Manchester to Hebden Bridge

It was yet another not so great night of sleep, but still better than the previous three. I had prebooked a train ticket for 11:15 to arrive in Hebden Bridge for 11:50. Knowing how long it would take me to get into Manchester, I got up at 8:30 and took my time with breakfast and packing. When I left around 9:30, I found the morning was warmish and not too damp, which was great since I had a 1KM walk waiting for me when I arrived in Manchester.

Even though it was Sunday, the bus still ran every few minutes. So I didn’t have to wait too long for one. I hadn’t taken into account traffic being non-existent, so we got to downtown (Manchester Piccadilly coach station) in record time. By the time I’d followed the barely adequate signage to Manchester Victoria railroad station, it was just past 10:15. Dang. I could have gotten up 45 minutes later!

I happened to pass Queen Victoria’s statue. She does look like Jabba the Hutt…

The station is really not a pleasant one to hang out as it’s all outdoors (brr), the toilets are terrifying (the stench was such that I could not get close to them), and there are no benches. The only place to sit comfortably is one of several cafés and I wasn’t at the point of needing another coffee.

First thing I did was collect my ticket from a self-serve machine. I bought it online last night for £4.25 and the site claimed that I was saving money. Just to check, I went through the process to buy a ticket for the 11:15 to Hebden Bridge and it was £10!!! Am I glad I bought online! The collection process was easy. I just had to insert the card I’d used to make the purchase and enter a code that had been sent to my phone.

Then, I just found a wall to lean against and spent some time on Buzzfeed. 🙂

The train was thankfully right on time (some other routes were delayed) and the trip was super quick, just a bit more than 30 minutes. The landscape was very foggy and bleak. There was a long bit in a tunnel. I kept my ticket in hand since it was checked after nearly every stop. When we got to Todmorden, the stop before Hebden Bridge, the ticket checker just came to tell me, “You’re next.” Very nice of him!

My host wasn’t waiting when I got in, but showed up after a few minutes. She took me into Hebden Bridge to show me around a bit. It’s a very cute touristy place with a lot of shops, but not a lot of stores, rather like Dawson City. I was advised that since I’m here a month, I would do well to take a bus to Halifax to do a stock up shop and then top up at what passes for a supermarket here. So I will take that under advisement.

I was then treated to lunch! Wow! We went for real Italian pizza like I haven’t enjoyed since the Balkans, followed by an espresso. Only £6 (10CAD), which is almost Balkan prices for such a meal.

We then went to the house so I could meet my charge and see how things work. The house is adorable and so typically my idea of an English cottage. The cat looks a lot like my Neelix (RIP) and took to me right away. She’s very chatty! I think I will be very happy. My office (Poang chair in the sitting room) has an amazing view. I will share that for sure.

Since the house is tiny, I was asked to find other accommodation tonight. As it turns out, the Airbnb I picked was literally around the corner! Since I was asked to show up in the late morning to give my host time to leave, I’m going to check out at the last possible second, 11AM, and then go get settled.

My Airbnb is really lovely. The place in Manchester was fine, really, but for the same price point in Hebden Bridge I have luxury. I was just able to make myself a cup of tea from a huge assortment (went with vanilla chai!) and the bed seems comfy. I will confess that the top reason I picked this one is because they have a TV and tonight there is a new episode of Sherlock airing. 🙂 So I’m rather counting the minutes to 9PM. But first, I’ll need to get some sort of dinner sorted. Hopefully there’s a chippy or pub not too far away. For tomorrow, my host is leaving me fish cakes to reheat and Brussels sprouts to cook up! I haven’t had any of those in far too long!

Amsterdam already feels so far away. I can’t believe how quickly I’ve managed to run myself straight back down again, but four nights of crap sleep will do that to me. Now, on to my English life! 😀