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Tag Archives: British Airways

UK Trip Day 3: July 16/14

12 Aug

My first two nights in Wales I stayed in the YHA Llanberis hostel, here is their website: http://www.yha.org.uk/hostel/llanberis

I can not say enough amazing things about the people that work there and the location. It may have been a bit tricky to find (due to bad road sign placement) buuuuut we do have to keep in mind I have a poor sense of direction lol. I conversed with the staff a bit more than I normally would have due to my lost luggage debacle (thanks British Airways *rolls eyes*) but they were so friendly I’m glad I did. ๐Ÿ™‚

My first full day in Wales I woke up early and was fed a lovely Full Welsh Breakfast, Mmm! I didn’t take my camera with me to breakfast cause uh, who does that? ๐Ÿ˜‰ ย so I don’t have a picture but a Full Welsh consists of: bacon, sausage, fried egg, baked beans, toast and fried tomato. Because I don’t eat pork I got the vegetarian option which meant no bacon and sausage and instead I was given this batter covered something…I’m still not sure what it was lol I think it was supposed to be a vegetarian sausage option but that’s a guess. It wasn’t good, whatever it was lol The lady serving the food also gave me some sauteed mushrooms, yum! If you didn’t want to pay for breakfast there was free toast, cereal, juice, tea, coffee, yogurt, continental type breakfast foods.

The day prior at the airport British Airways had told me my luggage would be delivered to me the next day between 8a-4p, the hostel reception area and front doors are locked from noon to 5pm daily. If you are staying there you are given a code to unlock the door otherwise you’re outta luck. This meant that I had to stay inside and wait for the delivery of my suitcase all day. It sucked.

I was supposed to be climbing Mt. Snowdon that day but even if reception had been open and I didn’t have to be there to receive the suitcase I still couldn’t have gone because my clothes and water-backpack were in the suitcase. So yeah, no gear for the climb, bummer. The only up side was that the weather was crap that day, and I mean serious storm weather! Pouring rain, strong winds, absolutely brutal. It wasn’t cold though, which was odd. Even though the weather was horrible I was the only person staying in. I waited until a minute after the British Airways call centre opened and called them to discuss the luggage situation, it was once again confirmed I would have my luggage delivered sometime today. I stressed to them that was very important because I was leaving the next morning for a different town and would no longer be in Llanberis to receive the luggage. The lady was nice, said she understood, said she put a rush on it, she said a lot of things which would later prove to be lies, sigh.

The only place in the hostel I could clearly see the driveway from was the dining room so I made some tea, grabbed my backpack and claimed a table.

 

Where I spent most of my first full day of vacation - exciting huh?

Where I spent most of my first full day of vacation – exciting huh?

Luckily I had a book, a notebook to write in, a deck of cards and a bottle of water. I also had my ipod if I wanted to listen to music and my ipad if I wanted to play games…no wifi connection sadly but oh well. Oh, and I also had the phone a friend of mine let me borrow. She is from the UK so she had her old blackberry and she let me use it so I wouldn’t have to worry about roaming fees with my phone or finding a converter for the plug, nice huh? ๐Ÿ™‚ I found it funny that I used to have a blackberry and for the life of me couldn’t figure out how to do a bunch of different things on that phone, drove me nuts! But at least it gave me a way to call British Airways and get updates on my suitcase lol

While I was writing in my journal I kept looking out the window hoping to see a delivery van, here is what I saw instead…

The driveway

The driveway

There be horses in that field!

There be horses in that field!

This sheep was baa-ing the whole time I sat inside, it was so cute! and sorta soothing...who knew?

This sheep was baa-ing the whole time I sat inside, it was so cute! and sorta soothing…who knew?

Close up of the sheep. Why? Cause I can lol Sheep are a bit of a novelty to me lol

Close up of the sheep. Why? Cause I can lol Sheep are a bit of a novelty to me lol

Around lunch time a girl came in to the dining room and asked if I was staying in all day. I explained why I was stuck inside and she commiserated, said BA is known for losing luggage and when they lost hers it took 4 days to get it back, ack! She then did the nicest thing! She said she was staying in for the next couple of hours so she could stay in the dining room and watch for the delivery if I wanted to go in to town to get some food or walk around or even just to look at things. I was oh-so-grateful! I was going stir crazy just sitting there, plus, I had no food for lunch and the hostel doesn’t serve lunch so I was looking at a loooooon wait till dinner. I left her to keep a look out and I dashed in to town. I didn’t want to take too long, I was paranoid about what if they brought the suitcase but wouldn’t leave it with her cause it wasn’t hers, thoughts like that…so all I did was hit up this super tiny grocery store called SPAR, walk the main street rather quickly then drive back to the hostel. Even though it was a short trip it was nice to get out. The rain had stopped by then and the air was so fresh smelling, it made me want to stay out for longer.

