Windermere and Bowness -- Day 1 in the Lake District
Windermere Travel Blog› entry 8 of 31 › view all entries
This was the first day I was truly to be on my own, and not a brief train or bus ride from Caroline.
It was also a time I was very much looking forward to, even if I was a bit nervous. I'm not sure why I was nervous, to be honest -- it's not like British culture is so horribly different from my own. But as I mentioned before in a previous entry, it's different enough as to be a change from the norm. So. Nervousness. Excitement. Pure joy at going off to see something new. I got myself to Waverly station in Edinburgh in the morning, and the first task was to find my train platform. The next task was to figure out just how my bloody Brit Rail pass was to work, since I hadn't used it yet.
Platform found on the display board, I went into the ticketing office just to check on train times, and to grab a schedule for the return trip back.
This was also the day I was to find out that my Britrail pass was pretty much going to be ignored for the rest of the trip (and more than once I found myself wishing I'd bought the cheaper pass (fewer days of travel) because it was noted /once/ on the ticket when I was actually using up a day of travel in my whole month there. The rest of the time, the conductors basically just looked at it, and moved on.) Note to self: next time in the UK? Maybe go with the lesser Britrail pass.
Anyway, the train left Waverly on time, and began it's journey towards Windermere. I had to stop and change trains along the way, which was pretty seamless. Now, Scotland and England's scenery had been raved about to me by others who had been there, and none of my train journeys ever disappointed.
However, my arrival at Windermere station was a bit jarring after the spectacularly serene scenery. Somewhere along the journey, it had begun to rain. Nay, not rain. Bucket. Downpour. Deluge. And super intelligent me had left her rain gear in her backpack. Oops. So I was rather in a tizzy when I finally arrived at my destination, because I knew I had a hostel shuttle to catch, and I knew that if I didn't catch it, I'd be walking. What I also knew is that the hostel was NOT close to the train station. After a few murmured 'scuse me and pardon me', I made it outside, and thankfully found the shuttle.
The hostel smelled kind of funny, but was pretty clean, and when I arrived, I was the first one there, so I had my pick of beds. I chose one, lay down for a 20 minute power nap, and then put on the shoesies and hoofed it into town. This walk was my first experience with the narrow roads my grandmother had warned me about.
I spent time in both Windermere and Bowness just wandering around for the most part, watching the people, and peeking into the shops. I stopped and got a coffee at a local place, and chatted up a few folks there, and then wandered down to the lake, where I did the touristy thing, and bought a ticket to go out on one of the MANY (and I mean MANY) boat rides that took people out and about on Lake Windermere.
The evening was spent out at a picnic table, reading and eating, enjoying my wine.