Sunday morning, 8:25am
We have a train to catch at 10:26 am.
Our hotel is a mere 1.2 miles away from the train station, or a 22 minute walk by Google Map estimates. In reality, the walk is closer to half an hour because of all of the heavy luggage that we are dragging through busy neighborhoods and being careful not to be run over by cars that we are not used to looking 1st towards the right as we step off the curb.
Our dilemma is that it is pouring cats and dogs and the forecast is steady rain all morning long. So do we risk getting wet or calling an Uber to take us there? Easy decision!
Get a ride!
I open up my Uber app to schedule a car. Unfortunately there is no Uber available here. The same goes with Lyft. Well that is a shame, but fortunately we can always fall back on getting a cab, right? I ask the lady at our hotel how much a cab would be to a railway station. She tells me that the last person who they sent with a taxi had a fare of £15. What? That’s like $20! For about a mile! I look at my Google Maps and discover that it is actually more like 3 miles because the cab has to take some funky way to get to the railway station. In other words, it cannot go on the same path that we can go. And with the demand for taxis on this very wet, windy and rainy morning, perhaps it is even more than £15?!
I check for the possibility of taking public transportation to the train station. Unfortunately, it will take us about the same amount of time just to get to the bus stop by walking, and we would only ride two stops before we would have to get off and walk the rest of the way to the train station. Alas, that is not going to work.
So I call up some taxi companies. I want the cab around 9:45am, building in the some time in case it doesn’t show up and we have to hoof it to the train station. Unfortunately many people are also needing taxis this morning. Both companies tell me that nothing is available until after 10am. That does not work!
I call up a third taxi company, and after many many rings, the dispatch operator picks up. She asks where I am going to and where I am coming from. She then asks what time I need the taxi. 9:45am, I reply. After a few short seconds, she says “We are booked, thank you,” and hangs up.
Fast forward an hour later and we are waiting in the lobby for our ride.
It occurs to me that when she said “We are booked,” maybe that meant that they have no cabs for us, instead of thinking that we have booked the reservation for 9:45?!
At any rate, it looks like plan B. We try our best to water proof ourselves for the walk, just in case the cab does not come in the next five minutes.
It does not come.
We set off.
And we walk as fast as we can. We walk fast to not only try and avoid the rain (not possible), but to make it in time to the train station to collect our tickets and make it on our train. The one good thing I can say about the rain is that people are afraid of it, which meant our sidewalks and streets were pretty clear of people and traffic for our journey through the popular central tourist district and up the hill.
However, it still rained and rained and we could not escape it. This is the one vacation where I did not pack an umbrella, an emergency 99 cent poncho or a light water repellent jacket. I mean, there is no need for it! Especially after reading that Britain has been in a massive heatwave for the last few weeks and to think that it would rain on our vacation at the end of July? Fiddlesticks!
We got soaked. Most of it was from the rain, but part of it was also because of our sweat. I did not plan on working out this morning. But we made it. We made it to the station by 10:18am! We were going to actually make this train, so long as we were on the right platform this time lol…
We went to the machine to collect our pre-purchase tickets. I inserted the credit card, punched in our confirmation numbers, and shortly thereafter our tickets were printed and spat out in the receptacle below.
Now all we had to do was wait at our designated platform. We looked up at the departures screen. And after the whole ordeal of stressing out about the taxi cabs, giving up ourselves to the rain and rushing to the train station we get our next unforeseen (but really, the way things have gone, should we have been surprised?) event….