Day 12: Friday, October 5

Leaving Cornwall

It has been an absolute pleasure to be here in Cornwall but today I must leave it behind to slowly start making my way back to Toronto <sniff, sniff>. I have to fly out of Heathrow in London so I now leave Truro and the rest of Cornwall behind and set my sights on London. Thank you Cornwall it has truly been wonderful.

My Cornwall adventures may be drawing to a close but my U.K adventures are not over just yet. Today will be a travelling day so unfortunately I won’t have landscape or scenery shots as I usually do, but here goes anyway. Hope this is not too boring…

I checked out of the Merchant House Hotel in Truro and arranged for a cab to pick me up at 10:00AM for the trip to the Truro train station. There is NO WAY I’m going to walk all those hills again with my heavy bags in tow.

For those interested, this was my room at the Merchant House Hotel; it was a cozy single:

Here are some shots of the hotel in general:

Ironing board as Objet d’art?: Cool! I’ve always wanted an ironing board hanging in my hallway.

Some of the hotel’s common areas:

The breakfast room:

For some reason the staff had the TV tuned to a Scottish “breakfast television” type program, rather than an English one – odd choice, I thought…
My usual little table in the corner of the breakfast room
Fairly good Continental offerings plus fully cooked menu items

I’ve checked out of the hotel. My bags and I are now waiting outside the Merchant House Hotel for our cab to the Truro train station:


Once more to the Truro train station, but this time is the last. I thought this plaque offered an interesting tidbit: the station opened in 1852 and was rebuilt in 1897:


And now we’re on the train from Truro to London’s Paddington Station. Again I chose a First Class carriage as it makes that five and-a-half hour journey a lot more civilized and comfortable. This First Class carriage was much nicer, and quieter, than the one that brought me from London to Penzance near the start of my Cornwall adventure.


It was a beautiful, smooth and uneventful journey to London, and the hours really seemed to fly by. It was nice to have the time just to relax after the busy pace I’d been keeping for the last couple of weeks.

Arriving in the usual hustle and bustle of London’s Paddington Station
Passengers watching the boards and waiting for the posting of their train’s departure platform

I was certainly not going to brave the London Underground at rush hour with those three cases of lead I’ve being dragging around England, so I took a London Black Cab from Paddington Station to my hotel. What a treat! I can’t believe in all the times I’ve been to London I’ve never taken a Black Cab. They are the best!: clean, roomy, comfortable, extremely safe, and the drivers are true chauffeur professionals, having passed a very strict exam called The Knowledge in order to drive a cab in London.

LOTS of room in the back of a London Black Cab. There is no trunk (boot) in these cabs (well, just a tiny one), so there is a lot of room for you and all your stuff. The seats you see here pull down so that the cabs can actually seat four passengers if the need arises. The driver is totally isolated with very thick plexiglass (bullet-proof, I would imagine). Nice Canadian flag on my suitcase, what?

My cab driver was excellent but we got stuck in the inevitable Friday afternoon rush hour traffic in central London – not pretty. The trip took much longer than expected but the driver got me to my hotel as efficiently as possible under the circumstances.

When in Europe, I really love staying at smaller, older-style hotels, but I decided to shake things up a bit on this trip. For the next three nights I’ll be staying at the Holiday Inn Express London – Southwark. A hotel like the Holiday Inn Express is certainly not my style but this particular hotel has had a full gut renovation and is now extremely modern. It will be nice to not have to worry if there’s going to be hot water in the morning, or that the toilet may not flush, etc. I do love those little Georgian-era hotels but sometimes their facilities can be a little hit and miss.

Sadly, there are no more pictures for today. It’s been quite a long day and I’m pretty weary after all this shifting about so I will just unpack, settle into my new digs and update this blog.

Stay tuned for more from the U.K.!

Over and out from London for Friday.

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