Of Trains, Beers and Stones

Flight to London was .. interesting to say the least. The popular budget airline Ryanair surprised us by not having assigned seats (just sit anywhere you want) and with constant in-flight advertising, successfully preventing any rest. I guess the saying was right and you get what you paid for.

We were picked up by Derek’s older brother – Sebastian – who found us a place to sleep and spend some time at (for free, which was great – thanks bro! 🙂 ).

First few days were spent visiting London’s most popular attractions: Tower Bridge, London Bridge, Big Ben and Buckingham Palace. Days were a bit cloudy and sometimes cold, but nonetheless very good for sightseeing. Our main way of transportation around the city was London’s metro system (The Tube) – fast, and quite reliable (most of the time as it had a problems once and we were forced to take a detour).

We saw a lot of street performers in the vicinity of the largest Ferris wheel in Europe called The London Eye. But no surprise there as it is located just 5 minutes away from the Big Ben, hoarding thousands of tourists every day.

Just a short metro ride south is the Greenwich Royal Observatory which is the house to the Prime Meridian (0 longitude) and is surrounded by gorgeous parks. We visited it the following day and did the “Where East meets West” scene and both of us stood and kissed across the Prime Meridian 🙂

Few days later we decided to visit Ireland – a one-way train+ferry ticket from London to Dublin was just 29 pounds (~$50 USD). The ride was long, but extremely comfortable.   While waiting for the ferry, we managed to get a delicious fish and chips for just 6 pounds.

We spent a few days in Dublin, sightseeing and drinking beer at Guinness brewery, which coincidentally was celebrating its 250th anniversary of their 9999 year long lease. Not surprisingly, all of the pubs were serving free beer 🙂

We left Dublin after a couple of days and took off to Limerick – a beautiful region of Ireland with some magnificent castles (like the Bunratty Castle).   We stayed in a 4 star hotel where we got a fantastic view of the river and castle.  Sadly in the evenings the city looked more like a ghost town as the stores closed and the streets got empty – just like the “good” old times back in communistic Poland :-).

On our way back we stopped at a small harbour town of Barbigan – we were so tired that we almost missed our morning bus to Dublin. We packed our bags in a record time of 15 minutes, though some of the clothes were still wet after the evening wash 🙂 .  The trip back to London was smooth and uneventful.

Before we moved on with our journey we took a train to Sailsbury to visit nearby Stonehenge with the massive awe-inspiring stone circles.

Few days later we left England and took a plane to Paris, France – this time we used easyJet – no more unassigned seats – hurray!  Paris – here we come!