Monday, November 10, 2008

(Don't) stop this train...

The days have started to get incredibly short here in Glasgow, and it's now pretty much dark by 4pm. It takes some adjustment, but isn't as bad as I thought it was going to be.

I was down in London this weekend, which was fabulous and made me momentarily pause and want to scream, "AFTER GRADUATION, I AM SO MOVING DOWN HERE!", because hello, it's London. But when I got back to Glasgow, I had this great feeling of being home. And it was a really nice thing to feel. And made not feel as desperate to move to London.

Oh, silly Glasgow, with your bad weather, insane football teams, unintelligible accent, crack-laced soft drink, smelly air, archaic subway system, and your Neds. I heart you. I really do, Glasgow. You and I will be friends for a very long time.

But back to London. I flew down and then took the train back up from King's Cross. And I love King's Cross. Mainly because it's so historic and you feel like you can see Mrs. Pevensie waving goodbye to her children during WWII as she loads them onto a train to send them away from London and the Blitz. But really, because of Harry Potter. It would be a total lie if I said I didn't get minorly giddy being in the station. I play it cool and don't go running over to Platform 9 3/4, but the Superdork part of me is always on guard, looking around and listening, just in case.

ALSO, I very much had a HPCOS moment there (albeit in the tube station and not the main rail station) when I went thump into the barrier at the exit and couldn't get through. Except it wasn't because of magic. I just hadn't put enough money on my card. Sorry, Dobby.

The train ride up from London to Glasgow is fantastic. It cuts straight up through Peterborough, then into Yorkshire and York, before continuing up to Newcastle, where it cuts across the Tyne on a high bridge where you can see all the other bridges, and then follows the coast for about an hour or so. And I mean "follows the coast" in the most literal sense. The rail is on a cliff overlooking the North Sea. It is spectacular.

And so I took pictures:

Somewhere in Yorkshire.

The North Sea. This photo does not do it justice.

Back in Scotland.

So it's a six hour train journey, but a really beautiful six hours. Plus, on trains in the UK, they have free wifi, and you are free to eat and drink it up. The cafe car has a bar and hot food, and you can bring your own booze, as I happily learned when a stag party got on and invaded my car in Edinburgh and I spent the rest of the journey to Glasgow sipping champagne with them.

On a slightly different topic, you know what's incredibly underrated? CABBAGE. It gets no love. But really, it should. A little extra virgin olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and onion sauteed with the cabbage? Delish!



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