Saturday, 11 August 2007

Day 3 - Penzance

After some waiting and a bit of confusion, the "First Great Western sixteen-twentyone service to Penzance" came into the station, packed full and drawn by an almost hissing engine by the name of The Black Horse. Pretty impressive.

The thing is, me and a literal throng of backpackers and carriers of other big travel accessories tried to get on. This resulted in most of us standing in the corridor and holding our luggage, and so making the Second Class into what and old gent very aptly described as "Cattle Class". We amused ourselves re-enacting classical comedy sketches, like "the Marx Brothers' cabin" or "the Ministry of Silly Walks", Train Edition.

Over the PA system, the guy offered his apologies "for the severe overcrowding", to us, "lucky people going to the beach". Later, they offered us free food and drinks in a self-service way, which I much enjoyed and felt repaid for the inconvenience. I took the opportunity to stockpile on cocacolas and snacks.

At 20:31, as scheduled, the train, almost empty by now, made its way lazily into Penzance station under an already setting sun. It took me much more than I expected to find the hostel, even with the help of the very useful TomTom Mobile. It was, as usual, with the help of some
incredibly kind people that I at last managed to arrive to the YMCA Cornwall Hostel.

Contrary to what you'd expect from the name, I found no evidence of the Village People ever singing anything in there. No Christian stuff either, fortunately. I guess they just liked the name.

I realized it was too late to go to Land's End and see the sunset as I wanted, so I sighed and went for a stroll around the town. Penzance by night has the feel of a charming small port, with its Ye Olde Taverns by the docks, spilling out light and music into the darkness, over the swooshing surf and the crying seagulls.