A Trip to Portmeirion with Train Travels
Escape From The Village
A trip to The Village to escape from the world.
In this journey
- I want time off. I will not be stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered!
- Escaping Birmingham, Transport for Wales Birmingham New Street to Porthmadog
- Travelodge Porthmadog
- Exploring Porthmadog
- Welcome to your Village – Portmeirion
- Free to go… home? Back to Birmingham with Transport for Wales
- Aftermath: Free to Go, or Free to Stay?
Time for something a little different from the pen of Economy Class and Beyond. As Her Majesty’s Government would prefer we stay in Royston Vasey this summer (with limited changes to Green Lists and paperwork), I’m still grounded from the destinations I want to visit.
Therefore, I’m off… to the Village.
In this trip report, I’m going to be making a LOT of references to Patrick McGoogan’s The Prisoner (1967)
You can find out a lot more about the show at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Prisoner, however, it deals with matters of science fiction, allegory, and psychological drama, as well as spy fiction, throwing in elements of control, collectives, dehumanization and identity.
The plot sounds simple enough. An unnamed British man angrily resigns from his job (from what seems to be a secret service position). As he attempts to depart the country, he is knocked out and kidnapped, taken to “The Village”, where he is held captive and away from “normal” society, into a Village, where its residents are numbers.
Instead, he’s in a highly monitored place as the side that controls the Village trying to extract the information of why the man – now Number 6 – resigned, as well as the information locked in his head, trying many ways to break him.
And there is a weather balloon that’s a security guard.
But that’s another matter completely.
I want time off. I will not be stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, or numbered!
Time off and time away from the office has been… tough for me this year to put it mildly. Whilst on paper, I’ve taken a lot of leave to meet certain deadlines, the way our modern world works has dragged me into the office more than once, as well as being at the end of a Microsoft Teams call or ten.
Yes, I could turn my phone off. They’ll only get me in more pain than not, with the demand to be constantly connected.
And this pandemic has proved that it is a real thing.
I, therefore, needed a day or two away from the real world, and slip into another world for a while.
With international travel being pretty much a “we’ll make a list up, go LA LA LA and change it every 5 minutes” from Her Majesty’s government and the Department of Transport, I’m skipping a break aboard.
Rather, I’ll be a good citizen of the Dear Leader, Boris Johnson, and stay in the country. Well. I am crossing a border… into Wales.
I’m sure he won’t like that, until we build large bronze statues to his greatness, offer flowers at his feet and sing “No Motherland Without You” at every step.
But anyway, enough about the tinpot wannabe king of the world.
Portmeirion is a good 3-hour drive from Birmingham. Whilst I could say I might enjoy that drive, I would be telling fibs.
I, therefore, decided to let the train take the strain, with a 4 and a half-hour ride each way.
On the plus side, it would give me time to look at photos and the world around me, rather than be laser-focused on the road.
As for a hotel – well, let’s say that budget options don’t exist in the peak season. I went for old reliable – yes – it’s a Travelodge. At £93, I wasn’t happy – however, options were limited, to put it bluntly – and that includes hotels Porthmadog and Portmeirion.
Sadly, there were no options available at Portmeirion itself – which would have added to the trip. But no matter.
So, let’s head off to the Welsh Coast and to The Village.
Will an angry weather balloon catch me…?
Or something else?
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