Tuesday 30 May 2017

Holiday Planning ...

Eurostar trains for Paris and Brussels await departure at
London St Pancras International
Right now I am eagerly anticipating two summer holidays: one is our usual trip to the south coast of England - although we do not do the same things and this year we are visiting the Isle of Wight for a few days as part of this trip - and the other is a Great Rail Journeys escorted tour of Switzerland, similar to the winter one we did three years ago. The Swiss tour is fully organised by GRJ and I simply await my UK tickets to London and the voucher for the hotel they've arranged for us there for the night before the tour itself begins: the tour guide will supply all the other tickets we need.

I am booking the English holiday myself: hotels booked in Shanklin, Portsmouth and Chichester and train tickets booked so far as I can, but for some reason Advance tickets for Saturdays this summer are not (yet?) available between London Waterloo and Shanklin, so there is a bit of a gap in the travel arrangements! Yes, I can pay for an off-peak single but the Standard Class fare then costs a lot more than the Advance First Class tickets I was hoping to buy. It is something to do with the engineering work taking place at Waterloo in August and the timetable not having been settled yet, and the best SouthWest Trains can say is to keep looking every couple of days ...

Local Southern Trains service on the Coastway route
ONE DAY, just maybe, we shall have another holiday on the south coast when there is no messing about by any railway company. So far we have had one Underground strike making it hard to cross London, one Southern Railway strike making it hard to get back from Brighton to London in time to get our train home and impossible to visit the Isle of Wight that year, and now non-availability of SouthWest trains from London to the Isle of Wight this year - and I had carefully planned an itinerary that did not involve any Southern trains! We cannot blame a rail company for Hurricane Bertha that afflicted the weather four years ago, though ...

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