I thought I might recycle some of my older blogs from my Facebook notes and this one came to mind. Mainly because I have just sailed through.
Pancreatic Blog – a travelogue
May the saints preserve us, and so St Pancas did, in terms of being boiled, solidified and kept in one place for a long period. Just across the road from Kings Cross they said, well, no one said, it was on the print-out from the online booking. Two changes it said; York to Kings Cross, Kings Cross to St Pancras, St Pancras to Gatwick. We pulled into KC at 13.51 and the next step was 14.06 to St Pancras; arrive St Pancras 14.07, time of journey one minute. I looked again; method of transport – walk. Why I wondered did I have to hang about at KC till 14.06? Perhaps there was an official guide, I hung around near all the other lost looking people expecting a guide with a flag or a flooded umbrella or something, but to no avail. At 14.07 I panicked and took flight, on my own.
Now it might seem that I hereby qualify to join the team of ‘Grumpy Old Men’ but this is a real crisis for me, since posting a page ‘Getting to Gudvangen’ to make it easier for would-be British Vikings to travel with ease it came as a shock to discover I couldn’t find my way to a train.
It is all the saints fault. I know the concept of a rail station is a little blurred in ‘Lunun’. London Bridge is a place to catch trains (or Tower Bridge possibly) and some of the trains are ‘tubes’ and travel under the ground I am told. I have been around though, (for a very long time), and I have been in many stations – even Voff! Everywhere I have ever been there is an information board with the details of all the trains. Not in Pancras’ spot. There are five that I spotted – five displays in different places – and all different.
My first attempt was ‘International Departures’. I was going to Bergen, I always feel at home there, but, it is another country. Not so today. They sent me round the corner. ahead were the escalators, above them a sign, ‘All Trains’. Ah ha, that’s the way! No. Not a mention of Gatwick or a 16.24. Was I in the wrong station?! Time to check to check the print out, as I unfolded it to scan for details, (not for the first time today I can assure you), a thought crossed my mind; I hadn’t looked at method of travel for the St P to Gatwick leg of the journey, perhaps it said – Walk.
Walk I did, no I ran, back down the escalator, (not the same escalator), off across the station, not in the previous direction. A man in blue said go right, so I did – there was a huge display Up by the ceiling of this new hall with completely different information to the ‘All Trains’ board. I searched for my time and destination. There was nothing here. To make matters worse it wasn’t one board. It was two separate ones for two different sets of services. I ran up and down, they were very long; Nothing.
With moments to spare another helper in blue sent me back a little. I turned the way they said; no information boards (so I lied about there being fie, but there should have been). A or B. A or B? Southbound. Northbound. “Help, which direction is the airport!” Passers by pointed in two directions, neither of which related to A or B. I took a chance. As much as I would have liked in my heart to be back north of Watford I made the right choice and here I am, bag checked and everything. I breathe a sigh of relief and look ahead of me; there is the sign I have been waiting to see, ‘All Departure Gates’ – just along the corridor is another sign, ‘gates 10 to 40’. Ah, so not all of them then.
Postscript: they are just announcing that my flight will be delayed as a bag is trapped in the baggage loader – it will be mine.
BTW I will Post this blog if I ever make it to the nation of many lands (Norway)
My opening speech at Gudvangen