UK rail trip – 2022
Day 43 – 15th May, 2022
I got up at around 08:00 and packed up. It was a Sunday morning, so nothing was open apart from the Co-Op supermarket on top of a hill. There are two ways to reach the Co-Op – up a steep set of stairs or via the road and into the vehicle entrace. I chose the latter. I picked up something to eat and returned down below, this time via the stairs. I then walked around to the station. There was still another hour before the train left. It was already in the station, as it had arrived last night. The docks are directly accessible from the end of the platform.
The train soon started up and shunted to the other platform. It was now ready for boarding.
There was no trolley service on this train. So, I just settled back and watched the world go by. The last time I took this line, back in early April, there weren’t that many out and about. There certainly weren’t any touring cyclists. This time, however, I must have spotted at least a couple of dozen. For a brief moment I thought with regret at having given my bicycle away in March, wishing I’d have been able to greet these cyclists while on the road myself. But that quickly passed. I did the right thing at that point in time. I still have all of this to look forward to.
After arriving at Inverness, I was uncertain as to which train I’d be catching to Edinburgh Waverley. What was on the indicator boards did not match what was on Real Time Trains. In the end, neither were ultimately correct. Another train was announced on the indicator board and it was time for boarding. This time, it was a class 170. First time I’d been on one since I left the UK back in 2007. At the time, they were considered the 737 of British railways – they were turning up everywhere.
It would be a three and a bit hours trip to Edinburgh Waverley. Outside, it was once again raining. But it was nice and warm inside. I bought a can of cider and a bag of crisps from the trolley service. What a civilised way to travel! With the crazy train schedules today, I’d wondered whether this service would be diverted via the Forth Bridge. It wasn’t scheduled to, but neither was this train scheduled to run! Anything could happen. In the end, it followed its normal route. No Forth Bridge today. Arriving in to Edinburgh Waverley, there was still a bit of rain.
It was still raining as I walked up the ramp from the station and onwards to The News Steps. Climbing the steps this time was a bit more of a challenge. I had to stop more times than I had to last time. Just didn’t feel as fit as before. Lingering effects of Covid perhaps? I checked into the Castle Rock Hostel and was given the keys to my room after being told that I had been able to get a bottom bunk as requested. All of the beds in this hostel are named. Somehow, mine suited me. I can’t imagine why!
I sorted my bed out for the night and went over and sat by the window. The view wasn’t as good as last time, but it was still good nonetheless. After a little while, I went out to get something to eat. I found a nice fish and chips in Victoria Street.
After dinner, I continued further down Victoria Stret and continued on to Grassmarket Square. Here I sat for an hour or two, just watching people go bye. Once it started getting a little too dark, I walked back up to the hostel and turned in for the night. Tomorrow, I’m off to Liverpool. But I’ll be making a detour via Manchester to meet up with Gary for a coffee. It was, after all, a Monday tomorrow!