On the crowded bus ride over to Penzance, Anne and I could not sit together, but I was fortunate to sit next to an older gentleman who was born and raised in Cornwall. We had a lovely conversation about weather, farming, mining, tourism, accents (British and American) as well as Florida and Canada. What a charming man!
We arrived at the bus station and he got up, extended his hand, and told me he was pleased to meet me and that he enjoyed speaking with me. After wrestling our luggage off the bus, we proceeded to the train station, found our platform, and boarded the train. They were actually filming and episode of the ITV series Stranger on a Train on platform 1! So cool! Within minutes, my wonderful day turned sour.
Those who know me are aware that I suffer from chemical sensitivity. It makes going out in public a very risky business. Throughout my stay in England, I had been lucky to only have run into fragrance issues once or twice, and not seriously. But the young lady sitting across the aisle from us, changed all that.
Now I don't know why people feel like they have to finish their person toilette in a train carriage. This young lady hadn't been seated 5 minutes when she hauled out her lotion and started slathering it all over herself. My head started reeling, ice picks stabbed me in the brain, I couldn't breathe, and I was almost overcome with nausea. Even Anne found it offensive, but she gallantly offered to go through 6 railway carriages to buy me some water so I could take my migraine medicine. It took almost 2 1/2 hours for the scent to dissipate enough for my head and stomach to calm down. It was not the way I envisioned my travel day would unfold.
Nevertheless, the remainder of the train ride went better. We enjoyed the beautiful countryside through Devon, then Somerset. Unfortunately, the train was running about 10 minutes behind schedule, and we were worried that we would miss our connection in Reading. Fortunately, we only had to go over two platforms, and we were able to board our train to Banbury with a few minutes to spare.
Banbury is definitely a city. Their is a different vibe here and it makes me miss Cornwall even more. But the Banbury Cross B&B is a lovely place, and our room is very nice. We had dinner at The Exchange and have now settled in for the evening.
Tomorrow, the plan is to go to Blenheim Palace, if we can manage the buses without too much difficulty. Stay tuned...