Tuesday, one week to go, but I wasn't counting.
The Hilton buffet breakfast was so so good. They even had Scottish muck, like black pudding and haggis. A tall and handsome Indian boy kept our orange juice and coffee topped up.
Time to do some tramming. Here comes one. It was of the newer variety and the trip to Fleetwood was not too bad. The tram actually got up to a bit of speed when travelling through a paddock. It was interesting to see locals going about their lives, and the long long strip of Blackpool accommodation. The line travels fairly close to the coast but does get into the burbs a bit too. We were kind of told that it was the last stop for the tram, but then it went around a corner and we could have stayed on. I expect the crew wanted to light up.
We had a bit of look around Fleetwood and came back to where trams were being stored on road, and bought some coffee from a cafe with outdoor seating. Fleetwood is a ferry terminal to Ireland (I think that is right) but the area was also under heavy reconstruction. We watched the trams come and go for a bit.
Brian wasn't there to meet us......well, we didn't tell him we were coming. Of course it would have been nice to meet him, but we were struggling. I have to think of R always. Had I said so, R would have been agreeable, but I know not to load too much stuff onto him. I am hard work at times and I did ok to get him to go on the tram in the first place. I was very much feeling like I would like to be home in Australia too, but we must go on. There, blame for not meeting Brian was not my fault but allocated to someone else.
I hadn't quite finished my coffee when a double deck tram arrived. Come on, R urged me. He wanted to travel back on a double decker and hey, we got the front seat. Pity about the really dirty window. It must be a constant battle against salt spray.
Now, while this long tram route is used by locals, it is principally for tourists. As public transport, it is dismally slow. Both tram drivers and motorists seem to have no idea how to deal with each other, and that goes for pedestrians too, who look up at the approaching tram and then step out in front of it. The tram intersects many quiet and busier streets, especially at the Fleetwood end. The tram stops at an intersection, loads its passengers, starts, then stops because a car had started off that had stopped to give way to the tram. This goes on back and forth for a few seconds. There is no priority for the tram and I would just love to rip into the system and make it travel the trip in 2/3 the time. It is symptomatic of English driving. It is good to be a polite driver, but you can be too polite. The last thing I expect tram drivers to be is polite to motorists. They should be like Sydney bus drivers.
We had bought a day ticket each, at around $12, and we were ahead by using the tram four times for the day, but only just. Later when we used it, just from our hotel to the centre of Blackpool, we could have walked more quickly. Timetables are posted, but there is no connection between them and how the system actually runs.
Back in Blackpool, we checked out of the hotel and they had not deducted the deposit we had paid to the tourist information centre, much botheration before it was sorted. We had some lovely tea cakes and coffee on the beach promenade. We took a walk out on the Centre Pier, full of entertainments and pretty hideous looking bars. There were lots of Indians, or Asians as they call them there, on the pier. If you have ever seen the great movie Bhaji on the Beach......
We tried again for Blackpool Tower, but we did not want to spend a huge amount of pounds on seeing a circus as well. It would be cheaper if we came back mid afternoon. No, sorry, we need to be back in Newcastle by tomorrow afternoon. We are orf.
I had got into Blackpool without a map. I had only a stylised one to get out. But I had a good sense of direction by then and we wove around streets and found our way out. I can't even recall the rest of the drive back to Hexham or what we did that night. I was feeling fragile and I wanted to be home. Instead we are off to a farm to stay the next day.
Blackpool's Centre Pier
The sea was a little rough the day we arrived in Blackpool but not as rough as the day when this photo was taken. A lot of work is being carried out on the seafront, which I assume will stop the sea flooding over the walls.
An old double decker tram alongside a newer single level model. The double decker is north bound for the Fleetwood terminus. The south bound one appears to be only going to an intermediate destination.
A double decker on its way to Star Gate, the southern tram terminus.
For a short section of road in Blackpool, cars mixed it in with the trams. The set up looked dangerous to me, but as the trams are ponderously slow, I guess accidents are rare.
A ship had come to grief along the way to Fleetwood.The tower of Lord Hughes of Fleetwood.
A flotilla of trams? A congestion of trams?
I took this tram photo as we were drinking a cup of Nescafe's finest
Later it ventured to Blackpool under the control of a trainee driver.
At Fleetwood, the tram does not have dead end terminus, but what is known as a balloon loop.
The tram window was very dirty but down this street is who knows what.