Monday, January 14, 2013

UK 2011 day 1

In regular writing is the original plan. In brackets, find out what really happened:
Day 1
  • Arrive @ Heathrow @ 7:20 am
    [our plane left 3 hours late, so we arrived in Heathrow at around 10 am.
    At Heathrow we looked at a few options of pre-paid phone SIM cards. We had a device that I had purchased in my last trip to Brazil, and all we had to do was place the Britsh SIM card in it and choose the plan we wanted. It was a little overwhelming to figure out which company to purchase from and which plan to choose, but, taking the time to look through each option was worth it.]
  • Get Car at Alamo.

    [Alamo's rental place was hideous! Even though we had a pre-paid reservation they still had as wait in a line for about 1 hour. When we got to the counter the lady had no idea our credit card was a credit card. They gave us a bigger car than what we asked for, which terrified us, because were already scared of driving on the wrong side of the road, let alone in a big car. The car was a Voxhaull Astra. Voxhaull is the Australian Chevrolet.]
Cost - £ 5.58 (left over)
  • Drive (through Nottingham) to Sherwood Forest @ 8:30am
    [Needless to say that didn't go as planned since we left the place at around 11:30 am. We were planning on arriving there are 11:30 am.

    I was half asleep because of the sleeping medicine I took the night before to make myself sleep in the airplane. Word to the wise - DON'T take sleeping medicine when boarding a plane.

    We took pictures of nuclear plants. Dean thought it was interesting that they are demonized here in America. A lot of things are demonized in America and are so normal in other countries. In Brazil we took pictures of petroil platforms.

    We got to Sherwood Park at around 2:30 pm. If you are a Robin Hood fan, by all means, go to Sherwood Park. They have a festival once a year. We chose to skip the festival date and opted for the calmer regular stroll at the park. Don't miss the Great Oak. If there was ever a Robin Hood that Oak was a sapling when he was around. So no, this is not Robin's band hideaway. But hey, why the disappointment? This old lady was there back in the 11th century.

    We bought a few souvenirs at their souvenir store, because Robin Hood is a pretty British thing to take home to the US and to Brazil.

    We ate at the cafe. It is more like a cafeteria. Very regular food like pre-packaged sandwiches and yogurts. Nothing really typical and different. I was a little freaked out about the whole paying process, but it went ok.

    Pictures! Of course we took tons of them there.
    We left at around 5pm - 4 hours behind schedule - this silly little thing called flight delayed messed us up big time. We were already on a tight schedule, and that made our days - all of them - much more tiring.
    We did pay the 3 pounds for parking.]
driving time – 3 hrs.
est. arrival – 11:30am.
addresses to park – visitor center: Edwinstowe, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, Tel:0844 9 80 80 80 OR Forest: Sherwood Forest Country Park, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire NG21 9HN, +44 1623 823202 OR The Cafe in Sherwood Forest (for maybe free parking) Forest Corner, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire NG21 9RN, United Kingdom
cost - £3.00 (parking – maybe free at the cafe)
  • Lunch @ The Cafe in Sherwood Forest
  • Drive (through Loxley Rd) to York @ 1pm
driving time – 1 ½ hrs.
est. arrival – 2:30 pm
address to park – Bootham Row, York.
cost - £11.00 (parking).
  • Walk to the right toward York Art Gallery.
  • Free walking tour @ 2:15. (if we arrive on time)
address - by the York Art Gallery, just outside the city walls.
  • Sight seeing – walk on the city walls (left or right), the ruins of St. Mary's Abbey (facing the wall, go right), downtown York.
  • Visit the York Minster
address - Deangate, York YO1 7HH, United Kingdom (right behind the city walls)
cost - £9 (w/ guided tour) + £5.50 (climb the tower).
  • Dinner @ Hole in the Wall
address - just inside the city walls.

[We got to York at around 7 pm ... Yes, I know, time to leave. We missed the walking tour. And the York Minster was already closed. The place we parked was found over the internet, on the city website. It was right outside the city walls. I looked at it all with street view on google maps. We walked on the city walls, visited the ruins of St. Mary's Abbey, leanred a little about it, by doing some reading, took pictures with Constatine - who was crowned there - and with the pillar that was excavated and put up as a monument to the city's 1900th anniversary in 1970 ... 
As I walked through those streets and as I touched the pillar, I could not help but wonder at the thought of it - that city alone was older than Brazil and America combined. ( I mean as Federative Republic of Brazil and United States of America of course).
We ate at The Hole in the Wall. We met an American girl who was married to someone from there, and a girl who's father was some sort of honorary city member.]
  • Drive to Liverpool @ 7pm
driving time – 2 hrs.
est. arrival – 9pm
address to park – 1 Speke Hall Avenue, Liverpool L24 1UX, United Kingdom (Holiday Inn Express Hotel Liverpool-John Lennon Airport)
  • Check in at Holiday Inn, drive car to Alamo, walk back to Inn.

[We left to Liverpool at around 10 pm. We got to Liverpool  at around midnight, and did the check in. Then drove to the Alamo parking lot to drop off the car.
Here's another crappy thing about Alamo - We could not figure out how to return the keys. The rental parking gate was open, but there were no key boxes. ... We ignorantly left the keys in the car, hoping that would be the right thing to do, and walked back to the motel. That was almost 1 am.

 I stayed up till almost 2 packing our super mini luggage for the trip to Ireland. That's because the plane we got would take our regular luggage for a fee. For free we were only allowed one small carry-on each. So two days worth of "us" had to fit in two small carry-ones. Yes, I did it. But I had only 2 hours of sleep, because we had to be back at the airport at 5 to catch a 5:45 flight. Another bad idea.]

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