Interesting place, Castleton.
Well, so I've heard.
So... one day you decide to go and see it for yourself. Great. But when you get off the train and the first thing that runs through your head is "hmm, doesn't look too scenic here" you know something is up.
But anyway. The three of us (Vlad, myself and Xiaoxiao) got off and made a few comments about how it wasn't quite what we were expecting. We carried on, nonetheless. After a while we made it all the way to, well, a park, by the looks of it. That was well past the pub, and a good deal further than the Castleton used car garage.
It's about this time that Vlad, dressed head-to-toe in his "walking" gear (including bright blue fleece, khaki trousers, map in fashionable plastic case, Lomo, super-sized pentaprism SLR and walking boots), decides to mention that he didn't recall seeing a railway station in Castleton on the map... or a railway line, for that matter(!)
We check the map. All is not well so I decide to make a joke about "Dr Beeching", or something.
But never mind... this is Castleton... the big sign at the railway station said so and there are plenty of shops with "Castleton" written on them (worrying they were almost all establishments selling intoxicating liquor) -- what can go wrong!?
A bit further down the road we see some "chavs" at the bus stop. And a bus goes by... with "Manchester City Centre" as the destination. Hmm.
A bit further and we stop to take some photos of a nice autumn tree, at the same time as convincing Xiaoxiao to wander to the other side of the road and ask the little old lady walking by if there is a castle... (picture this:)
* Xiaoxiao (a Chinese girl) crosses the road and walks up to the little old lady
Xiaoxiao: "Hello. Is there a castle here?"
Little Old Lady (confused): "No, I don't think so."
Xiaoxiao: "Okay, thanks." (Xiaoxiao always says "thanks" when talking to strangers, never "thank you")
* Xiaoxiao (still a Chinese girl) crosses back to Vlad and myself who are quite literally doubled up with laughter.
So. No castle. But we're definitely in Castleton. Okay. Not to worry... Vlad can see a mountain in the distance so we kept walking away from the train station before ending up at a crappy church near a big main road (signposted with "Bury" and "Manchester City Centre"). Great, thanks for that.
Back we go, after taking a few obligatory photos of the church, because there was nothing better to do.
Anyway. We got back to the train station, poked fun at the young woman sitting on one of the train station "benches" with her legs dangling a good foot off the ground, who returned the favour when I convinced Xiaoxiao to sit there and let me take a photo.
About half-way into the 15 minute return trip I happened to glance at the train tickets and spotted that the destination was "Castleton Manchester". Ahh! So that's where we went wrong!
All I can say is that the guy that told Vlad (dressed in classic "let's go to the Peak District and wander around looking silly" gear) the next train to Castleton went from Manchester Victoria must have been pissing himself when the three of us wandered out the main exit of Piccadilly station.
Ah, well. Fortunately the rest of the day worked out okay when Vlad and I wandered around the city centre taking photos... well, apart from the part where three "louts" decided that asking if my camera was waterproof and then asking if they could empty a bottle of water over us was a good idea.
On the whole... a different day. We're all clued up now, though... if 18 minutes and £1.60 for a return ticket sounds too good... well, it is!