We went to Snape again – Midsummer Night’s Dream: Britten’s opera, which was superb and very entertaining. And then, after not the easiest of drives (a lengthy diversion, misleadingly signposted so that we thought one road was closed and approached the next road by a different route, only to find it was actually that road closed and we had to drive back the way we’d come), we arrived at our hotel in Romford soon after midnight.
It was the journey into London the next morning that posed a problem. We walked the half-mile to the station and caught a train to Stratford and then went to find the Central line into central London. But the tube platform was right by a train platform and there was no place to check in with a contactless card or Oyster card. But how, without one, were we to get out at the other end? We went and asked a guard, who said it was all right, our ticket would take us all the way through and we could put it in the barrier at Charing Cross. Since the ticket was clearly to Stratford, we didn’t think it could possibly be right, but we thought we’d sort it out at the other end.
There happened to be a party of young schoolchildren on a trip to the National Gallery, and I’m afraid I just scooted through the gate that was opened for them. Tim, slightly behind me, was asked by the guard if he had a ticket, so he waved it at her and we were out, feeling rather naughty. Though the Stratford guard had told us our tickets were valid, we didn’t believe they were.
On the way back, we debated what to do. We wanted to buy single tickets at the machine, but it kept trying to give us all-day travel cards, which we hadn’t asked for and so, in the end, we decided to touch our cards in, then walk out of the station at Stratford to be able to touch out again, then come back in using our train tickets. Just to explain, if this is hopelessly puzzling, there are six Tube zones, radiating out, and Stratford is in Zone 2/3. So when you touch in, it clocks your card but takes the fare when you clock out again. If you don’t, there is an assumption that you’ve gone the furthest distance and you’re charged accordingly.
So this is what we did. And then we looked for our platform for a train back and couldn’t find any information. We were gazing at a map and wondering what to do when a nice railway chap came and asked if we needed help. And he sent us to the right place and we caught our train and finally came home. And now we’ll turn our attention to the blog party and looking forward to seeing you on Saturday.
By the way, I’ve just looked at my ‘activity’ app on the phone and I’ve walked four miles today. Since we walked a mile to and from the station and only a few hundred yards otherwise, that means that quite two and a half miles was spent walking underground between Tube lines. And I’ve climbed 24 floors, too. Which makes me feel tired, so I’m off to bed.