Afternoon in Winchester

River Itchen

River Itchen

I probably should not have worked in the garden before setting off, I would then have set off earlier, but rain threatened, nevertheless, I set off lunch time, plenty of time for an afternoon in Winchester. or so I thought.

A bus, a train, a bus.

I had plenty of time to catch my train, I expected to be at the station with ten minutes to spare. That though was without roadworks and only a handful of vehicles able to pass at any one time.

I missed my train. I would actually have caught it, the train was running late, pulling in at the station, except the worthless jobsworth manning the barrier would not let me through without a ticket, even though I could have purchased a ticket on the train.

At Alton, bus is timed to leave at the same time as the train arrives! No sign of a bus as the train pulled in, either it had left early, or no bus. Another half an hour wait. It was tempting to give up, spend the afternoon in Alton. But no, my mind was set on Winchester.

The bus passes through the back of Alton. A large Sainsbury’s superstore. Are planners determined to kill off small market towns. There is now also a large Waitrose outside the station.

Had I been earlier, I might have been tempted to have had a quick look around Alresford, but I was now running an hour late, having had two totally unnecessary half hour waits, thanks to dysfunctional public transport system.

The hill down into Winchester provides a spectacular view of Winchester Cathedral

I arrived in Winchester late afternoon, I should have been there mid-afternoon, hardly worth the time trouble and expense of travelling down.

It looked like very late lunch at the Crown and Anchor, not first choice as I ate there in March and it was not good. Maybe it had improved.

I wandered down the street and spotted a little cake shop, The Bridge Patisserie. Not what I wanted, tea and cakes, then I looked in their other half and saw they did lunches.

I asked. Virtually nothing left, a pork pie and a quiche. I settled on quiche, then saw they had soup. Yes, they could do me soup. Delicious pea and spinach and mint soup served with their last baguette. I changed my mind, had the pork pie, and they rustled up a salad. A couple came in and had tea and cake. I added that too.

All I now had time for was walk along the river, around the back of the cathedral, through the cathedral grounds, and catch the last bus home.

Lovely little back streets, where I found a very old pub. Curious, I looked inside, and yes it was, very old and quite impressive.

Opposite was an old style provision store. The like of which I have seen in Puerto de la Cruz, but not in England, at least not in recent years.

It was then to the bus station to catch the bus to Alton.

The tacky flagpoles and Olympic flags in the Cathedral grounds despoil the view of the medieval cathedral.

At Alton the train left ten minutes earlier than usual, only to wait ten minutes at Farnham. It arrives at Aldershot a couple of minutes after the bus leaves. Another half an hour wait.

A return journey of nearly two hours including the half an hour wait at Aldershot

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