John & Anne Wiley

2019/01/11

To London With Ali

After another delicious Rosegarth breakfast I went to the kitchen and thanked our gracious, tireless hosts Ian and Sarah.

093729 Rosegarth Hosts

093729 Rosegarth Hosts

In gathering winds and darkening skies we departed toward London.

9339 Ratty?

9339 Ratty?

The “Ratty Arms” sign at the left had given us pause upon Ravenglass arrival, but now departing we knew it’s about the cool R&ER we’d ridden. In minutes a fine mist began to fall on the unfolding countryside as livestock found shelter or hunkered down.

9354 Blown Mist

9354 Blown Mist

Soon it became a stinging mist as the wind picked up, and people on the train started talking about cat.2 hurricane Storm Ali coming ashore.

112536 Storm Ali Lands

112536 Storm Ali Lands

Conversation turned reports of damage and even two deaths as we learned it was much worse in Ireland and Scotland. The mood and sky continued to darken as we learned that UK trains were being stopped.

9364 Darkening

9364 Darkening

But after Arnside the rain stopped and wind eased as we were passing a moody castle ruin.

9383 Ruin Near Arnside

9383 Ruin Near Arnside

By the time we were rolling into Grange Over Sands, locals accustomed to storms were taking a day in the park.

122754 UK Park Outing

122754 UK Park Outing

Arriving in Preston to change trains we learned that everything to the North was now cancelled. My impression is that trains behind us from Ravenglass had also been stopped due to power outages and track blockages. The platform crowd patiently milled about deciding what to do as the intricate UK rail system quickly adapted by sending most arriving trains back South.

135856 Packed Preston

135856 Packed Preston

Arriving in London only slightly delayed, we checked into our hotel and went to a cafe awaiting news of our friends who’d also departed Ravenglass about the same time. We quietly enjoyed many cups of herbal tea peoplewatching at a window seat.

182833 Cafe Window

182833 Cafe Window

They’d booked a train North to catch the fast central main line South to London, and we learned later it was cancelled. By the time we met up it was dark with a few stars, so three of us walked the Westminster area in an unusually quiet London.

194153 Quiet Night

194153 Quiet Night

Tomorrow we planned to check out views from the Shard and other attractions for our last London day of the trip.

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