Today is Friday, and while that instills in me a certain undescribeable joy, it also makes me very lazy while I am at the office, attempting to work. This laziness stretches to many other parts of my day, including my blog update. So, today I've decided to do something different. I've decided that I will simply post the email that I mailed out, while backpacking Europe. My logic is, that for those of you who read this blog but were not on my email list while I was abroad...you can now see what it was like to recieve my weekly email updates to friends and family, back in the USA.
Also, like I said....it's much easier to copy/paste, than to write from scratch. Happy Friday! Enjoy. This email was sent, after Jen and I made it into Newbury, England for the first leg of our journey.
* * *
Well, Mr. Murphy has found us over here in Europe...things took a bad turn the other night. As most of you know, by now I SHOULD be in Spain, soaking up the rays and looking at beaches and speaking spanish, and having burritos with chicken in them, and drinks with little paper hats on them. But NOOOOO. Wanna hear about it? Ok, good.
Well, last Thursday, Jen and I decided that we were ready to leave Ireland, and start the adventure around Europe. So we pack everything up into our new funky cool travel backpacks, and head off to Dublin. Once we get into Dublin, we head straight for the bus depot, and up to the ticket booth. "We'd like 2 tickets to London" we said. "Sorry...that bus is full." said the guy behind the counter. Wonderful. But hey, good news! He told us that there would be an 8:00pm bus again, on Saturday. So we left Dublin, and went all the way back home to sit and wait for Friday to come. And to make matters worse, Jen wasn't feeling all that well, so Friday was a 'sit in front of the TV' type of night.
Saturday comes, and we get up at early o' sodding clock, so we can make it to the bus depot and buy our tickets before the bus gets full again. So along we trudge through the streets of Dublin, towards the bus depot...only to find out that the bus to London that night was BOOKED. Right about now, Jen started spitting profanities and twisting her head around. So I ask the ticket booth lady when the next bus to London was. "Monday night!" she cheerily told me. So, here it was Saturday, and we are stuck with nothing to do until Monday night...three full days away. Well, going back into Lucan to stay with her aunt did NOT appeal to us, besides the fact that the whole family was coming back that afternoon from their ski trip in France. So after much debating and internet searches, we decide that we will take a bus/ferry into Liverpool, England. Yeah! The crisis is averted, and the journey begins!
We did not yet realize that our troubles had only begun.
We hang out all day in Dublin, wasting time and checking the clock. We catch the bus to Liverpool at 9:00pm, and start the trip. The bus pulled onto the ferry (which is a light term...this thing was like a giant oceanliner, or something) and we were allowed to get up and wander the bar and the middle deck to check out the ocean.
The ferry ride was great fun, and the next thing we know, we're back on the bus, heading into Wales. After our fun passport checking, Nazi-style questioning, we leave Wales and head into England, towards Liverpool (the Beetles, baby!). We arrive in Liverpool at 3:30 in the @*&%£$ morning, only to be literally dropped off, with our backpacks and nothing else. Very quickly, every other passenger picked up their rides or cabs, and headed off home. The bus driver did his last checks, and then he took off, as well. Until finally, it was Jen and I standing there in Liverpool, at 3:30 in the @*&%£$ morning, with blank faces and non-functioning brains (beers were only £3.00 on the ferry). We look around, and find the telephone so we can call a few hotels or hostels and find a place to sleep for the night. We didn't have another bus ticket yet to take us further into England, so we were going to have to buy it the next day. So Jen grabs the phone and tries to make a phone call to the first hotel....but WAIT! England doesn't accept the Euro over there, which is what Dublin uses, along with the rest of Europe. All we had were Euros...we had no English money.
So Jen rummages through her bag to find her one and only Pound, which she uses to make a phone call to the first hotel. Oh, surprise...the hotel is booked. It turns out that there is some type of big football (soccer) match going on in Liverpool that weekend...and every single hotel in it would most likely be booked up. So Jen hangs up the phone, and begins to have the look of a woman on the brink of tears and collapse. So we grab our backpacks (which were now as heavy as a bag of bricks to us), and begin to AIMLESSLY WANDER around Liverpool, England hoping to find a hotel or hostel that will accomodate us. Oh, and let's not forget that we had to find an ATM, so we could get some English money and PAY for the hotel room. So we wander around, at 3:30 in the @*&%£$ morning, until we find out that EVERY single hotel in Liverpool is booked for the night.
So, Jen and I walk back to the bus depot, and SIT ON THE GROUND LIKE HOMELESS PEOPLE to wait for the bus depot to open, so we can buy a bus ticket out of there. So I turn to Jen, and say the dumbest thing I've ever said: "Well, at least it's not cold or rainy, or anything." God heard me...and laughed at me...and thus it began to POUR RAIN AND WIND AND THE COLD CAME DOWN LIKE THE ALMIGHTY SMITE OF THE LORD. So there we were, freezing, and wet, and homeless, with no money, in a new country...alone.
The bus depot opened around 6:00am, but HAHA FUNNY we couldn't buy a new ticket until 8:30am. So we had to sit in that wonderful smelling bus depot waiting to buy a ticket. It's not like there were pigeons walking around our legs, or something...oh, wait. There WERE. Jen began to get dizzy and I started to see things....not happy. I think for awhile there, Jen was pretending to be the Queen of the birds, and I was her idiot man-child servant.
So eventually, we get to buy a ticket that will take us to our ORIGINAL destination of Newbury, England. But we have to take 3 buses to get there...and the travel time was a total of 8 hours...and the ticket was £30 more than we expected to pay.
But we took it, and we waited for the bus, and we rode the 3 buses for 8 hours and FINALLY got into Newbury, England where we PROMPTLY found a hotel. We bathed and rested and slept in a real bed, and now today we are heading to our destination, a mere 10 miles away.
So far, the trip has been...just what Jen expected.
Anyway, hope all is well, and please wish me luck, because I think I'm going to need it!