So, after a couple of years of not being able to take a big trip, the epic fall trip is here. Because of bargain shopping, even though we had no intention of going to England this time around, we flew into London.
Airplane tickets bought: round trip Atlanta to London and Dublin back to Atlanta; one way London to Milan, Milan to Edinburgh, and Edinburgh to Dublin. We also bought Eurail passes for Italy. Total spent so far on transportation? Right at $1,000 each for all that. I love cheap travel! (I am not saying that $1000 is not a lot of money; what I am saying is that when a round trip ticket within the states from, for example, Knoxville to Atlanta (35 minutes of flight) costs over $500, you can see why I feel that we scored some bargains. We even paid a fee to check one bag on each of the one way flights, and that price is INCLUDED in the amount.
So, overnight Wednesday from Atlanta to London, via Toronto. We arrived at Heathrow around 11 am London time. By the time that we got through customs, immigration, baggage claim, and took a short bus ride to our hotel, we were beat. We usuallly don’t take naps, but we were both beat. So, nap, dinner, relax, and then bed. Never left the hotel.
We had to be up this morning at 4:30 to get to the airport on time. After a 2 hour British Air flight, a long train ride, and a transfer to the subway to finish up, we finally arrived at our bed and breakfast. It is an apartment that has been converted, and there are four bedrooms with two shared baths total. There is an elevator, which is good, because we are on the 5th floor. The elevator is quirky, and cozy. Without luggage, you would be lucky to get three people in it, and you would be intimately acquainted when you were done.
We went grocery shopping (again, saving money and economizing to make sure that we are able to make these trips) and had a late lunch/early dinner, and headed to a museum we wanted to check out. The Pinacoteca Brera was founded by Napoleon, who wanted to make it the Louvre of Italy, and has Renaissance works of the Italian masters. It was a nice museum, though I missed my Impressionists, lol.
We headed home in the subway; we are still working on figuring out the station nearest our B&B. There are 15 exits, and we still can’t figure out from inside the station which one to take to exit closest to our lodging.
We are aging. We are beat, lol. We have done trips where we go for 12 – 15 hours nonstop. Today, after all of our traveling, we were done after only one event. We joked that we will be 70 and taking a trip, and after one outing, will need three days to recover to be able to go out and do something else.
Observations . . . one of the things that we have gotten to like is that over here, it is not uncommon for hotels to have a double room that has two twin beds. They are smaller, but we are only in the room (usually) to sleep. In London we stayed at a Radisson Park Inn, and had an adorable room with twins. The B & B has two twin beds and shared bathrooms, and of course, breakfast is included. We are right near downtown Milan, and our cost per night is 65 Euros. The other three rooms are occupied by folks from Lithuania, Portugal, and Spain.
Public transportation is so easy in the larger cities here. (I am sure that in many larger cities in the US, the same is true). We paid 8 Euros each for public transportation passes. We can take any bus, city train, and subway as many times as we want for the next 48 hours. We debated renting a car here in Italy, and heard too many horror stories, so we ended up with Eurail passes instead.
We plan to get a good night’s sleep. I have put my nighty on the nightstand (I usually sleep . . . . um . . . . natural) for those middle of the night trips to the loo. Tomorrow, the Duomo, which is the 2nd largest cathedral in the world. It seats 40,000 people, and is one of the best examples of Gothic architecture in the world.
The loo in Heathrow
The view from our balcony in Milan
The library and some of the paintings in the Pinacoteca . . .
I liked this detail at the bottom of one of the paintings.
The inside of a perfume shop. I just loved the colors!
When you have to take your to kiddos somewhere . . . bikes and mopeds are EVERYWHERE!!