Thursday, August 28, 2014

Thursday 28 August - Ottawa to London to York

Our trip started the day before. OC Transpo route 97 was completely out of sync. First there came two short turn trips to South Keys. Then two Airport buses came along 2 minutes apart. The bus was uncomfortable and there is no provision for cases. The second one overtook us  of course. Ottawa Airport was dead in the evening. Everything shut down as there are few flights out. The Air Canada flight to Heathfrow, although full, was great. The babies all slept and we arrived 20 minutes early. The refurbished Terminal 2 is great. Light and airy and the crowd movement has been well thought out. The corridors are wide and there is a lot of room around the baggage carousels so that everyone can look for their bags without blocking anyone else. Immigration was very quick. We only had to wait six minutes for the Heathrow Express - I had bought our tickets in advance on line.  There was quite a bit of activity in Acton Aggregate Terminal and I saw a preserved Warship diesel hydraulic in maroon at Old Oak Common. I went to the back of the train at the Airport so that we got out right at the steps for the Hammersmith and City Line. Our Oyster cards gave us access and we were in one of the new trains which are quiet and comfortable. The net result of all this is that we arrived at Kings Cross with 1 hour and 40 minutes to spare before our 1300 train to York.  We had an excellent meal at the Parcels Office and I had a Fullers London Pride - by far my favorite bitter beer. Kings Cross is the only station I know that has a platform 0 and our train left from here. It was punctual but the ride was very lively at times and quite unpleasant over pointwork. Sadly the beautiful curved York train shed is filthy with diesel fumes. The beautiful cast iron scroll work with railway company crests was painted in many colors at one time. It has been allowed to deteriorate just like at Paddington.
At York there was time visit the bus and train information offices and to get an unlimited sim card for Mary's iPhone (I had already bought mine at Heathrow) before getting to our 1530 appointment at the apartment on the Shambles. The timetables for the various bus companies were readily available. However the railway companies seen to have difficulty in producing timetables jointly. The lady seemed horrified that I wanted to get to Whitby via Middlesborough and even worse that I had thought of coming back via Pickering and bus from there.
Just across the street from the apartment
The apartment is excellent. Well furnished and well located above an art shop and close to everything. There is an enormous Marks and Spencer with a food hall right next door. We bought some staples and then went for a drink at the Red Lion. I had a pint of EPA which was quite good but a little tame compared to London Pride.
Modified gas lamp on the wall across from our window in the Shambles,

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