Tuesday, February 07, 2012

{part 11}

Young Dumb and in Love by Mat Kearney on Grooveshark
{parts 12345678, 9& 10}

we made it back to the ferry dock with a half hour to spare. the rain was coming down and we were drenched. again. my eyelashes stuck together in little triangles and my hair curled under and adhered itself to my chin. i felt like one of those girls in music videos walking through the rain singing a song about their broken heart, but i probably looked more like a clump of hair pulled out of a shower drain.

we ducked into a shed with a picture of a coffee cup on the door. three small tables and a tiny little counter. a wee coffee maker and a few baked things behind glass. wet, heavy air. a kind old woman and her husband, who'd obviously been out in the rain too. the feeling from the enchanted forest and castle still hung in my head and around the foggy corners of the little coffee shop. the man shook water from his rain hat onto the floor.

Photobucket

"ah," he said in his thick scottish accent. "worn and weary travellers, i see."

they fed us free mince pies and coffee and commented on how few travellers come around in winter. the woman noted that we were lucky the ferry was going out this week at all, but we already knew that.

 we visited and warmed up and dried off {our faces, at least} and then boarded the ferry.

Photobucket

the rest of the evening was spent riding and running and asking. we owe a lot to the elderly.

we rode the ferry; we ran, holding tight to each others' hands, through the pelting sleet in mallaig. we realized we didn't know where we were running to. we tapped on a darkened shop window, where an old woman and her silver-haired husband were arranging dangling ceiling snowflakes. they directed us to a restaurant, and told us how to get from there to the train station. they asked where we were going. we shrugged.

"maybe edinburgh?" barclay said. i tried to smile at the man, but my eyelashes were still stuck together and water ran into my mouth. he looked sad for me.

wonder of wonders: when we got to the station there was only one train heading out that night, and we were 15 minutes early. we were going to fort william.

okay.

Photobucket

we made it to fort william just fine, but discovered when we got there that we didn't want to stay there. we flagged down an older gentleman, who turned out to be a train conductor.

he was probably the nicest man ever. "oh," he said when he'd looked at our train passes, "just get on this train. it's a first-class sleeper to london, but we'll stop in edinburgh."

problem: our train passes were not good for three things: we couldn't leave the uk, we couldn't ride first class, and we couldn't get on those caledonian sleeper cars. not without paying the difference, which would be a few hundred dollars. we politely declined. he politely whispered, "don't worry. i'm in charge, and i say it's ok."

those two sentences are a couple of the most fantastic of all the sentences.

we rode first class back to edinburgh, where our train angel helped us off.

here is where things got tricky.


there is often a reason why there are rules. no reasoning, no rules. usually, anyway. no one would tell you not to stick your head in an alligator's mouth if it wasn't going to bite your face off. this is an important thing to remember, especially when you're travelling in another country.

our train left us for london and we set off through the deserted train station. it was 2 in the morning and we were about ready to crumble into any old bed and sleep like rocks.

it felt funny, making our way through the station that had been so full and bright and bustle-y when we'd left it two days earlier. the lights were mostly off and the shops were closed and dark. we realized then that, because the sleeper train wasn't scheduled to let anyone off in edinburgh, the station in edinburgh would not be expecting anyone to get in at 2 am and, obviously, would close for the night.

the full extent of that fact didn't fully sink in though, until we got to the gate and saw the padlock and jiggled it a bit and found that it stayed fully closed, even with our best wiggles and jiggles.

Photobucket

this. i thought this was hilarious. i leaned against the gate and laughed so hard my cheeks hurt. barclay shook his head and took my hand. he is slowly growing used to curveballs, but they are still not his favourite. he managed a grin.

"well. looks like we're locked in."