Train to Birmingham
I rushed around that morning to make it to Victoria Station to catch the tube to Euston, where I was going on my first train ride. I don’t know if it was nerves or what, but both times the train made me feel just a little sick. This train ride was the one where I think someone was in my seat, because I know I bought the seat by the window, but by the time I got there the young lady had her breakfast spread out everywhere and was absorbed in The Crimson Field (which caught my eye and I later identified because the last time I saw that actress was when she got stabbed in the baby during the “Rains of Castamere”).
Arrived in Birmingham and realized I had no way of contacting Katie, in spite of all the planning I did. Oh well, after some searching that reminded me of the time I lost my mom in Walmart, I heard my name over the intercom and lo and behold, there was Katie. Who is Katie? Well, we met on the GodlyGals forum a long time ago and there was no way I could be so close to her without stopping by to spend a day. First thing we did was find the place I was staying, drop off my bags, and then went to find some lunch.
For dessert I had a yummy caramel banana cheesecake something or other and it’s one of the few times I remembered to take a picture of my food while I was over there.
Next stop, after a little walk around the town, was the library.
We went up a few stories to the gardens, then up a few more to see a view of the skyline. The top floor was very windy and as you can see in the distance, there was a little rain moving in, so we didn’t spend a lot of time outside.
I’m not sure if I noticed it while I was there, because I took the photo for the plaque on the top, but now I realize the library was opened by Malala Yousafzai.
Birmingham was a lot of wandering and sitting and chatting, stopping for tea and coffee. A great way to spend a day a person that you know but have never met. We sat on a bench outside a church and were approached by a nice lady who wanted to talk about Jesus. What caught me off guard was that she spoke with an American accent and I hadn’t heard one in a while and certainly not one that sounded so familiar as hers. Turns out she was originally from Abilene, Texas, where my mom grew up. What a funny little world.
Last on our agenda was dinner, where I had this delicious, blurry chicken and mushroom pie in a busy little pub.
After dinner, we walked down the street to the train station and waited on Katie’s train. She was off back home and I walked back to the flat where I was staying for the night. The bed at this place was so comfortable and I was excited that I had no reason to get up early the next morning, since my train to Edinburgh didn’t leave until a little after noon. I turned in early that evening, and by that I mean I stayed horizontal while I looked at my phone for a few hours before finally deciding I should get some sleep.
The train to Edinburgh was an adventure from the start. An elderly woman approached me and told me I was sitting in her spot. That took a while to straighten out, but it was enough to scare me into thinking, “What if this is the wrong train?” even though I knew there was no way that was possible. She ended up being an interesting travel companion. My favorite part of this train ride were the other elderly women sitting near me, complaining about the young woman who organizes the outings for the over 50s wherever she lives.
This was a much longer train ride with several stops in towns up the west side of England and into Scotland. When we finally arrived in Edinburgh it was late afternoon and I had a place to find. I felt much more comfortable arriving here as things were running at a much slower pace.
That gives you a good idea about where I was staying. It was an easy walk there, uphill the entire way, and I arrived to find my kind hostess waiting for me. This was my favorite lodging of the entire trip. There was a little sitting area I had to myself in the room with a TV (where I watched EastEnders that evening) and a nice soft bed with fluffy, white clean linens. She brewed some strong peppermint tea, just the way I like it, and I got myself settled.
While I Was There: Birmingham