A Travellerspoint blog

Day 16 - Isle of Wight to Southampton to Birmingham

Back on the Mainland.

sunny 10 °C
View Cotswold Way, England on Laura Walking's travel map.

Slept a bit restlessly last night. Not because of the music and karaoke(!) but I think because I had a lot on my mind… with the travel that was happening tomorrow - now today!

When I got up, quite early… the sun was shining! Of course it was… it’s the day I’m leaving! Although noticeably cooler outside as well. I had packed most of the things I could pack last night. I got dressed and ready and was down in the dining room having breakfast around 8 am. Check out time was 10 am. The ferry I needed to catch was at 10:55… however an earlier one at 9:35 would actually be ideal. Amazingly, after breakfast I got the rest of my things packed up and was ready to leave shortly after 9 am! I had my big backpack - it seemed quite heavy this time - on my back, and my little pack on my front. I tried to ignore the funny looks I got… and just smiled back! I was able to catch that earlier ferry after all! Which would make things at the other end less hectic.

The ferry ride was a smooth one with the sunshine blazing into the cabin of the catamaran. It’s about a 30 minute trip. At the terminal in Southampton, it was such a lovely day that I decided to walk with both my big and little backpacks to the train station. I did this on the way over to IOW, however was not sure I would or could do it coming back if the weather was awful. But it was nice so I walked. Probably about two or two and a half miles. Because I had lots of time, I could take my time walking. If I’d taken the later ferry I would probably have taken a taxi to the station.

Looking online last night, I really wanted to catch the 12:15 train from Southampton to Birmingham via a dozen other places. It seemed to be the most direct and quickest, even with all the stops. I got my ticket for that train, no problem. It was supposed to take two hours and 34 minutes. There is going to be a train strike starting tomorrow… and so they had purposely overbooked this train. On a cross-country train like this one, I have never seen people standing in the aisles, but today there were many. I had a reserved seat for some reason. I didn’t ask for it, but was very glad for it! And I also found out that there was a stop before the city of Birmingham, called Birmingham International, right at the airport! So that was a real bonus too! I am staying two nights in a small hotel here. My flight leaves very early Sunday morning. It was easy to walk through the airport terminal from the train station, and then outside to this hotel. I hope I find my way just as easily on Sunday morning.

The train arrived here only slightly behind schedule, and I checked in around 3 pm or shortly thereafter. For a day of travel it went very smoothly - even with my humongous heavy pack! Had dinner downstairs in the very casual dining room. Going to turn in early.

Posted by Laura Walking 22:01 Archived in England

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