of the train wheels drifting over the cold steel tracks, it was just as the book The Idle Traveller described, this was the perfect way to travel.