dachelle: (road to penzance)
[personal profile] dachelle
My day actually began the previous evening, when I flew out of D/FW at 7:20 p.m. The flight was uneventful. I was very lucky as I'd booked an aisle seat on a two-seat row, and I ended up not having anyone at the window seat, so I could stretch out and try to get some sleep. It didn't work very well. I dozed off somewhere off the coast of Nova Scotia and woke up again just before Ireland.

Upon arriving at Heathrow, I had to get my bags and schlep them down to the train to Paddington. Waiting for the train, I was joined by two men who had a discussion about gay porn, which I thought was an auspicious and appropriate beginning to my journey.

When I got to Paddington, I somehow managed to meet up with [livejournal.com profile] yfli right after exiting the train. Well, I say "somehow." It probably has to do with the fact that Bianca is smrt and looked up my train arrival time on the board. We hugged and squeed and used the pay toilet (that part wasn't together) and sat in a cafe to await the train to Penzance, which left a couple of hours after I got there.

The train journey was long but pretty, going through parts of the English countryside I'd never seen. My overwhelming impression was that England has a lot of sheep. At one point, our train stopped for a long time for no apparent reason next to this rather disturbing depiction of an axe.

At another point during our journey, we passed by the Westbury white horse. I did not know what this was at the time, but have since Googled it. Apparently, there are similar horse hill figures all over Wiltshire. No wonder Peter moved there.

We also went through Plymouth. Sadly, people dressed as Pilgrims did not appear to be wandering the streets, but we did get to go over an awesome bridge that I tried to take a picture of from the train.

We did not, however, go through St. Erth, because St. Erth does not exist. < /inside joke>

Finally, after about 5 and a half hours of travel, Penzance!

Fortunately for my tired and aching limbs, our guest house was not far from the train station, though it was up a bit of a hill. I did not realize Cornwall was so hilly. Expect Peter to get seriously winded running about after Carl at some point during "Penzance." He's also going to eat some fudge. Which I'm now realizing could be taken as something very dirty indeed but I AM SO NOT GOING THERE, O.K.?

After settling in to our lovely and cozy room, Bianca and I set off to get some grub - a bit of a challenge, as most things in Cornwall seem to close around 5 p.m. However, the Turk's Head Pub, advertised as Penzance's oldest pub (with smuggler's tunnels underneath!) seemed promising. Due to my less-than-impressive map-reading skillz, we ended up walking the wrong way up yet another hill. On the plus side, we did get some gorgeous views of the town.

Back down the hill and a 5-10 minute walk down Market Jew Street (is it just me, or is that vaguely racist?) later, we arrived at the Turk's Head.

We sat in a booth behind a booth occupied by two elderly gentlemen who were sharing some wine and some of the more expensive menu options. Listening to their conversation, it soon became apparent that they were both retired theatre actors. Y'all, I cannot explain how exciting this was to me. It was like listening to Peter O'Toole and Richard Harris having a drink in their dotage - so bitchy and amusing. At one point, one of them actually said to the other, "I've always found you coarse and abrasive, but that hasn't affected our friendship." Bianca and I listened to their discussion about their possibly gay friend Jonathan (who's in denial) and the sordid triangle between him, Dominic, and Derek while eating our fish and chips. Eventually, however, Bianca and I started talking ourselves, only to find that their conversation had stopped and they were now listening to us. We stopped talking, and one of them turned to us and told us to go on! They were very nice, asking us why we were in Penzance. Bianca and I were both like, "ummm...." Although, if anyone in Penzance might have understood the reason for our journey, I think it would have been them. While I went up to the bar to pay, Bianca talked to them and got their recommendations for places to go in Penzance, while I did the same with the ladies at the bar. Both of them, it turned out, recommended taking trips to St. Ives and St. Michael's Mount, the latter of which we'd already planned on doing, so with that advice we went back to the hotel and rested up for the next day.
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