I was excited about my “train day” through Wales. Getting up early after a good night’s sleep, I headed out to catch my 6:30am to Crewe.

Turns out, it was a 5:50am to Crewe. Undaunted, I waited patiently for the 8am train in the cold, listening to Hanz Zimmer’s score for the boxing show “The Contender” and visualizing myself finishing Sunday’s race.

The train arrives, and what do you know? It’s a Virgin train. Swanky, roomy and with free wifi at a respectable speed! I am spoiled forever. I’m sending out tweets, catching up with the wife, working on the previous day’s video, enjoying the stunning midlands scenery, seemingly plucked from the minds of virtually all of my favorite fantasy novelists, life is good.

All of a sudden, it’s my stop! I say a hasty goodbye, grab up all my belongings, not thinking there was time to put them away before the train pulled out. A few minutes later I was boarding my next train. One that was hilariously opposite to the Virgin train in every way. No wifi, but that was expected. Oh, and no outlet to plug into. This was also not a deal breaking problem by any means. But the windows, they were quite dirty. And I am not sure how well I can enjoy the countryside in Wales through a layer of grime.

I get out at Shrewsbury and head to the information office to ask what platform I need for Swansea. The agent pointed at the train I had just left. “That one there. Err, the next one is in an hour.”

Awesome. Well, maybe the next train will be cleaner. Where the hell am I? Shrewsbury? I took a walk around, but it was rainy and there wasn’t much to do unless you are shopping. It is a pretty town though, great Tudors architecture along much of the downtown streets, and is apparently the birthplace of Charles Darwin. So that was interesting.

Back on the next train, and thankfully it is much more clean, but after a long ride, nearly to Swansea, I realize this isn’t doing it for me. I am nodding off, don’t have anything else productive to do, and I just feel like heading to Bath, where I had been considering spending a couple of hours at a spa. A “Bath in Bath” I thought would be great fun. So at Cardiff, I hop out and turn around for Bath, which, as many of these places have been so far, is far more striking than I expected. I have a lazy day tomorrow and have to make it into London in the late afternoon, so I think I will do the spa tomorrow in the AM.

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After this was taken, the camera stopped working for the rest of the day. It was a banner day all around.

It’s happening, people! Want to donate? I’ll draw you a portrait for your troubles!