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Two trains running

April 04, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

This chasing the boat adventure went off the tracks, and I’ve left you trapped in St. Davids, Wales for a long while… though Christmas in Wales might have been interesting!

Just to remind you, while at a Lyle Lovett concert last March (2017), he closed with If I Had a Boat, which reminded me of all these images of boats I started to make on a trip to Wales, Scotland, Ireland and The Netherlands. Writing about this trip has made me review my images, I haven’t printed or edited very many of them.

I’ve learned that I have to get these written blogs posted quicker, and maybe shorter, but I want to finish the trip, I’ve already edited photos for all the posts.

A bit of order on the LakeA bit of order on the Lake We’re up early, it’s an hour by car to the train station in Milford Haven. We’re taking two trains, a ten-hour trip to end up in Edinburgh, Scotland in the late afternoon. This time we’re organized and have packed food for the trip, which turns out to be a good move for us. The first train is crowded, and I end up in the back of the car, Kyla has managed to lay claim to a pod of four chairs, leaving me on the search for a single seat. This turns out to be a great move for me, for we’re introduced to a British tradition for the 3-hour ride to Leeds, where we change trains. Seated almost across from Kyla’s seats is a group of young women, all dressed in camo, with one older woman in tow. Turns out this is a Hen Party, the female version of a stag. They spend the trip playing silly games that always seem to end in drinking wine.

We switch trains, and are now on one run by Richard Branson of Virgin fame, who knew that besides music, phones and airplanes, he ran trains! We’d booked what we thought was a quiet car, but find out that the system has broken down. Not only is the car not quiet, but there are people sitting in our reserved seats. The conductor makes a brief appearance and mutters something about a computer glitch, and directs us to take whatever seats we can find. Turns out, we’re in luck, and we find ourselves all over the car, and it’s not quiet. But the trip gets interesting as at each stop new passengers board, assuming that they have reservations and find there are no seats to be had, and there isn’t any sign of a Virgin employee at all! We suffer through the final 45 minutes of the trip with a group of oil company employees who don’t have seats but entertain us with loud stories of their golf games as they pass food around to each other. Thankfully, we roll into Edinburgh on time!

All the mod consAll the mod cons This trip is prior to the spread of AirB&B, and we’ve rented an apartment close to the train station, via the internet. All we have is an address and a name of a person who is going to meet us at 5 pm with the key. There go the five of us, suitcases in hand, making our way to the address. I’m a bit wary of the situation, but we finally get there, and there’s the person with the key in hand. And to make the end of the trip a bit interesting, we’re on the fifth floor with no elevator!

Kyla and I are off on a mission, we have to buy groceries for the gang, we’re just hoping to find enough for dinner and breakfast, the rest of the food will come later. I’ve got my camera in hand, and we’re off, and I soon discover a gem, just behind our apartment is the Lothian and Borders police station, where one of my favourite literary characters, DI John Rebus, worked. We come across a Tesco and are soon stocked up with food.

A brush with the pastA brush with the past It’s a packed three day trip to Scotland, I get a surprise on the first day, the girls have booked a John Rebus tour of Edinburgh. http://rebustours.com/tours/ We start at the Royal Oak, on a rainy, cold June day, too early for me to start with a Scotch or a beer. There’s a good-sized group, and the guide is not only an avid Ian Rankin fan, he is also well versed in the history of Edinburgh. Though, after an hour or so of dodging the rain underneath overhangs, I wonder why I’m gazing up into the window of a police station, while the guide tells me that Detective Rebus works out of that office. He’s a character in a detective series, not a real copper!

Shadows at playShadows at play Day two we’re off on a day tour, I organized this, so I’m hoping that it works out! We’re in a 14 passenger bus for the ride.
https://www.rabbies.com/en/scotland-tours/from-edinburgh/day-tours/west-highland-lochs-castles-day-tour, and it turns out to be much more interesting than I thought it would be, we’re in a small group of ten, and the tour guide/driver has a grand sense of humour. It’s a long day, but we manage to visit two castles, the home of the Duke of Argyll, Loch Loman and then back to Edinburgh.

No boats, it’s a quick visit, and it’s certainly on the list to revisit. We’re up early the next morning, our last day in Scotland. We spend the day roaming about Edinburgh, the weather cooperated and we had a wee bit of sun! The final day, we’re up early and it’s a long bus and ferry ride to Larne, North Ireland.

And since we’re close to the coast, there should be many boats in the lens.

Standing guardStanding guard


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Sorry for the six month stay in St Davids!
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