Ireland - England 2012


So we finally made it to our final destination unharmed, unscathed and concluded our on-road journey as well.  In total, we travelled 1470km in a tank and a half of diesel – bloody awesome fuel economy.  The car we drove was a Skoda Octavia S 1.6 5D that had only done 4486km beforehand.  We can also cross Wales off our list as we took an unplanned detour via the western parts of Wales.

A map of the main spots I’ve been to on this trip can be found below.

View Ireland and England trip in a larger map

It seems like we timed our trip well.  In Dublin we had the tall ships, then we had them again in Liverpool.  We then had St Giles Fair in Oxford, the Ludlow Food Festival, and now we have the Thames Festival, paralympic closing ceremony, olympic parade, and Elizabeth Tower renaming in London.  People, people, everywhere.

If you’re going to London, I second a recommendation given to me to obtain an Oyster card which provides easy (and cheaper) access to public transport.  We started off on the tour buses but they took forever to complete the loop so ended up using the underground for all transport.  The system is great and is what Melbourne’s myki should be.

As we travelled around London, the many long years of studying English history (read: Monopoly) paid off as I could recognise the names and somewhat gauge the wealth of the area.  We didn’t spend too much time at Mayfair.

The food… quite average.  I tried the award winning Cornish pastie from the authentic Cornish pastie store on Oxford St and it was… average.  It had some chunky potatoes and not much taste, furthermore, they reheat your selection in the microwave losing the crunch you expect.  It reminded me of my experience with the fish and chips / mushy peas from the Lake District.  And you all were right, coffee really sucks here – even from Starbucks.

So in London, we have been to:

  • London Eye
  • Big Ben / Elizabeth Tower
  • Houses of Parliament
  • Westminster Abbey
  • Tower of London
  • London Aquarium
  • London Bridge
  • Tower Bridge
  • St Paul’s Cathedral
  • IMAX cinemas (largest in England)

And we’re planning to do either of the following if we can:

  • Arsenal stadium tour
  • Visit the land of time: Greenwich
  • Cutty Sark
  • Natural History Museum

So that’s probably it from me.  We’re flying out late tomorrow and I can’t wait for our 22 hour flight back.