Letting the train take the strain.

Posted on July 29, 2012


Devon – London – Paris – Barcelona – Lorca – Las Piedras

Stage one: Devon to London.

We set off early on Tuesday morning from Newton Abbot; the train had hardly left the station before the first bucks fizz was poured, the smoked salmon bagels were munched and the ten year old said ‘are we nearly there yet’.

We’d decided to start our train journey to Spain in style, travelling first class so that we’d have plenty of space to spread out with the many distractions, games and forms of entertainment we thought we might need. Luckily the ‘are we nearly there yet’ was his idea of a joke, and in fact we spent most of the journey enjoying the sights and sounds.

The seaside, along the beautiful South Devon coast, then the lush countryside of Somerset – racing (and beating) the cars up the M5. On to Bristol, through Bath, the gorgeous Wiltshire countryside and the Vale of the White Horse, finally, into London.

We were soon in Paddington. On time, and great service, well done First Great Western.  We breathed a sigh of relief. We’d managed, our first train journey without any moaning or ‘I’m bored’.

Then came the challenge of gathering our belongings, and ourselves, together to move on to stage two, which involved negotiating the tube from Paddington to St Pancras. A real toughie, with three suitcases, a couple of backpacks, and a very excited ten year old boy!

We have to thank the Australian Women’s Basketball team for being at St Pancras, it certainly took his mind off how heavy his backpack was and why there were so many stairs to walk up and down – ‘I mean, really Mum, you would’ve thought they would make it easier for people with luggage’.

Hmmm. I am sure he’s not the first person to think that of the London tube system and I am sure he won’t be the last.

Whatever, a few days before the Olympics came to town, I did feel a sense of welcome, of joined-up-ness and of ‘care’ for visitors coming to the games. No matter how heavy the luggage, they’ll definitely have no problem finding where to go to see their favourite events and be sure of a warm welcome.

Stage two: London to Paris

(See all images of the great train adventure on the facebook page)