Wednesday, 18 October 2006

New Lanark: 14/10/06

Having missed several exploring opportunities over the late summer, the very mild conditions last Saturday set me off toward one of my targets - New Lanark. Unfortunately I set off a little tardy, around midday, and made the oh-so-wrong decision to go via unlovely Cumbernauld. Like an omen it clouded over as I alighted the bus in the centre. I needed to change to a local bus to take me to the train station (and thence to Motherwell and Lanark) so looked for direction signs, bus stance indicators and timetables. There were none. I looked for a way to cross the main road to the other side, where the eastward buses stopped. There was none. I ventured upstairs into the grey and soul destroying 60s mall where I knew a covered bridge joined both sides. Even this proved difficult for the uninitiated to navigate, though I made a note of the business card machine hidden up there. Eventually, having found no clues to getting any place and with a very real chance of getting stranded in the mall or environs for the afternoon I spied a taxi rank and made my chauffuer-driven escape, certain that I'd be doing the same on my return leg. At the train station the brusque women in the ticket office told me there were no tickets either and that I'd have to pay on the train. At least they had timetables and ready markings of which platform to choose. The sun re-appeared as I awaited the Motherwell train.
Suffice to say, on an October afternoon, I reached Lanark around 4pm. Admittedly I diverted via the local Wetherspoons (using up some newly acquired money-off vouchers which made my glass of wine £1.25) but I knew the unseasonal warmth and sunshine would be evaporating before too long. Headed down the small valley which is occupied by the village of New Lanark itself. The first of the photos above was taken from the path down. I snapped away for about 20 mins max before working up a sweat in my winter coat on the uphill path back out of the valley. I got a bit lost again in Lanark itself but managed to re-trace the transport links back to the dreaded new town. Standing waiting in the roadside 'hole' which 'serves' the eastward buses I was ignored by the first Dunfermline-bound bus and had to wait there for another half hour! Not recommended.
Paid for a third taxi back home from what remains of Dunfermline Bus Station but I'd missed "Strictly Come Dancing", "Robin Hood", "Casualty" and forgot to put a ticket into the triple rollover lottery.
Hope you enjoy the snapshots from an unexpectedly stressful Saturday.

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