I was rudely awoken at 7am by the phone ringing. I jumped in a panic that I had overslept and checked the time before answering the phone. 7am. "Good morning, it's reception here. I'm just letting you know the coach door is wide open!" WHAT! I rushed to get dressed and raced down to the coach, not knowing what I would find. Luckily, nothing had been touched inside but the door was wide open. Mystery to me.... So after securing the doors again, I headed back to my room thinking it may be a bad idea to crawl back into bed and to just hit the caffeine! Bath not shower, then breakfast accompanied by extra strong filter coffee. The stuff works wonders!
So after loading luggage and herding passengers on board we set off for Carlisle following the route of Hadrian's Wall. The countryside out here is just breathtaking.
We stopped for a brief photo opportunity at the Roman Fortress Homesteads, which I didn't realise was N.T. and had an entrance fee. Everyone ignored the fact that they had to pay, walked straight through the barriers, took their photos from afar and came back! I was waiting for a good talking to but none of the staff batted an eyelid! Everyone was back on the coach and we had gone before anyone even noticed!
We arrived in Carlisle where we had 3 hrs to get lunch and explore. There are 3 main 'attractions'. The Castle, the Cathedral and Tullies House Museum and Art Gallery, as well as a large, pedestrianised centre and shopping centre. I was very pleasantly surprised at how nice this city was. For some reason I had it in my head that it was a grotty place, but I was so wrong.
I picked everyone up at 1430hrs and handed out the feedback forms, giving my usual spiel, "if you think I've done a good job, my name is Nina. If you think I've been terrible and you've hated every minute, it's Louise!" Big laughs, and we went off to face 200 miles on the M6 over rush hour. Oh joy!
I don't think I have ever had such a good journey down the M6. We arrived back in the depot bang on time. My head started to grow again as soon as everyone applauded as I pulled into the yard. I hadn't even done my goodbye bit yet. After I had said my goodbye bit, there was more applause and cheers. People telling me how wonderful I am as they collect their luggage and 'show their appreciation!' All this praise is starting to get embarrassing and it is certainly making me cocky! But I am really really really good! So there is the end of another good trip. Now 2 days off before another 3 days away. I can't even remember where I'm going! I'll leave the planning of that until Thursday. All day tomorrow is mine! :-)