Friday, July 29, 2016

European Adventure Day 4 (July 4th, 2016)

What an interesting way to spend the 4th of July. This day was a scheduled travel day to London, but it ended up being a long and costly day! We thought that the train system was such that we could just buy tickets at any time. WRONG! When we looked at the Sail and Rail prices before leaving for Europe, they were around 40 Euros a piece. When we got on the internet to book our trip once here, they were MUCH more! However, after digging around, we finally found tickets for just a little more than what we were expecting.

COMPLETE SIDEBAR - I forgot to tell you that I had a huge mishap with my blow dryer in Dublin before we left. Shawn bought this really cool electricity converter with all the adapters for each European country. We were set with our electronics! He spent about $60 on the thing. SO I plug my hairdryer in and put it on low, like I am supposed to. I am blowing my hair and then the thing starts sparking and smoke is billowing out! I promptly turn it off, but the converter thing is toast! :( I felt HORRIBLE. Moral of the story is don't do that! Suffice it to say, my hair was pretty crazy for most of the trip. However - my dumb $19.99 hairdryer still works! Below are a couple of pictures of our view from our flat and the beautiful neighborhood we stayed in while enjoying Dublin!

Back to day four…We had a very sociable and delightful taxi driver that took us to the port for the ferry ride to Wales. The ferry was lovely and was like a large cruise ship. We snatched seats with windows and enjoyed the lovely views! I also enjoyed reading the book I brought along, while Bill and Shawn took in the sights from the deck above.

Once we arrived at the train station in Wales, we tried to get on the train only to find out that our tickets were only good for the FERRY! The ladies apologized that the website had messed up, but…oh well…did we need a train ticket or not? And that will be another 125 Euros a piece. Grrr…really? Yes, really. So off we finally went.

I really romanticized about how lovely a train ride would be traveling through the English countryside! I hardly got to see it because most of the time I was looking at a wall or a hedgerow! And where was the dining car?! Oh, we are in the budget seats. Good thing we gathered the tidbits of cheese and fruit we had leftover in our Dublin flat! The landscape did finally open up a a bit and Wales was quite beautiful! I was grateful when we arrived in London, and a sympathetic London taxi driver saw us lugging our bags around. He motioned us in and it was like a clown car as we tumbled in! We were practically sitting on one another's laps! He spoke of Brexit and Trump! He likes Americans! He went on to share with us that he doesn't live in London - he commutes. But then no one really lives in London anymore. It is full of tourists…like us. Ha! :)

After grabbing a few groceries and enjoying an inexpensive dinner in our lively neighborhood, we settled into our new flat that boasts 52 steps to our rooms! I was feeling out of my exercise routine and there was a gym right across the street. So at 8:45 pm, I made my way across the street to enjoy a vigorous workout after my sedentary day of travel. Our flat is wonderful with lots of room and a washer right in the kitchen. Our host has thought of everything! Including a hair dryer! I am exceedingly grateful for my travel companions, the Boldts. Mr. Casey has been a joy! Can't believe we are experiencing this together! :)

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