An Adventure Abroad – British Rail, Meeting People, Good Friends

At last summer has arrived in the UK – so good to be in summer clothes and no jersey for the past two days!

Getting from one place to another in The UK is a breeze.  I had a fair distance to travel today and at home I could not have done it without a car.  Once again I found myself walking to the tube station with day pack on my back and dragging my trolley bag behind me.  Nobody gave me a second glance, the train arrived within seconds and I hopped on.  I have now got to know the system so well that when another tourist asked me which station he needed to get off at for Buckingham Palace, I was able to tell him!

I changed trains at Green Park to get onto the Victorian Line to Euston where I bought an overground ticket to Tring. I was early and hungry not having had breakfast.  I was spoilt for choice but finally settled for Marks and Spencer where I got myself a croissant and coffee and sat down amongst a million other travellers to enjoy my snack.    Finding which platform to get my train was a tad confusing but I managed it without help.   I felt a bit of an idiot when my ticket wouldn’t swipe at the turnstile but a gallant attendant showed me that it worked differently to my oyster card and I had to put it into a slot where it disappeared and then came out the other end!   Hopping onto the crowded train on Platform 8 I called out to the air – Does the train stop at Tring.  A lovely young man told me that indeed it did and got into conversation with me.  He was with his wife and 4-year-old daughter who were seated, but like me he was standing with the luggage and push chair.   They had come up from Devon four hours away and were on their way to see Granny.   It’s the first time that any British  stranger has spoken more than 10 words to me on a train.   In the 30 or so minutes we travelled together I found out that he had a lovely home overlooking the sea, was on his second marriage and had 3 other children, had never travelled out of Britain and worked at a zoo!  I found it amusing that he had never heard of Cape Town and thought that Mandela was still President of South Africa.

Tring Station

Tring Station

I spent the afternoon with Jenny who is now home from hospital but very weak and still suffering pain.   It was good to see her and all she wanted was for me to chat to her but begged me not to make her laugh – it hurt too much!  While I was there her plumber came to do some work and I was delighted to find that he was from Pietermaritzburg and of course the job was done perfectly!

Linda fetched me at quarter to six.   We passed by Dustable Downs and stopped to photograph this lion!

Lion at

Lion marking a wild life park at Dunstable Downs

This is the information I Google about this landmark.

This is a creation of the 20th century, built in 1933 from a design by Mr. R.B. Brooke-Greaves to indicate the position of Whipsnade wildlife park. It is the largest of all the figures and after being cut in outline only it is now a solid figure making it a very impressive site even from some distance. Being so conspicuous it is effectively used to advertise the zoo. The lion was covered for the duration of the war with netting, turf and paint. The lion is occasionally illuminated and was so for the 50th birthday of the zoo in 1981, the lights have been recently replaced. The lion is home to a colony of cavies and wallabies which can be seen occasionally on the lion.

An Indian Ocean with an appropriate name

An Indian Ocean with an appropriate name

We stopped to pick up an Indian take-away and I was very impressed with the service.  We were shown to a waiting area where we could watch Wimbledon and have a glass of wine.  The menu was brought to us and it was very civilised.   Within 20 minutes we had our meal which we took back to Linda’s house and enjoyed in the garden.  Remember it’s light here till well after 9 and we sat outdoors without jerseys!

Linda in her lovely English garden

Linda in her lovely English garden


Red wine and curry - delicious

Red wine and curry – delicious

A local Thrush

I was delighted to find this Song Thrush gathering berries for his supper

It was midnight before Linda and I after a good natter got to bed.   I was too tired to Blog which is why it’s only appearing now!


One thought on “An Adventure Abroad – British Rail, Meeting People, Good Friends

  1. Helen, I have thoroughly enjoyed (or should I say enjoying) reading all about your wonderful adventures. Thank you for entertaining us and letting us live vicariously though you!!! xxx


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