If you just reached here and wanted to read the start of our journey, let’s go to Part 1!
Last day at the land of the Angles
17th February was our last day in England. At 7.35 pm, we flew out of Manchester to explore our 5th European country: Belgium. England is fun. The people are friendly and since they speak English, it was easy for us to wander around and to communicate with the locals. Even Halal food is not much of a problem here. It was sad to leave the land of the Angles. More so because we realized that our trip was approaching its end. So, from Windermere, we took a train to Manchester airport.
Taking the train to Manchester
After checking out from Millbeck Guest House, Howard helped us to get a taxi to the train station. Although the train station is within walking distance, the road is going uphill. We did not want to miss our train to Manchester, so we decided to just take a short taxi ride.
The train was scheduled to leave Windermere at 1.58 pm. Whilst waiting, I went to Booths grocery store to get a cup of coffee as it was so freezing at the train station. The best thing about England is that no matter how old or aged the train is, it is very punctual. It was the same for the Northern train (11 pounds per person), which arrived shortly before 1.58 pm and arrived at Oxenholme at around 2.18 pm.
At Oxenholme, Amira and I decided to walk around the platform and enjoy the view. The view was very alluring. I could feel some sort of attraction between me and the surroundings. Maybe I was fated to retire here? Who knows? We just walked and talked and reflected on our lives, our marriage, our travel journeys together. Then, close to 3.00 pm, our Transpennine Express train to Manchester Airport arrived.
The train ride to Manchester Airport from Oxenholme is around 1 hour and 50 minutes. We bought the ticket together with reserved seating. If we did not buy together with the seat, we would have to stand all the way. Was it a correct decision to buy such tickets?
A very long journey on the train to Manchester
Yes, and no. It was a correct decision because when the train arrived and we entered into the train, our seats were vacant and a cop of our ticket stub we placed on the seats. So, we just put our luggage at the luggage compartment and sat. The train than proceeded to the next stations normally.
Suddenly, around half and hour after the journey, the train stopped abruptly in the middle of nowhere. Hills of green surrounded us. There was an announcement made, telling us and the other passengers that due to unforeseen circumstances, the train would travel with a reduced speed.
Just when we though that that was bad enough (hello, we have a flight to catch!), suddenly, upon reaching Preston station, we were asked to leave the train and wait for another train to continue our journey. The worrying part? The replacement train was a commuter train which had more stops!
I could see everyone was quite worried and upset. Their faces just explained everything. However, one shocking thing was that none of them actually got mad and yelled at the staff who assisted us in the tiring moment. They looked worried and upset but remained calm and polite.
Since nothing could be done, we just stood at the platform and waited until the train arrived. When the train arrived, there was no seat and Amira and I stood with our luggage throughout the whole journey in the very cramped coach. We talked with the locals in the train, asking “what happened with the express train?” and one of them said “someone decided to kill himself on the track, so they have to divert the train“. Oh my.
We were supposed to reach Manchester Airport at 4.47 pm but we reached the airport at 5.30 pm. Our flight out was supposed to leave at 7.35 pm, so we ran to Terminal 3 and went to the counter to drop our luggage. Gladly we had checked-in online. Our Ryan Air tickets to Brussels Charleroi Airport costed us 67.30 pounds for the both of us.
After passing the very strict security check (Amira was checked twice!), our flight to Brussels departed at 7.35 pm sharp and arrived at the Brussels Charleroi Airport at 10.00 pm, local time.
Next: Part 34
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