Sarah & I had a wonderful English breakfast at Cartref House before heading back to Victoria Station to catch the tube to Paddington with our suitcases and a few souvenirs in tow. The train station at Paddington is huge and bit disconcerting to the uninitiated American. We’d purchased BritRail passes before we’d left the States, but had to get them “activated” at Paddington. One wrong line and a question later, we were at the right booth with a highly amused worker who, at first, didn’t seem to want to explain to us how the trains worked. Finally he said, “stand over there and watch for platform information for the train to Penzance”.
Interesting experience, London train stations.
This particular Saturday morning everyone appeared to be going on holiday. Hundreds of people in the station watched the boards to wait for platform information to be posted. There must have been more than a dozen boards and it took us a few minutes to find the one for Penzance, which was the last stop on the particular line (to Exeter) we needed.
We thought we had plenty of time to look around but when the platform information was posted 15 minutes before the train was scheduled to depart, there was a mad rush toward the train. We didn’t realize that many seats were already reserved – figured that out fairly quickly then headed toward the last 2 cars of the train where there was open seating. There weren’t 2 seats together but we were across the aisle from each other and still able to talk. Sarah had a great conversation with a young man from Dartmouth who gave us some tourist tips. We got our first views of the English countryside. Green. Very green. (Remember, we’d left brown prairie/early spring behind in Kansas & Nebraska.)
A couple of hours later we arrived in Exeter.
Next: renting a car, driving & parking, Exeter Cathedral