Pirate Town Of Penzance Reached In Due Course, Published 12 May 1956

PENZANCE (Delayed) Between palm trees and azalea bushes, I rolled Into the ancient piratetown of Penzance this afternoon.  Here I am; with the blue sea booming at my back, and the unfor ettably pungent odor of dulce flattering my nostrils at the Queens Hotel in Penzance. I am only ten miles away from famous Land's End.
A Long Way
To get to Penzance you travel 305 miles on the Cornish Riviera Express, a fascinating yellow and red train catering truly to the carriage trade. On this glamorous de luxe limited, I travelled just about as far as a man can in England, and still stay in England. In this truly tight little isle, 305 miles is a long way to travel on a train.
Leaving London's bustling, roaring Paddington, I found myself past Slough, till we crossed the dreamy, shadowy Thames at Maidenhead and rushed on to Reading. Still no stop as the Riviera Express pushed on through familiar Exeter and less known Dawllsh till finally we stopped at Plymouth. Here the countryside seemed to change and so did the character of the train. As we penetrated farther into Devon, the track was crooked, the scenery more picturesque. Fields rolled up to meet the sky, solid fences of earth and brush and stone cut queer mosaics while every so often a dreary ruin of an old tin mine reminded one of the former days.
Flat tops, cruisers and other eye-smiting ships of Her Majesty's navy caught your attention as you left Plymouth, and then once over the mighty Royal Albert Bridge, you are in Cornwall. Busy England seems far behind, and London remote, as the train moves more slowly, the people speak more slowly, and you find yourself pleasantly running down yourself like an unwound alarm clock.
Long since had the train been running past palm trees. For some time, the pink azaleas had all but brushed the train. Now daffodils grew wild, primroses were star-scattered on the grass, and a generous springtime was giving us the works.
Then quaint, delightfully improbable Penzance itself. Wind ing through the town is Market Jew street, the flower-drenched Morrab Gardens are buried amid ancient streets, while down at the sea, a dog is joyously retrieving a black stone in the ebb tide for his young mistress. To finish the perfect day, a golden moon is rising over the ocean

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Updated 12 November 2019