Battling the rush hour

No matter how much of a rush it is, the way train stations work in the UK is you have to stop, wait and stare at the information board before you continue on your way.

We go often to Kings Cross Station and no matter what time of day it is, hoomans are always coming and going. And almost every passenger about to embark on a journey, stop and stare at the electronic board, waiting for their platform to be announced before they can start the next part of their journey.

Does this slow down people or does it just make the passengers more anxious? I think in Mummy’s case, she’s more anxious. She checks out where the platforms are located and when the platform number is flashed on the screen, she shortens our leads and walk hurriedly towards the platform. There’s usually a crowd of people all going in the same direction. We make our way through the turnstiles and walk quickly to our coach. Some hoomans are running, others pulling their very loud roller bags and most of the time, no one is looking at anyone else.  That’s why Mummy keeps us close to her and walk purposefully. Sometimes, she carries George so there’s one less to worry at knee level.

Mummy plans very carefully whenever she travels. She has her packing down to a tee and uses a backpack, so she has two hands to hold our leads or carry George when it gets too busy.

She hates rushing and least of all having to run to catch a train – especially with the two of us. I get really excited when she starts running – which is not often. LOL! George, for once, is better than me when this happens. He runs along nicely.

She always reserves seats whenever possible so she doesn’t have to look for unreserved seats for all three of us.

And if it’s an early morning train, Mummy goes into auto-mode from the minute the alarm goes off earlier than we usually wake. She makes the bed, feeds us, gets herself ready and walks us around the block for us to relief ourselves. It’s timed so we’re ready to hop into the taxi right after we’ve done our walk. Note that George sits on Mummy’s lap while I have been relegated to the floor.

She always orders a taxi an hour before the train departs – just in case there are delays of any sort. That’s why we always end up early at the station. On one occasion, we were stuck in really bad traffic and that wasn’t fun for her.

So you see, she gets a little preoccupied with all that planning.

But this time, Mummy had a better idea. She thought to lessen the tight timings. She thought we should go early and be in the vicinity so no need to worry about traffic and delays. We went to St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel for a leisurely breakfast. It is a pet-friendly hotel … and we are allowed in the lounge area. So a special breakfast was on order for Mummy.The hotel is only a five-minute walk away and even closer if you’re using St. Pancras International.So here we are – at the station – no stress except to stare at the information board. Once again, Mummy tried to capture the dramatic structure inside the station.  She is always trying to find the best place to take a photo of it with us.
It doesn’t seem to quite capture the dramatic nature of it. Will keep trying for that perfect photo – we will have many more trips out this way.

May’s comment: One of the “stressful” aspects of train travel is getting to the station itself. And if you have to cross London from West to East at rush hour, you usually end up there very early or you’re there in the nick of time. It had never occurred to me before that I could get there earlier and enjoy a good breakfast or lunch – and not rush.

Besides the usual You can sit outside at the Great Northern Hotel (GNH) brasserie – it’s not a dog-friendly hotel, and have a bite. But if it’s a rainy day like today, that’s not an option. And then I remembered that St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel is dog-friendly. Well, then we should frequent it.  We got to the hotel in rush hour traffic with time to spare,
no need to rush with breakfast at the Hansom Lounge. And then to wander over to Kings Cross or St. Pancras station leisurely, and dogs can still have a chance to do their business when we walk over to the station … what a pleasant way to start the journey!

1 Comment

  1. Cheryl

    St. Pancras is a beautiful old building! We love the “kissing” statue. I understand about being anxious about catching the train. I get so anxious that we always make a practice run just to see how long it takes us to get to the station and exactly where things are. I think it comes from only taking trains every other year. We usually use Eustis station, but this time we get on at St. Pancras, then to Kings Cross, then on to Cambridge. I’m not sure if we change trains or not, I couldn’t tell from the booking, so we will be doing another practice run. The life of a tourist.

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