So yesterday I went to Edinburgh for a day trip to see my friend, who is currently hanging out in Dundee at Dare to be Digital where she is making a game called Kuria which the world should be excited about.
I began my epic journey (for epic it was) at 5am, when the sun was just about rising and Leeds was blissfully silent. It was actually a lovely walk down to the train station and it really reminded me what I love about Leeds. I wish my phone took better pictures, because then maybe I’d have bothered with doing that. I didn’t, so on with the story.
So I reached the train station about 15 minutes early for my train and grabbed a coffee. All good. Then I went to wait on the platform along with my odd gaggle of travelling companions (because who is really taking a train at 6am on a Saturday morning. Mostly drunk people who didn’t bother finding somewhere to stay over from the night before, that’s who). We waited, and trains pulled up at other platforms, and we waited, and our train was 5 minutes late, and we waited, and no-one told us anything. Eventually, 15 minutes after our train should have arrived someone informed us there had been a lightening strike on the line and it was still at Huddersfield. By this point the drunks were sober, the rest of us had missed our connections, and we shuffled over to the funny little tin-can Northern Rail train which took us to York.
Having missed my connection I then had a while to potter about at York, during which time I was bounced between platforms and quietly followed around by a Korean family. Eventually the next train to Edinburgh came, and I found a seat surrounded by irritating Americans talking about “how weird it is that houses can have names instead of numbers here” and settled in. I eventually arrived in Edinburgh an hour and a half later than planned.
The day itself was absolutely lovely (if a little rainy). We visited the Camera Obscura, the Fudge Kitchen, walked all the way up and down the Royal Mile, visited the Museum of Edinburgh (which is weird, and mainly taken up with ceramics, but that’s fine). We had a lovely lunch at Under the Stairs and visited the Grassmarket, saw the Scott Memorial a bit through the fog and explored a cool installation about the brain and learning difficulties in a park.
Then, I got on my train back. This journey was thankfully much less epic than the morning. I decided to travel in fancy first class which meant a comfy single seat, free wifi, free supper and copious amounts of tea (which I really needed). I finished reading The Prince of the Icemark which my lovely Mum gave me to read for a recent birthmas, and which I may review at some point. There were some loud Geordies who entertained me generally with their weird conversations about how they have more money than sense, and therefore frequently do things like go to the theatre, and if it’s good, buy tickets for the same show the next night.
My final train of the day was York to Leeds, and once again was an interesting experience. If you’ve ever been in York station at about 10pm on a Saturday night then you will understand when I say WOW. York needs to calm down, because it is not acting like the classy neighbour that Leeds thinks it is. My train finally arrived, and we puttered along, stopping every five minutes to pick up 17-year olds off for a night out in Leeds, until we came to Crossgates, where the train inexplicably stopped.
Now, the reason, as I later found out, is that a lady collapsed in the front carriage (I was in the back). She was taken away by an ambulance and I very sincerely hope that she’s ok, and the same to anyone travelling with her as it must be a really scary experience. However, we in the back carriage had no idea what was going on for 40 minutes, because the train guard had a complete inability to speak loudly over the tannoy. After the third announcement it was just frustrating to have no idea what was going on.
Eventually we made it to Leeds, where I watched the guard getting ripped into by a passenger who was far more angry than me. I made my way home across the lovely Saturday night scene of Leeds (far less lovable and enjoyable than the 5am scene). I made it home at almost bang on midnight, 19 hours after I’d left.
It was totally worth it, I had an amazing day, and everyone should read all about Team Insert Imagination and the awesome stuff they are doing up in Dundee.