Following last year’s marathon Trans Siberian / Japan railway journey, I thought I would follow up this year with a rail tour of Europe, before Brexit kicks in, with its threat of border controls, visas and queues for non Europeans. I have always longed to go Inter Railing, but it was for years seen as the province of the under 26s. Now there are Inter Rail passes for adults and even seniors. I opted for the 4 week pass covering (most of) Europe from the UK all the way to Turkey, and decided to splash out on a 1st Class pass. Well, if you can’t treat yourself when you retire, when can you?
Although the Inter Rail pass covers you for unlimited travel in most countries, it only allows one outward and one inward journey in your home country. So, on Monday 4 June 2018, following a 10 minute trip on the Cathcart Circle from Shawlands to Glasgow Central, I boarded the 0940 Virgin Pendalino train to London Euston. Soon I was tucking into my Great British Breakfast and watching Scotland slip into England on a smooth journey. The train hostess patiently explained all the options available for breakfast, including eggs benedict or crushed avocado and bacon, when a wee Glasgow voice pipes up: ‘Can I jist hiv a roll and fried egg and tottie scone, hen?’
Rather than squander my hard earned cash on an expensive London hotel, I opted for Clink 78 - a former Court House close to Kings Cross, where Punk band The Clash had stood trial and where Charles Dickens once worked. The old Court has been transformed into a lively hostel with quirky decor and real cells as accommodation.
A pleasant walk round London and then off to the Southwark Playhouse to see a rarely performed musical - The Rink - written by Kander and Ebb, composers of CHICAGO and CABARET. Then back to me cell in time for curfew…Read more