Thursday, August 21, 2014

Bound for the U.K. and London . . .

August 21, 2014 --  7 a.m. -- Today is Linda's birthday, so I thought I'd take her to London. After-all, we're here!! Right??

Irish Ferry, Dublin to Wales.
1 p.m. -- We arranged for a taxi at 7 a.m. to take us to the Irish Ferry for an 8:45 a.m. departure and voyage to Holyhead, Wales. It was a 2-hour journey. Once we were safely on-board, we enjoyed a cup of coffee and settled into comfortable spot near the window. We bid "farewell" to Ireland, having thoroughly enjoyed our stay. Exploring Ireland is one of the most enjoyable "getaways" we've experienced over the past few summers. We hope to come back. Who knows!
Virgin Trains from Bangor, Wales to London.

We disembarked the ferry at 11 a.m. and made our way through the port. The rail station was just a few yards away. We found our train would arrive in about 10 minutes bound for Bangor, Wales. From there, we changed trains for the 3 1/2-hour trip to London. The train is beautifully appointed -- and for a few "pounds" we're able to log onto the internet. Thankfully, the "cafe car" is just behind us, so it was easy to get a snack and another cuppa!!

So, I'll post this "portion of the blog" and update back when I have something new to report . . .

9 p.m. -- We arrived in the central London railway station, Euston, at about 5:30 and found we could get to our lodgings by bus. In London it's necessary to purchase an "Oyster" card and then load it with funds. Once on the bus or train the Oyster card is simply "tapped" on a sensor to pay the fare. It seemed to us that the bus would be easier to use, as opposed to the "underground" because of the apparent confusion of the maps. We were both right and wrong. As it happens, the train is faster than we thought, but at first the bus is easier.  However, it takes the bus MUCH longer to get around London because of the traffic. After about 45 minutes we made it to Canary Wharf and our lodgings.

In honor of Linda's birthday, we found a nice Italian restaurant about 10 minutes from our lodgings and enjoyed an excellent meal together. The weather in London is similar to the weather in Dublin -- overcast or mostly cloudy, windy and cooler than we like. Yet, we know it'll be a pleasant week in this most "worldly" of cities. Tomorrow we're off to the center of London for some sight-seeing. We have a list of possible "day trips" and walking tours, so it should be an eventful 8 days of adventure and exploration.

Stay tuned -- as I like say . . .