Afternoon trip to Alton

It is a pleasant train trip down to Alton, or at least it is if you get a train. The last time I made the trip to Alton was a few weeks ago to the Alton Food Festival (which was not worth visiting) and what should have been a train trip was a nightmare journey by bus instead. Luckily on Saturday the trains were running.

I set off rather late, and as a result did not arrive in Alton until late afternoon.

I was disappointed to find I had not long missed a steam train. Talking to station staff I learnt a steam train was due to arrive in 15 minutes. More like half an hour, but it was worth the wait.

I passed by Alton Secondhand Books, an excellent secondhand bookshop. They had a good selection of books, including books by Paulo Coelho. I picked up a copy of Veronika Decides to Die.

Passing by Lantern Foods I was sorry to see that it was closing the following week unless a buyer could be found as the owners were retiring.

I looked in Waterstone’s. No mention on their new releases of Aleph by Paulo Coelho due out in less than a week’s time. I asked. The staff were not aware of Aleph. They looked it up on their system, it was availabe at a discount but no idea at what discount. No pre-orders. [see Paulo Coelho unknown author]

Paulo Coelho is not that well known in England, at least that was the reasoning of the staff at Waterstone’s Alton. But is it true for Alton? Alton Secondhand Books had a good selection of books by Paulo Coelho and furthermore told me he was a very popular author.

I went for a walk through the watermeadows. The river bed had dried up, more so than my last visit a few weeks earlier. There had been heavy rain for the last week, but I guess not sufficient to recharge the underground aquifers which feed the River Wey.

A measure of how poor the Alton Food Festival a few weeks ago, I came away with zilch. This trip I was laden down and that was from two shops, Lantern Foods and the local greengrocer.

Alton is a small relatively unspoilt market town, the source of the River Wey.

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