I left my problems at Skip Cottage far behind me last weekend and took the train to Tunbridge Wells in Kent. (See Skip Cottage Curling for the reason.)
I do enjoy long train journeys. The Carlisle - London leg was on this Virgin Pendolino, here at Euston station.
I certainly agree with this train's nameplate. The journey was fast, comfortable, and on time, and long may such progress continue. With my Senior Railcard too, it was indeed value for money!
What was certainly not value for money were my three nights at the Travelodge, Tunbridge Wells. Unlike most of the hotels of the brand, this is a renovation of an old hotel called the New Wellington. To put it bluntly ... it is a dump. If you are thinking of staying there, don't. It has the charms of Fawlty Towers. I had prepaid for breakfast, but when I went down at 07.30 to have something to eat on Saturday, I was told that nothing was available until 08.00. When I said politely that I had to be away from the hotel before then, the receptionist said, "That's a pity!"
The place creaks like mad, paint was flaking off the bathroom walls, and there's little soundproofing. I now this because I believe one couple enjoyed their stay. No, I know this to be true. They were in the room above me on Sunday night. I heard every bed spring, every groan, every........ I'll not go on. But the earth certainly moved for me, and I was just trying to get some sleep.
I should of course have realised from this dangerous broken step at the front entrance what lay ahead.
Still, life's not always plain sailing, and I cannot say that the Travelodge experience spoilt my weekend which was so much fun in other ways. Let's just say I won't be staying there again, ever!
It was interesting to ride on Southeastern trains. Here drivers chat whilst waiting for problems up the line to be resolved.
Back on home ground now, at Carlisle's Citadel Station. Here's the First Transpennine Express from Manchester Airport to take me the final leg to Lockerbie.
Pics © Skip Cottage