Gettting back to London
Trip Start Apr 20, 2012
20Trip End May 10, 2012
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We had a bit of a wait at the station but we made ourselves comfortable in the waiting room and did not purchase food, as we were travelling first class and expected to be given lunch.
The first class carriage was initially empty but by the time we left Preston, it was quite full. The food was a huge disappointment as it was dry crackers and dip with tea or coffee. If we had known this, we would have purchased lunch to take on board. There were some sorts of excuses to suggest that this could be blamed on it being a public holiday but is really at best weak! The British do some things very well in the tourist line but lack consistency and more seriously, the ability to communicate. Other people in the carriage could not understand any of the PA announcements along the journey.
One bit that entertained us was the couple that got on the train at Carlyle to help the mother of one of them, who was on her way back to London. They settled her into her seat, and then went to get off the train, but the doors had shut and the train was starting to move. It emerged that this had happened to them on a prior occasion. Luckily for them the next stop at Penrith was not too far away: they stayed on the train to there and then had to catch another train home.
After we left Glasgow we travelled through gently hilly countryside until we got to Carlisle but once south of there, the countryside was flat and there was quite a bit of built up area. The journey was then faster and smoother.
When we arrived at Euston Station, we endeavoured to get a taxi to our hotel in Battersea. The first taxi driver didn't seem to want to take us and when we asked him, "Are you going to take us or not?" became quite abusive so we gave him away to others and waited for another taxi to come along. Apparently, taxis have a code that they take all comers and the next taxi driver was very apologetic.
The Hotel Verta was one we read about on Simon Says and also on Booking.com. We got a very good rate and are very impressed with this hotel. It is a little out of the way (although beside both the river and the London heliport) but the walk to the station only takes 20 minutes and we feel we have very good value for money.
We took Mum with us to our hotel, as Ben and Cushla were on their way back from Nice. When they arrived, we walked Mum over to meet Ben and went into Maida Vale to see Johnny, Emmeline and baby Henry (now just over a year old). They now have a place where they have access to a shared garden, inside the rows of houses that surround it.
After we were entertained by an energetic Henry, who despite obviously teething, was keen to stay up and join in. Johnny and Emmeline treated us to a wonderful roast chicken dinner followed by an asian-style rice pudding with fresh mango.