Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Trip Start May 22, 2009
Trip End Feb 16, 2010

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Flag of United Kingdom  , Scotland,
Thursday, August 6, 2009

Up earlier than usual, it was pack up and 'make it to the station on time' morning.  Our first experience with taking the bikes on the train.  This will let us know if it's a viable option in the future. 

Arrived extra early (still the same) as we wanted time to unload our bikes and get them ready to be lifted and secured on the train.  We've been carrying duffle-bags that fold up, but can be used to load all the panniers and other bags into for going on the plane and such.  Unfortunately, I cannot lift the single bag with everything in it, let alone steer the bike at the same time!  Am I ever glad that the bike is carrying the weight and not me.  Being the first stop of the day, we had amble time to get everything loaded.  Our stop to get off was the last stop in Glasgow, so I wasn't too concerned about unloading either.  Time to sit back and enjoy the ride. 

Amazing to see the landscape fly by at a tremendous speed.  The rain outside had no effect whatsoever on us and didn't 'dampen' the mood.  Beautiful hills, lochs, and castles passes by.  But I did notice the barrier of the window between me and the outdoors.  At that speed I never could quite catch a clear glimpse of the scenery beyond the trees rushing by the windows.  Almost a bit too fast.  Never being able to stop and look or get a good photo shot.  Watching the man in front of me feebly trying to snap photographs through the dirt streaked windows made me very glad that this was not the only time I was going to see this stunning landscape.  That I had seen it before.  That I had been there before. 

Upon arrival in Glasgow we had to make a connection with the next Edinburgh train, which meant that we had to get all our stuff off this train, over to the next platform, and onto the next train.  Not an easy task.  A longer distance, i was forced to carry the bag and push the bike at the same time.  Trailing faaar behind Brian, I was a pathetic hobbling and shuffling sight.  Luckily, there was room for us to squeeze on the train and we didn't have to wait for the next one although there wasn't much room for the drink cart to pass by and we did need to stand the entire trip. 

Arrival in Edinburgh greeted us with great frustration.  As a quick stop, there was a flurry of chucking bags out the door as well as wheeling and crashing bikes on the pavement all while trying to avoid hitting boarding passengers.  Relieved we'd made it without one of us or a bike going on to the next stop, we were shocked to find two flights of stairs staring us in the face.  I ran around looking for the lift or the ramp.  Surely there must be something - the trains are wheelchair accessible!  But no.  Only a few stations are accessible apparently...Thankfully it wasn't a super busy station as we didn't want to leave any belongings unattended for long (not that a thief would make off too quickly considering the weight).  Doing a complicated relay of ferrying bags and bikes up after one another, we eventually danced everything to the top where we could finally reload. 

Navigating the roads back to Ratho was not too difficult.   Some of the larger 3 lane entry traffic circles were too scary for me to tackle.  Brain did, with only one or two close calls and a few honking horns!
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