Travel Day

Taking Cross Country train from Newcastle to Birmingham, second leg of a four leg journey that will hurtle me south, in fits and starts, to Moreton in Marsh. There, I will catch a local bus to Chipping Campden , where the Cotswold Way begins. This trip involves four different train companies. The time between trains is under ten minutes, as have been all my connections thus far. These train trips are a series of high stress adventures in station navigation interrupted by peaceful relaxation and farmland scenery interrupted by streaking blu, orange or yellow bullets of passing trains.

When I booked these tickets, I chose “quiet” cars whenever possible, thinking this referred to train noise. After two such jaunts, I now think this may mean cars where the occupants are seeking quiet for sleep or concentration. I’m going to have to research this, because the rowdy cars are more interesting and full of loud local banter.

I could easily have remained in Northumberland for a week or more and not come close to running out of things to see and interesting folks. The friendliness, eclectic international mix and fantastic walking is a strong draw. In spite of the weather, the big sky there is addicting, at least for me.

Travel is all about novelty, challenge and learning, and at day four, I feel like I’ve graduated from kindergarten and and now in elementary school.

As I write, we are pulling into York station. The train on the next track has airplanes painted on it, commemorating The Battle of Britain, and the words, “Lest we forget.”

These stations are lime living history museums, and the architecture of many eras has been preserved, yet they have all the modern conveniences of the technology culture of the present. I was able to purchase my tickets for this trip at my desk in Waldo, Maine USA, and retrieve them in the small station town of Hexham in the UK. Fantastic!

Whoever suggested I forego the increases weight of a backpack carry-on with wheels was right on. Even though I packed light, the luggage is cumbersome and tough on the nerve in my shoulder, though the weight doesn’t bother me too much.

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