Gather around my friends, boy do I have a story for you.
Once there was a town called York, a simple train ride from where two young explorers would begin their journey.
Like any excited tourists we wanted to make the most of our day in York and take the earliest train their (also it was the cheapest). Departing at 7:16am we arrived at Sunderland station only to discover the ticket window where had to collect our pre-purchased tickets was closed for another hour. Not wanting to miss our connecting train from Newcastle we jumped on metro and with luck on our side the gates where all open when we got to Newcastle metro. Once we were there everything was going to be okay, we just had to get our tickets from the self-serve ticket collection. Too Easy.
“Where’s my purse? Oh no I forgot my purse.” Chelsea revealed as the clocked ticked by with 9 minutes to go until our train departs. (Now the thing you need to know is that to collect your pre-purchased tickets you need the debit/credit card you used to buy them. Yes, Chelsea’s card was the magic card)
Looking around the station there was no one in sight who could help, the desk was empty and no one was at the gates. With stations here if it is really early or late the gates are just left open and no one is around.
Okay well we will just go to our train I thought and ask if the ticket people on board can help us out.
Nope. They just directed us to the ticket office on the other side of the station.
YAY 5 minutes to go. We’ve totally got this.
Running to the ticket office, there was one lady on. We hastily explained our situation and she printed our tickets and told us to run.
The train passed.
Okay, it’s okay. We can just go back and explain to the lady we missed it. She was absolutely lovely about it and put us on the next train that she could at 8:55am, even though our tickets were not changeable when we purchased them. She told us that every now and then a little white lie hurts no one and wrote a note to the officer on board that we had had trouble with the ticket machine and that missing the train was at no fault of ours. Bless her soul.
The upside of this morning was that we had a lovely morning run and was able to now get some breakfast before our train.
8:45am rolled around and we made sure we were at the platform even before the train arrived. Finally on our way to York we were excited and ready for a day of exploring. The trains here are so comfy which make the long journeys relaxing and watching the English country side pass by is so tranquil. Chelsea and I were exchanging life stories and deep in conversation making the time fly by.
A little too quick.
“Is this York? Oh no it’s York.” I realised as the train pulled out of the station and continued it’s journey on to London.
Yes, we were still on the train.
No, I don’t know how this happened.
The thing with these trains is that they are not frequently stopping so the next stop was at Peterborough, another hour away. The funny thing is, from Newcastle to York no one had come around to check our tickets but 15 minutes into our journey to Peterborough….
“Tickets, get your tickets out.”
Once again we had to explain what had happened, show him our note from this morning and admit that today we had left our brains at home. Now I don’t know how we got so lucky twice in one day but the guard was so kind and understanding that he wrote us another note explaining to the next guard our situation and to let us pass on the train back to York.
You do not know how relieved I was that I didn’t have to pay another 2o pounds to get back to York.
Arriving at Peterborough we got on the train back to York, lucky for us it was just a short 5 minute wait. Now you should have seen the look on the guard when we handing her our tickets along with our notes. (She came around again right before the train stopped at York and reminded us to get off.)
At 12:38pm we arrived at York. What was to be a short hour train ride to York turned into a lovely 3 hour tour of the English country side through a train window.
But we made it to York and although we had lost some precious exploring time we were determined to still make the most of what we had.
The thing I have learnt most so far on my time abroad is that things don’t always go to plan but you do get killer stories out of it.