16 December 2013
A lesson in stressful travel: The train to London
Yesterday morning I hopped the train at Edinburgh's Waverley Station and headed down to London. I was in a wonderful mood and ready to head south, but the journey wasn't without incident. I had an encounter with probably the gruffest, grumpiest ticket collector ever. Unfortunately I made a careless mistake and left part of my discount railcard in my flat. What I got for failing to read the small print and bringing along what amounted to only part of my railcard was a threat of a voided ticket and an up-front charge of £340 (I'm not actually sure where this number came from) for new tickets. Luckily, after explaining it was an honest mistake, he let it slide (phew!) and even though I had to blow quite a bit more on a new return (non-void) ticket, it's better than whatever that ridiculous £340 was! Perhaps that's how train companies make their money these days... but I refuse to be bitter. My only real complaint is with that particular guy's sideways sense of customer service. On the flip side, the other woman I talked to was wonderfully kind, so it cancels out. Ha, it is what it is.
Regardless, I arrived safe and sound in London in the afternoon, and despite seeing a rather bright and optimistic sunrise from the train earlier, it was rainy and heavy-skied all evening and into the night. I found my hotel, the Mornington Hotel right away, just off Hyde Park, and it's very nice. A lovely old pair of London townhouses that were remodeled and modernized inside to create a comfy little space with an adorable lounge downstairs that doubles as their homey Library Bar. I spent the evening walking around the very western end of Oxford Street, checking out all of the twinkling Christmas decorations and especially the inside of Selfridges. It's still high up on my to-do list to see Harrods all lit up, and perhaps Covent Garden too! I'm just loving the Christmassy atmosphere here, even if it is grey and rainy. Oh, London!
I've missed this city bunches. The last time I was here was 2011 and even since then, so much has changed. The skyline is different every time I visit! I just love it. I love the pubs, the fashionable people, Underground stations and the sound of the trains, the museums, and the fancy terraces, adorable mews and coffee shops. I'll never tire of it. :)
I hope everyone's week is off to a good start.