United Kingdom

Zen and the art of not missing your Eurostar

I had only been on the Eurostar once before, and that was 18 years ago. Not only did they now depart from the reborn St Pancras station (rather than Waterloo), but there were a new generation of trains. I liked the check in system at St Pancras, and was only sad that that the champagne bar above the platform was closed for my visit. Security and immigration were a doddle, and my luck was in – I found a seat, from which I people watched and nursed my stomach, ravished by cramps from something I had eaten that it clearly […]

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The Caledonian Sleeper from Edinburgh to London

It feels good to be on the move again. Tonight’s journey was not originally planned as part of my London – Istanbul trip, a recreation of the Orient Express for the modern age. I thought I would be starting my trip in London, but in fact I’m a few hundred miles further away from the start line, in Edinburgh. Waverley Station has a strange atmosphere on a Sunday night. Police officers patrol a fairly deserted concourse. The bar is busy with stag and hen parties winding down after a busy weekend. They mix rather uncomfortably with walkers and cyclists returning […]

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Morning Departure

I set off from Edinburgh late on a bright December morning. With an already low winter sun behind Arthur’s Seat my old school Virgin East Coast train rumbled out of Waverley Station and chugged south towards the English border. Thankfully no visa formalities are yet required. I have fond memories of this journey when I used to be a man in a suit, but invairably my journeys would start at a crazy time in the early morning darkness and often finish late at night. But today the sun streamed through the windows of the coach and I sippled fizzy water whilst […]

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