Thursday, August 3, 2017

The Train between London and Edinburgh

My recent U.K. trip was centered around visiting my cousin in Edinburgh, Scotland.  My partner and I were able to secure the best airfare by flying into London. So, we decided to make it a 2-in-1 vacation.  When we landed in London, we took a train to Edinburgh, where we stayed several days.  Then we returned to London for an extra couple of days before flying back to New York.

Sometimes it's the journey that provides the most memorable experience.  The train between London and Edinburgh is filled with a majestic countryside bursting with pride.  Make the most of the experience by stopping first at the nearest Sainsbury.  Now, I am pretty much in love with Sainsbury.  The U.K. grocery store chain is not sponsoring me in any way, although maybe they should, because I have nothing but praise for this travelers paradise.  In my day-to-day life, I don't purchase many grab 'n go foods, but this seems to be a Sainsbury specialty.  The store's selection is next to none.  In addition to offering standard coffees, teas, and sodas, Sainsbury has a fairly hefty section of single-serve wine, beer, and cocktails.  The wine and cocktail choices come conveniently packaged in single-serve, presealed glasses with pull-away wrappers that are perfect for a picnic or leisurely train ride.  The snack items range from your typical salads and sandwiches to considerably more exotic fare.  Even the seemingly "normal" food items offer some delightful variations.  As a vegetarian, I frequently find these grab 'n go places to be a bit trying.  Not this time.  There seemed to be a plethora of choices for those with restrictive diets.  I settled on an onion and cheese sandwich.  On the surface, I wasn't entirely sure that I would love it.  Well, there must be something extra special in that "special sauce," because even now I wish I could somehow get my hands on one in the U.S.!  In addition to having a fabulous selection, Sainsbury is extraordinarily economical.  I mean, it was truly inexpensive.  So, this is definitely my recommendation for grabbing your lunch just before hopping the train.

I recommend spending the money on booking a table seat if they're available.  First, this allows you to spread out with your lunch, games, or reading materials.  Secondly, table seats are in groups of four seats.  If you are a party of two, you might be seated across from other passengers.  When we made the trip, we were fortunate enough to be seated across from a lovely Scottish couple that live slightly north of Edinburgh.  The gentleman was retired from the Scottish military, and incredibly knowledgeable about the route we were traveling.  He generously acted as tour-guide for the entirety of our journey.  He was not only able to tell us of each city and landmark on our path, but of the legends and stories that related to each and every one of them.

This journey by train took the better part of an afternoon on our first day in the United Kingdom.  By the time we arrived, we had already experience a leisurely tour of the countryside, and some terrific company.

Where we saved money:
  • Flying into a cheaper airport
  • Lunch: Grab n' Go from Sainsbury
  • Take public transit to the train station

Where we splurged:
  • upgrade to the table seats
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1 comment:

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