Thursday 7 January 2016

Shifting sands

I wrote a little while ago of my travel plans for 2016, and already I am writing about the changes to those plans: for the best of reasons (a family wedding in May) the proposed trip to the South of France by Eurostar's through service from London has been postponed for a year. It was a close-run thing, actually: if Eurostar and SNCF had agreed the train paths as soon as they had hoped then the tickets would have been booked before the engagement was announced!

On the other hand, Virgin Trains East Coast's recent surprise offer of a pair of free First Class tickets to be used in the next few weeks is sending me off on an unexpected day trip to Shildon to visit the National Railway Museum there. The few weeks after that trip will see several trips of various sorts. First I am taking some colleagues to explore the north of Lincolnshire which I do not know well and they do not know at all, then a few days later I'll be going to London for my granddaughter's baptism. Soon after that comes the visit to Edinburgh which will be the last trip using my old East Coast Rewards free tickets: there is an exciting itinerary planned but I cannot reveal it here because some of it is a secret treat for my wife. In between these are several day trips to Lincoln on various diocesan business. So, a fair bit of travel coming up and although the press bang on about fare rises (and there are some fare rises!), there are bargains to be had for leisure and even business travel if plans can be fitted round the special offers. I'd like to thank Virgin Trains East Coast for my free tickets: these came just as I was giving up on them ever valuing my loyalty and now they certainly have me back. I wonder if I'll experience a refurbished train on one of these wanderings ...

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