Backtracking a little to the beginning of our adventure…
After a fun night this past Saturday (which involved too much alcohol and staying up too late…ha), we woke up Sunday morning and drove to D.C. to catch our flight to London Heathrow. I didn’t know what to expect as I’d never flown on Virgin Atlantic before…but the flight ended up going smoothly. We left on time and had clear weather the entire trip. I’m not a fan of airplane food, but the food on this flight was actually edible…haha. Even though the alcohol was free flowin’, I certainly wasn’t feeling it after the previous nights’ drinking, so I stuck with water…and British tea! When we boarded the plane, we were given a pack with a pillow, blanket, eye mask, and toiletries. The eye mask certainly came in handy as I tried to get some sleep during the flight! I prepped for London by watching The King’s Speech (loved it), drinking hot tea, and listening to Ellie Goulding and Adele while I attempted to nap 🙂
|Our plane to London|
The flight actually arrived an *hour* ahead of schedule in London, so what was supposed to be a 7-hour flight turned into a short 6-hour flight. I’m not complaining 🙂 Because we’re taking this backpacking thing semi-seriously at least, we tried to take the cheapest route in getting to Gatwick, where we planned to stay Monday night before catching our flight to Dublin. That meant we had to find the right bus outside Heathrow, which we rode for an hour. We then hopped on a train for a short ride directly to Gatwick Airport, and took a shuttle to our hotel. That was approximately 3 hours of traveling. Once we finally got to the hotel, we both slept…almost the entire day. When we woke up around 7pm, we ventured out to find food. We ended up at Tesco, which was like a British version of Wal-Mart. We quickly found what we will be eating for the next two months: peanut butter, bananas, and pita bread. Its actually really good, and its also really cheap. Win.Since the Tesco adventure, we’ve been fascinated with all of the different grocery stores in the UK and Ireland, and we’ve stopped in to about 5 different ones. My favorite? Marks & Spencer. If you’ve never been, or never heard of it, you’re missing out. Heck, America is missing out.
|Flight to Ireland from London|
After making the transatlantic flight to London and finding our way around without any trouble, we went into our next flight as experts. Apparently even more so than UK locals, who clearly didn’t pay attention when TSA stated its carry-on limitations. Security lines were long because people had all the wrong things in their carry-on bags. Enough about that. We booked our flight on RyanAir to Dublin for only 20 Euros for BOTH of us. However, we didn’t “book our checked luggage” online, so we ended up paying 35 POUNDS to have it checked once at the airport. Moral of this story: if you think you’ll have to check your bag, say so online…its only 15 Euros/Pounds that way. No fun paying more for your bag than your actual flight!
By the time we arrived in Dublin, we both felt like seasoned travelers…and we’re just gettin’ started! Its only the end of Day 3 and we’re pretty comfortable with this whole travel thing. Of course, as often as we’ll be moving onto new cities, I suppose we won’t get *too* comfortable 😉
Admittedly, after staying in a fairly nice hotel in Gatwick on Monday night, I was anxious about trying this hostel thing out. Its definitely a change of pace, and you certainly have to get used to it. We’ve had decent roommates so far, but one snored extremely loud last night and two others came in really late and kept the lights on for a while. Luckily I had my trusty Virgin Atlantic eye mask and some cheap earplugs! We’ll see how the rest of these hostel experiences go……
I’m still thrown off by the time difference, especially because its 10pm here and its still not dark outside. Extremely weird. I’m currently laying here, listening to the rain, and trying to be quiet since Michael and one of our roommates are sleeping. Already. Being on-the-go all day will do that to ya! Maybe I should get some sleep too…we have many busy days ahead! Until next time 😉