Hello, again! So begins another journey to and through the UK! As before, I’m aiming to chronicle every day in a travelogue (or travelblog, I guess) as I revisit some places from my last trip and explore new ones along the way. I feel a bit guilty for combining the first two days into one post, but the truth is, all of a very long Day One was spent travelling (and I didn’t take a single picture). So, here goes …
It rained en route to San Francisco International, but thankfully there wasn’t a single traffic snafu along the way. And even more thankfully – and much to my relief – the technical glitch that wouldn’t allow me to check-in for my flight online was just that and not any of the other horrible scenarios that went through my head. After taxiing for what seemed like miles, the 747 took to the skies for a long but almost completely smooth ten-hour flight. Unlike my first trip over, I was able to grab some winks, although it was probably only at most an hour of sleep broken up into little, uncomfortable naps (with dreams of business class beds). Even though the plane was put in a holding pattern, we managed to land at Heathrow ahead of schedule … a bonus that was quickly lost by the 45 minutes it took to get through customs. But, eventually, I grabbed PJ off the luggage carousel and caught the Heathrow Express to London Paddington, where I promptly got in a taxi to head to King’s Cross and eventually caught my train to York, getting in just before 4 pm. I checked in at my B&B (the same one I stayed at last time but in a room that’s up considerably more stairs this time around), ate my first salmon sandwich of the trip, and forced myself to stay awake until it was time to chat with my creators and then – finally – go to bed.
Day Two began earlier than I’d planned since I didn’t seem to magically adjust to the time change like I did on my first trip, but I did manage to get some solid hours of sleep. After breakfast downstairs, I took my time getting ready/functional and then walked to the train station and headed to Harrogate, the first spot on this trip that I haven’t visited before. It was only about a half hour journey and along the way, the train went through Knaresborough, crossing along its famous viaduct above the River Nidd.
I arrived in Harrogate and, as usual, my plan was to wander around and explore somewhere new and that’s exactly what I did. I wandered in and out of the shops in the shopping district (how can I resist a stationary store?!) before stopping for a sandwich and a cup of tea, which I ate on a bench by the Cenotaph overlooking Montpellier Hill. I then shared my bench with two very friendly ladies from Bradford who were visiting Harrogate for the weekend and spending their day much the same as I was. After chatting for awhile, we left to wander our separate ways and I meandered through the nearby park before browsing the shelves at Waterstones; I haven’t yet made it out of a bookstore without buying a book and it didn’t happen this time, either (but it’s Agatha Christie and rather compact and since I didn’t pack a book for this trip, I declare this to be okay).
Afterward, I popped into Boots and then Marks and Spencer for some veggies to snack on for dinner (because one cannot live on sandwiches and falafel wraps alone, although it’s rather easy to think so when travelling here); I managed to make it through the store without looking at scarves, but it’s early on in my trip yet, so we’ll see if my resolve remains strong. Then I caught the train back to York, detoured past York Minster on my walk back to the B&B, and eventually ate my veggies for dinner.