Robert Hampton

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1st January 2015

Travels with Hampo

Happy New Year to all three of my readers!

On a personal level, I think what I’ll remember most about 2014 is the travelling I did. The start of the year set the tone, as I headed down to that London to say goodbye to 2014 in the company of Ian Jones. We checked out some interesting theatrical stuff and I also saw one of the most precious artefacts known to man:-

Tom Daley's trunks

I suspect a gay man is curator at the Museum of London, but I can’t be certain of that.

Ian was also around in March when I headed out to Amsterdam. We eschewed the budget airlines in favour of the rail-based option, travelling to the Dutch capital via Eurostar and Thalys. That was a fun trip, but I feel that what happens in Amsterdam should stay in Amsterdam (actually, we checked out some museums, rode the Metro a bit and we looked but didn’t touch in the Red Light District).

There’s also Ian’s YouTube video about James Bond, which reveals a personality just as suited to travelogues as a certain Michael P…alin. Or Portillo. Possibly Portillo.

Then in June, I fucked off to Newcastle for a few days. I saw the Angel of the North, had a nice day (and a proposition) in Whitley Bay and collected some stations for my regularly-updated Station Master blog. The highlight of the latter was travelling to Teesside Airport, officially the UK’s least used railway station, and alighting from the train with two other people, much to the amazement of the train crew.

Teesside Threesome

September was the biggie, as I made my first ever solo trip abroad, to Berlin. Things got off to a decidedly ropey start, as my flight arrived a magnificent SEVEN hours late. Awful times, although I did get a generous heap of compensation out of it. The rest of the trip though, was fantastic. I visited the Reichstag, the Computer Games Museum and the Olympic Stadium, as well as taking a little time to sample some of Berlin’s fine gay life.

The absolute highlight, though, was the journey home, taking in the overnight sleeper to Paris (video embedded below) followed by Eurostar to London and a Virgin home to Liverpool – almost 15 hours of train travel. 🙂

While changing trains in Paris, I even had time for a quick stroll down to the riverside for a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower.

Eiffel Tower

Sadly, the Berlin-Paris sleeper train was withdrawn at the end of 2014. I’m so glad I got to ride it while I had the chance. And there’s a lesson there: seize the opportunities while they exist, because you never know if they’ll disappear without warning.

There’s just the small matter of where to go in 2015. I have a long list of places that I want to visit, if finances and other matters allow me to. Which country shall I inflict myself on next? Stay tuned to find out!

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