23 December 2013

Traveling, Trains and People Watching.

This is probably a bit of a peculiar name for a blog post but never mind. This is just going to be something completely unrelated to beauty or fashion or anything of the kind. So here we go.

On Wednesday the 18th of December 2013, I made the roughly 200 mile journey from Bournemouth to Norwich. It was my first time travelling this distance completely on my own as before i had met someone in London and done the rest of the journey with them, and quite frankly I was terrified. I left my house promptly and 10:10am that Wednesday morning and walked on down to the bus stop, here i was greeted by a lovely chap who was telling me all about his grandkids and how they all do art like me, not 100% sure on how he knows i do art but never mind. 

The bus arrived at 10:22, 7 minutes late. I figured something like this would happen so I'm lucky i planned to get to the train station with enough time spare! The bus driver questioned my request for a child ticket, but after assuring him that i was 16 and did have my child bus pass he seemed more than happy to let me on. The journey to the train station only took about 10 minutes which was luck as it normally takes about 25! 

I got off the bus and ambled on down to the train station where i found that my train was not going to where i thought it was. On the board it had 10:57 - Farnborough, well, that was my train, but wasn't i supposed to be going to London Waterloo? I'm pretty sure i didn't book a train with changes. Anyway, i promptly found one of the train people and asked them and they assured me that it would be fine and it was just the slower train, I'm not sure if i was happy about this or not, 2 hours and 40 minutes to get to London? Alright then. 

The train arrived on time and to my delight there was only one other person in my carriage! I sat down facing backwards as this is  bit of a habit of mine and got out my tablet and continued reading the second Hunger Games book. The train journey was fairly hassle free, my ticket didn't get checked which was a bit annoying, and there were signalling problems at Southampton which made us about 5 minutes late, but it was a nice journey overall. I got about 45% of the way through The Hunger Games too, which made me really excited to be seeing the film later on! 

The train arrived at London Waterloo and i headed towards the Underground to get the Jubilee Line (?) to Stratford. As i got there a tube had just pulled up and i walked straight on which was lucky. The carriage i was on remained fairly quiet and we arrived at Stratford about 20 minutes or so later. 

I always forget how much i love London, with all the amazing buildings and architecture, as well as the fabulous shopping at Westfields! Oh how i longed to sneak in and make a few cheeky purchase but alas, i had to go and wait for my next train. 

The thing I'll never understand about Stratford Train station is the lack of signs. My train was due to arrive at platform 10A. Well, this would have been fine if i had been there before, or it was signposted, or anyone there had a clue where it was! I asked a couple of people and none of them knew so i phoned up my friend who had to direct me, how was i supposed to know you go down a set of stairs follow the path round, up another set of stairs and you're there? How was i supposed to know Stratford? How?

After all the gaffing about with finding the platform i didn't have to wait long for my train, and before i knew it i was on my way to Norwich! The thing about the Greater Anglia train is that they have a quiet coach on all the trains and normally i would have sat in this bit, if it wasn't for the fact that when i walked through the train it was probably the loudest part. I just wasn't to shout and be like "ITS THE QUIET COACH NOW SHUSH" but i have no authority and i thought making people hate me probably wouldn't be the best, but i settled in a lovely quiet coach again facing backwards and made the 1 hour and 55 minute journey to Norwich. 

Don't worry, I'm nearly at the end of my journey guys! The train arrived at Norwich train station on time, even if it was very dark outside. I hadn't planned for this. I got off the train, used the loos and headed out to find my way to Chapelfield. Don't ever underestimate how difficult it is to navigate your way through a city you don't know. Apparently the journey from the train station to Chapelfield should have taken about 20 minutes. I took 50. I don't even know where i went so i couldn't begin to tell you if i tried. All i remember is thinking i was lost, but no, i made it there in the end, found my friend and headed off to Costa to wait for him to finish work. All Costa's are the same so with being over 200 miles away from home it gave me a sense of comfort and i got myself a Belgian Chocolate Cooler, and a Triple Chocolate Chip muffin and settled down reading the rest of the Hunger Games.

What have  i learnt from this experience though? 

  • Ticket Conductors are your friend, just as long as you have a ticket.
  • Costa is the most welcoming place on earth.
  • I want to move to London.
  • I hate loud people on trains.
  • One book is not long enough for the two journeys.
  • Platform 10A does exist.
  • I spend far too much money on trains. 
  • Westfield's is like heaven.

Anyway, i hope you've enjoyed reading about my awful journey, what are some bad travelling experiences you guys have had? 

Anya xxx

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