John & Anne Wiley

2019/01/06

Carlisle, England

Our southbound train from Glasgow was soon gliding through the beautiful Scottish countryside toward the English border.

08015 Leaving Scotland

8015 Leaving Scotland

One stop on our way stood out in particular. As we rolled up to the platform, a somber mood seemed to envelope the train. We knew the history here and thought that was the reason, but later noticed three embracing couples in this pic and realized 2018 was 30 years since the tragedy. Typing this almost four months later, I can still feel the powerful silence of that stop.

8025 Lockerbie Station

8025 Lockerbie Station

Somehow the 40 miles or so across the invisible border into England, to our overnight stop at Carlisle, distracted us from past to present. The short walk from the station to our hotel brought us to a downtown core in stark contrast to bustling Glasgow.

174301 Carlisle Core

174301 Carlisle Core

A small city like this surely had things going on, but none of those things seemed to be happening anywhere we looked. Glancing back toward the station across the ancient town square we’d crossed to the hotel revealed someone finding solitude on a bench.

174302 Silent Square

174302 Silent Square

Stashing our stuff, we wandered over to the cathedral complex where stonework speaks of centuries.

8055 Carlisle Cathedral

8055 Carlisle Cathedral

From there, a short walk brought us for a view of the stout fortress.

8072 Carlisle Castle

8072 Carlisle Castle

Since the museum there had already closed, we strolled back alleys into town for a few groceries. As night fell, the moon hung over the quiet town on our stroll back to the hotel for an improvised dinner in our room.

8081 Quiet Night

8081 Quiet Night

Morning dawned sunny for our quick breakfast at a bakery across the square from our hotel.

102228 Morning Light

102228 Morning Light

At last we saw a mix of locals and visitors, before catching a train to our “rest stop” on this fast-paced trip.

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