I arrived at Newcastle train station, at just before 11am…I remember looking up at the clock, that hangs from the roof, to check the time, to find myself suddenly and unexpectedly, overcome by emotion. Tears of joy and happiness, welled up. This was it, it was really happening. To me! It felt like an amazing dream, that I was soon going to wake up from!
I walked on the platform, with the aim of establishing where my train was leaving from. Newcastle train station, was absolutely freezing, it’s vast Victorian structure, akin to a giant wind tunnel.
I decided to find somewhere warm, to grab a coffee. My ticket was, much to my suprise, First Class. I would of been perfectly happy to travel in standard class! So I decided to head to the First Class lounge, which offered a santuary of warmth and coffee.
It was really lovely treat, to be able to sit in a comfy chair, make a few phone calls and drink a decent cup of coffee. The cup of coffee itself, threw me into confusion…I spent ages looking for those small plastic cartons of milk, that are synonymous with train station and other take-away coffees, only to discover the milk was in a jug, in the fridge.
The one thing, I quickly learnt I hqd to be wary of…no announcements in the lounge! So at 11.55 I stepped outside to await my train.
While stood on the platform I noticed this advertisement, for a book. Ot seemed apt.
Five minutes late, my train pulled into the station, I located my carraige and found myself, greeted on board, by lovely staff.
In First Class I found myself, in a strange world, I’m not really used to. At seat service and “complementary food and drink” when they checked my ticket I completely expected to be kicked out. I wondered if they’d let me take my macaroni cheese and red wine with me!
The journey itself was really enjoyable, for all I would of been perfectly happy to travel standard class, ot was lovely to have a big comfy chair to sit and relax in. My arthritis was very thankful too! I was also able to indulge in my favourite tipple too. Twice!
The scenes, outside the window, where beautiful too. For the first 30 minutes a winter wonderland, filled my vision. This then gave way to green fields, as the weather became “warmer” the further South we travelled.
Just before 4pm, we pulled into Kings Cross. The journey had been a very enjoyable one and I was very grateful to have been given the opportunity to travel first class.
The next challenge, came with finding my hotel. After checking my reservation, to clarify the name of my hotel “The Crowne Plaza Kings Cross” I headed off. It’s only a few minutes walk, Google Maps told me, less than half a mile. Before promptly giving me confusing insteuctions and sending me round in circles! The wonders of technology!
I located my hotel, checked in, given my room number “534”, headed upstairs, dumped my stuff and took a deep breath. I was here, in London, the journey was over and the next part of the adventure was about to begin!