Sunday, July 30, 2006

Heading Home (July 2, 2006)

Well, all good things must come to end. It is time for me to bid adieu to Cambridge. I offer many thank you’s to a city that shines as a beacon of how a city can accommodate the bicyclist. Cheers!

Now, as my previous experiences have illustrated, no trip in England is without it’s catch. And so it is with my train trip from Cambridge this morning. After a fun-filled evening of soccer-watching and pubbing, I awoke at 6:00 am to shower, settle my bill with the master of the house, and hike back to the train station. It was a problem-walk, about forty-five minutes. Upon arriving at the station, I asked when the next train to Kings Cross was - and to my surprise, there aren’t any direct trains. Wonderful. Instead I had to catch the 8:10 train to Letchworth; then take the bus to Welling Park (or something like that); then catch another train to Kings Cross. They said the trip should take around an hour and forty-five minutes. Are you kidding me? Come on England.

Well, I’m on the train from Cambridge to Letchworth, so here we go....

Ah, it was Letchworth Garden City to Welwyn Garden City. That was quite an event. After making it to Welwyn, there was no clear way to the trains. The bus dropped us off at the entrance to the trains or so it seemed. But when we went in, you had to take an elevator or stairs up to the trains. Well, the elevator filled up quickly, so I settled for the stairs (I’m getting tired from the lack of sleep and early morning hike). When we got out of the stairwell, we found ourselves in the middle of a mall and no information on where the trains might be. We had to ask people in the mall who pointed us toward the escalator and up one floor. Apparently taking the elevator did not make finding the trains any easier either. The elevator group ended up following the stairs group. Brilliant.

When we made it to the platforms, the board said that the next train to Kings Cross was not leaving until 9:30am from Platform 3. So, I asked someone if the train currently on the platform was going to Kings Cross, they told me that yes it was going to Kings Cross, but that this was the 9:23 train and not listed on the board. Amazing.

So, now I’m sitting on the train waiting to go to Kings Cross, so that I can transfer to the Victoria underground and then to Gatwick by above ground. This is crazy...

Finally made it to Gatwick - and it only took 3 hours. Wow. Anyway, Gatwick was a breeze. It took around 5 minutes in line to get my ticket and about 5 min to make it through security. Then a twenty minute walk to the gate. The fun never ends does it?

Well, I’ll stop complaining. It’s just the weariness speaking. I’m on the flight and headed home and that’s all that matters.

I’ll only be in Pittsburgh for 2.5 days before I head back out to Nashville for a week. So, if you’re looking for me - you better be quick about it.


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