I had a pretty decent night in Manchester except that I woke up way too early and couldn’t get back to sleep. 🙁 My hosts had asked me to sneak out quietly this morning as they are late risers (I didn’t meet them since they came in after I’d gone to bed). I did so around 8:45, with my train being at 9:30. It was a very short walk to Piccadilly, where I was able to collect my previously purchased ticket from a machine. I really need to do a post about sorting out public transit in England because it is such a mess. But anyway, the ticket collection process has thus far always been quick and painless.
I then went to the Greggs just outside the station to try one of their “infamous” sausage rolls. One of those with a perfect Americano were just £2. The sausage roll was nice, but like Nando’s felt more than a bit over hyped.
I then found my platform, grateful that the departures boards had all destinations, not just the terminal points. But when I got on the platform, the sign above it had conflicting information that gave me the impression that the train on the platform was not mine and that mine would be late. I didn’t even have time to look for help when a kindly woman tapped me on the shoulder and said, “You all right, love?” I must have looked really confused! She confirmed that the train at the platform was mine. It was already super crowded and the aisle was very narrow, so I got a lot of dirty looks as I squeezed past everyone, laden down as I was like a packhorse because I had one more bag than I normally do since I had some leftover groceries from Hebden.
The trip was just over an hour and not particularly memorable. We were about ten minutes late coming into Shrewsbury. My hosts had provided me with detailed walking directions from the train station, so I got to the house without any issues. The husband had gone looking for me as they were appalled they hadn’t thought to come meet me and thought I was lost. Nope, very good walking directions meant I was happy for the walk after the train ride, especially since the terrain was almost flat!
I’m staying in another quintessential Victoria row house, only this one is quite a bit bigger (still not a large house, though), with access at street level. I am minding an absolutely adorable and affectionate whippet puppy. We’re already getting along fine, but I can tell I’m going to need to be vigilant with my things as I’ve already caught her chewing on my shoes! My hosts work from home so she’s not used to be left alone for long, plus she’s still toilet training. So I can’t be out for more than four or five hours, preferably in the mornings. I was invited to stay a few days past the sit if I want to go exploring further afield, like taking a jaunt into Wales. That’s likely what I’ll do as it would be shame to be so close to the border not go! All the signage on the train was bilingual English/Welsh, which was rather neat.
My hosts here were super thoughtful and left me pizzas, lasagna, wine, and beer, plus some other fresh things! Like when I got to Hebden, it was fantastic to be able to get lunch together easily. After that, I went to the shop around the corner to get some breakfasty stuff until I can get to a proper supermarket.
I think Shrewsbury is going to be a lot of fun to explore. There’s certainly more touristy stuff to do than in Hebden. I’ve got three weeks here, so even with work and puppy responsibilities, I should be able to get out and see a bit of it. My teenage self can’t believe she’s here, fan as she was of the Ellis Peters Brother Cadfael mysteries set here in Shrewsbury. It took a couple of decades, but I finally made it here! 😀
Well, I’d better get to work. I’m sure glad I didn’t stress out over the dry spell. 😀