Sylvester McCoy #TrainTraveller
Part 1: outward bound from Hampstead
After 30 years of Time Travel, Sylvester set out on the adventure of a lifetime - this time a spot of Train Travelling. Not just any old train travel, but from his London home all the way to Thailand, taking about six weeks in total - and in his final destination, meeting his first grand-child, the beautiful Lilly just as she was born! That was back in 2018 but we've kept this up as a wonderful momento of a glorious journey.
Here's Part 1 and you can find Part 2 of this adventure here: Mongolia to Thailand
London St Pancras to Paris' La Gare du Nord
"My first Station !"
Day 1: Paris' La Gare du Nord
"Look Who I bumped into!"
Day 2: train shenanigans already!
"I ended up in Strasbourg because my train was cancelled in Paris
as the Russia train only came to Strasbourg."
Day 3: "Made it to Moscow! Eat your hearts out 3 Sisters"
Days 4 & 5: A weekend in St Petersburg: The Hermitage Gallery.
"St Petersburg! Note the Invisible Man wearing some Armour. And a lady who is Friendly and 'Armless...."
"The Hermitage was so called because Catherine The Great wanted a bit of peace and quiet!
Bit of a misnomer. Not fans of a rock star here but of da Vinci!"
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni
Days 4 & 5: A weekend in St Petersburg:
The Alexandrinsky Theatre
"Chekhov’s “Seagull” was premiered here in 1896. It was a disaster ... the leading actor lost her voice because of the audience's behaviour (bad). Chekhov fled the theatre. Later in Moscow it was praised as a great moment in theatre! Anyway, I went to see "Swan Lake" last night. I shared a box with Koreans who left in the interval (I think they thought it was over !). It was great except for the ending . It was given a happy ending but that made me unhappy! The Swan did not die, but the Crow did ??? Music was brilliant!
Day 6: after a couple of days spent in St Petersburg; the second largest city after Moscow, and at one point the capital city of Imperial Russia. Here's Sylvester at Moskovsky Station (Mockba) in St Petersburg standing in Vosstaniya Square. "Arrived and now leaving St Petersburg Station. Back to Moscow!"
"A funny thing happened to me on the way to Red Square! I was just leaving my room in the hotel Metropol in Moscow when my phone rang and "Clare here, I’ve tried to book seats for 7 o’clock but it may be difficult."
I started to panic. Had I forgotten a date with a Clare ( A Clare !!! sweet ). I knew the voice! It was not my agent!
"I’m sorry Clare I think you’ve got the wrong number! But I know your voice, what is you surname?"
"Clare Short" said she.
"Hi Clare, we once had a great political chat on a train ride from London to Birmingham!" (I greatly admire her even though she didn’t resign at the start of the Iraq war. She eventually did.)
"Do you remember ? I was once a lamp stand on Tizwas in their long running soap?". She didn’t.
She ask me what I was doing here in Moscow so I told her I was making an epic journey to get to my first grandchild. She wished me well, congratulating me on I’m becoming a grandfather soon!
End of story."
Day 7: back in Moscow.
"Red Square/Me and a bear"
(Don't worry, he was very safe
- he says he told it to get stuffed)
Day 8: when you're about to go on a very, very, very, very long train journey, a good book helps!
"Here's a funny thing! I went hunting for a bookshop that sold books in English. I find one in this rather large Stalinist building called the Lubyanka. It is the headquarters of the old KGB, now the FSP, and it's also a prison. Anyway, in this bookshop in the Lubyanka building there was a great display of John Le Carre spy novels! That's a funny thing!"