Well I say let it begins, but in reality it’s already day 6! I’m sitting in my hostel in London, slightly hungover after catching up with a friend for a few drinks at G-A-Y Bar in Soho last night.
After several large, messy and emotional farewell parties, Wednesday 4 June 2014 saw me leave Belfast after 13 months living in the beautiful city. It was sad to leave my friends and the city as a whole but new adventures are to be had!
And, the adventure started straight away when my train from Belfast to Dublin was cancelled due to a security alert. We had to get a bus to Newry and then a train the rest of the way – after several delays, Graham and I finally arrived in Dublin an hour late, and went straight to the first pub we saw!
While at the pub, I got a call from our hotel to tell me that our room needed “urgent maintenance” so they were moving us to another building of theirs. Not a major thing really, but after the issues with the trains it seemed like another bad omen to start the trip.
We had an enjoyable afternoon wandering around Dublin, and a nice dinner. Then we decided to go somewhere for a few drinks, but after paying €13 for two pints, we decided we’d have an early night instead – especially since I had a 6am start the next day.
I’d bought a ‘Sail Rail’ ticket, which includes the ferry from Ireland to Britain and then the train – you can book this type of ticket to go anywhere in Britain, I’d booked it to Cardiff to visit my friend Ross.
Continuing on the trend of trains hating me (going to be an interesting few months if all the trains are this mean to me!), my train from Holyhead to Cardiff was cancelled! After waiting for ages, a train finally left… We drove along for about 10 minutes before it stopped and went back where we started! I did eventually make it to Cardiff, however it was 3 trains instead of 1 and took several hours longer than planned.
From Cardiff I got a Megabus to Bristol – and no delays! Wow, maybe I should have done this trip by bus the whole way :S
I caught up with my friend Allison in Bristol, didn’t really do much other than walk around Bristol a bit, have a couple of drinks, some Chinese and a film. Was great to relax and catch up.
The next day, another Megabus took me to London (and with the bus trend, no delays… Well 15 min late due to traffic coming into London, but nothing major).
The first night in London, I met up with my friend Naomi and we went for a few drinks at G-A-Y Bar (as mentioned at the start of this post), which was fun. Although I lived in London for 6 months last year, I never actually made it to G-A-Y. It wasn’t a particularly big night, as it was a Sunday night and Naomi had work on Monday. Had a good time, met some new people and caught up with another friend.
Today I wandered around London – so much walking! Did some shopping (essentials for the trip like a travel mug, and camping cutlery and bowl/plate and a hat) and having a last look at a few of the sites while walking along the Tham
es. Tower Bridge, London Eye, Houses of Parliament & Big Ben… All those things that I saw plenty of times while I lived here, but needed one last look.
As I said, I’m now in my hostel bar having a few beers and considering ordering a burger… Or pizza – omg I love food 😉
8am tomorrow I’m on a Eurostar to Brussels – I’ll update you on what happens. That’s when the trip really starts, leaving the UK permanently and I’ll be in non English speaking countries for 100 days straight. Wish me luck!!!