Train ride to Penzance
Penzance Travel Blog› entry 4 of 14 › view all entries
As mentioned in the summary, Cornwall and Devon were 2 places I always toyed of visiting simply because they looked so 'different' to the rest of the UK. I first heard about Newquay being the surfing capital of the UK at the Earl's Court YHA, and on google-imag'ing them, the pictures showed a whole different side of the country. I remember hearing the phrase "English Riveria" in some other brochure, and thinking "oxymoron?!". The south west England did intrigue me - no straight forward Castles or museums that get their place on the Kodak Moments, but just scattered pictures of rugged coastlines and tiny fishing villages, each of these villages seemed to have their own identity and seemed in no hurry to promote themselves as touristy destinations, but rather, places where life just goes on.
The planning for this trip started as early as March when I knew I'd be going in May. All the books and people said "base yourself in Penzance" which I did... and once I got a handle on how things work there (in terms of distances, and trains), it was quite easy. Choosing a hostel again was very easy - only 3 hostels in the neighbourhood with the one I chose (The Blue Dolphin Backpackers) being the closest to the city centre/train station. And then came the places themselves - the area is filled with tons of tiny fishing villages, TONS of them. To pick one over the other is unfair because they're all unique, yet all do have an air of "seen one, you've seen them all".
The best part about this trip was the ticket fare! Almost all people I know kept telling me to "shell out quite a bit" to travel from London Paddington to Penzance. The jouney is 6 hours after all... but I managed to get a return fare for just 41 GBP! The train left paddington on time, and I had the company of a engineer till Bristol. It was quite nice listening to his experience of India, the United States, etc... the journey was really beautiful. When looking at it through the map, I realised how much one travels through England on this route. The scenery, rather changing sceneries was proof enough. I'll let the pictures do the talking.
The train arrived on time - at about 120pm and now began my walk to the hostel. It's not AS easy as the hostel's website said. The road took forever and I finally made it at about 150pm, ten minutes before they close. The hostel was located in a very residential area (seperate review to follow) and I knew I'd like it the minute I walked in. Very safe and very very backpacker friendly.
And what about my opinion on the town? Looks good. I knew at the get-go this would be a relaxed holiday as there were no touristy traps (the oft- appearing museums), and the weather along with long sunlight hours meant I could stroll for as long as I wanted to. The town has a huge promenade by the sea with people sitting by the benches, people walking their kids or dogs, very idyllic coastal town.
I had eaten a cheese sandwich for lunch so i was really all set to hit the street... and get underway with the Part One of my trip - visit the tiny fishing villages of Mousehole (pronounced Mow-sel) and Newlyn. Report continues in the next blog entry....