So, a week in Cornwall, near Looe. Lovely. weather so far nice enough to enjoy, getting a bit colder and nastier yesterday. Today we were at a bit of a loss, so put a shout out last night on Facebook for any ideas, and the suggestion was Bodmin steam railway. Well, we went there, but didn't exactly visit it...
We got there about 15 minutes after a bus load of old dears, as was evidenced by the packed tea room and woman of a certain demeanour arranging people to buy train tickets. After about ten minutes of being repeatedly queue jumped, and hearing the same conversation 5 times over (the pasty on the train is served hot, the cream tea is extra) we did start to wonder why the woman organising it couldn't be, erm, better organised. The ticket price advertised everywhere was the "best deal" of all day travel. We only wanted a basic trip to and fro, but the only staff member to ask about prices was the one bearing up under the masses of zombies, erm, old ladies. Concluding that by the time we got a ticket, and then fought to get a cup of tea and sat in old biddie company for half an hour, we would probably willingly derail the train rather than get on it.... We went on to plan B
Bodmin Jail. When we arrived the car park was full, but it looked like a large site, with plenty going on. Walking up to the buildings we pottered into an open area, with some interesting displays of items found on site such as junk removed while clearing the buildings, lots of keys etc. Things then took a Bodmin railwayesque turn as a mob of family and kids arrived with such noise that almost everyone watching the quite fascinating video about the executioners gave up, and walked out. "I'm scaaaaarrreeedd!" well, go somewhere else then. Sticking our heads into the main building, we figured that again, if it meant playing dodge the noisy whiners, we'd be better off elsewhere.
In the car I did wonder, are we just too picky? Should we have smiled, relaxed and enjoyed the ride? Has working in heritage ruined my view of a nice day out?
I thought about it quite a bit and had to conclude that no, it's not us being awkward, it's actually other people operating on some God Given Right principle. I have paid to come on a coach trip and we are buying our tickets, so it's my right to queue with the rest of the group even if I was drinking tea when you started queuing. The kids have been cooped up in the car, so they need to let off some steam, we've not actually gone into the main building yet, so they're ok to run around and yell.
All I ask is, when visiting a site as a tourist, recall that you are one of many, and act in the manner of the greatest advantage to the greatest number. Then, when you are a large group neatly queuing for tickets, the staff can advise you in groups about the food, rather than one at a time - saving you time. Then, if you spot where the kids can run about, you can let them do that for a bit before you take them into an AV room and have to repeatedly tell them to shut up. See, it works to your advantage!
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