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Kiwi Goes Global

How Not To Go To Rothesay: Libby's Guide

UNITED KINGDOM | Tuesday, 7 June 2011 | Views [891]

*Quick explanation: my great-grandfather came to NZ from Rothesay, so it's my closest link to any country other than NZ.  I wasn't planning to go but, while in St Andrews, I realised that it wasn't actually so far away...*

  1. Decide, on the spur of the moment, to do your trip the next day.
  2. Look up your buses, trains, ferries, etc at about midnight the night before leaving.
  3. Drag yourself out of bed in time to get an 8.10am bus.
  4. Sleep for the approximately 2.5 hours that it takes you to get to Glasgow.
  5. Wander down to Glasgow Central Station and buy your Rail and Sail tickets.
  6. Go and wait happily in the station.
  7. Emerge from the waiting room 10 mins before your train is due and notice that it has 'delayed' beside it on the board.
  8. Panic slightly, as you know that, even as it is, you will have precious few hours on the island.
  9. Read the boards and find out that a signalling problem at the next station has affected your train, which does not arrive.
  10. Find out that there are replacement buses, and get one to the affected station.
  11. Wait about 45 minutes, anxiously watching the board, which is announcing that your train is on time.
  12. Come out onto the platform a few minutes before your train is due.
  13. Watch as time ticks by, no train appears, and then the information on your train quietly disappears from the board.
  14. Try to get the attention of stressed-looking-fluro-jacket-man, who is being assailed by various other passengers, who all want to know what happened to their trains.
  15. Ask what happened to your train.
  16. Try very hard to understand his Glaswegian accent, feeling like you are back in France and speaking French to someone elderly from a small mountain village, and manage to pick out somthing like 'I'll find out in a minute.'
  17. Wait around a bit longer, thinking about how you've already waited about 2 hours, and will have an hour's wait before the next train.  And then you have a ferry after that just to get to the island!
  18. Chase after stressed-looking-fluro-jacket-man again, and ask if he knows whether the next train will actually come.
  19. Try desperately to understand his response.
  20. State that you are meant just to be doing a day trip so, if he is not sure, you would rather go back to Glasgow Central and get a refund.
  21. Follow his advice (perhaps you are learning to understand this accent, after all) and get back on the replacement bus to Glasgow Central.
  22. Curse ScotRail for depriving you of the chance to visit your 'ancestral homelands.'
  23. Decide that you will at least enjoy an afternoon in Glasgow, instead of wasting an entire day and being annoyed about it.
  24. Get your refund from a lady at the ticket desk at Glasgow Central, and decide you can probably forgive ScotRail, because she was very kind and helpful.
  25. At approx 1.30pm, set off for a random wander in Glasgow.
  26. Eat your picnic lunch down by the river.
  27. Spend the afternoon wandering aimlessly in the streets, seeing: churches, impressive buildings, buskers, Frasers, fancy arcades.
  28. Choose the 6.10pm bus back to St Andrews, instead of the 6.30pm one, thinking this will be quicker.
  29. Change buses at Leven (but not before about half an hour of downtime, which you use to walk along the beach).
  30. Take the world's least direct route back to St Andrews (ie passing through Anstruther). You will not be too gutted, as you don't initally realise how long this will take, and you will be sitting on the top level of a double-decker bus, enjoying the views.
  31. After about 45 minutes, begin to tire of the bus ride.  Fair enough.  Today, you have spent about 5 hours in a bus.
  32. Arrive at St Andrews bus station at about 10.30pm.

All in all, a good day, but certainly not what I had planned!

Tags: bus ride, failed trip, getting to rothesay, glasgow, rothesay, train fail

 

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Moi, up Mont St Clair in Sète, with my wee Kiwi, Kingi.

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