I didn’t get anything fancy but what I got made a nice little meal…

 

My lunch, a turkey and apple sandwich with the rest of the apple on the side, along with a rice pudding cup, two jaffa cookies and of course tea and diet coke lol

My lunch, a turkey and apple sandwich with the rest of the apple on the side, along with a rice pudding cup, two jaffa cookies and of course tea and diet coke lol

At 4pm on the dot I called BA back since the suitcase was supposed to be delivered by 4pm and it had yet to arrive. I was informed that whoever told me earlier I would get it today was wrong and I wouldn’t get it until the day after or maybe even two days after. Grr! So I spent all day inside waiting for the suitcase and it wasn’t even on the way! I was pissed!

I figured since no way I could miss the suitcase now I might as well go out for a walk. I walked in to town than wandered. I found a slate mine museum type place but didn’t really want to go in. Then I found a little mountain that when I got to the top I found an old castle that used to be a prison, exciting! I’m putting all those pics in the next post, enjoy! ๐Ÿ™‚

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UK Trip Day 2: July 15/14

8 Aug

So there I was, in Manchester, ready to get this vacation going, aaaaaand then the sucky part of my trip started, sigh.

I went to collect my suitcase at Manchester Airport and discovered they had lost it. British Airways lost my luggage. Idiots. sigh.

I had to wait in a line to fill out some paperwork, they had lost a lot of people’s luggage *rolls eyes* and was told they’d do their best to have it to me by tomorrow so I gave them the address of the hostel I was staying at in Northern Wales and left. I was told I could buy stuff to replace what was in my bag “within reason” and they would reimburse me for it but like I knew where to go shopping?

I then went to the car rental place where I had prepaid for a car and learned they didn’t have my car, nice huh? Exactly what is the point of prepaying for a rental car if the company isn’t going to have the car ready for you?? I rented through a company called Alamo and will never use them again. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ ย I waited at the desk for almost an hour just to be told they couldn’t find me a car so go sit in the waiting area and they’ll be with me when they are ready. The waiting area is a bunch of uncomfie seats and non-working vending machines so not the most pleasant of places. Once they finally had a car for me I asked about my gps system, I was told when I booked the car I couldn’t reserve that in advance but that they would have plenty at the office and I could rent one on the day. The guy informed me they had run out so no gps for me. I asked if the car had built in gps, he said no but I could upgrade to a car that did have that, I would have had to upgrade to a Mercedes! Like I could afford that, pfft! I then asked for a map and he laughed at me, actually laughed, in my face! He informed me “nobody uses maps anymore”, well, gee, I know that but if you are out of gps systems what the hell am I supposed to use?? He said to go to Hertz (they were next door) and see if they could help me out with a map. I went to Hertz, explained what happened, they said they didn’t have maps but they google mapped for me a route to where I needed to get to and printed it out.

Just to clarify, the company I spent no money with, Hertz, printed me out directions to help me and were very nice. The company I spent a good chunk of money with, Alamo, didn’t have my car, didn’t have a gps system, didn’t have a map and didn’t help me figure out how to get to my hostel. Oh, and they were rude. Nice huh?

Unfortunately, the google directions started with “Turn left on to unnamed road”, brilliant huh? lol I turned left then promptly ended up in a construction zone where traffic was being re-routed and boom! Lost! That quickly, practically a record for me lol I stopped at a shop to ask for directions and the girls there didn’t know how to get to the motorway I needed so I drove a bit more, asked some random people, they gave me confusing to follow directions but in the end they made sense so yay! I found the motorway and was finally on my way to Wales! ๐Ÿ™‚

I had called the hostel I was staying ย at to ask if shops would still be open around the time I got in to town and they said no, the guy suggested I get off the motorway at Bangor and shop at the 24hr Tesco, think of it like a Superstore, they have everything. Food, clothes, electronics, books, toiletries…literally everything I needed to get through the next couple of days without my luggage. I got a little lost getting back on the motorway but eventually found it.

The border between England and Wales is, well, not there…it’s not like here when you want to go in to the States you have to go through border control, there is is just a little sign saying you’ve entered Wales, no border control, no security, nuthin. It struck me as a little odd but different countries different ways right?

No border patrol, just a welcome sign.

No border patrol, just a welcome sign.

A little quirk of Wales that I soon discovered was the real lack of signage for where you are. I drove through multiple little towns that had no sign saying the name of the town so I had no idea where I was. It left me feeling kinda freaked out and worried that I had driven through the town I was aiming for and didn’t even realize it. Also, once off the motorway the roads are narrow and windy and scary, and I drive through the mountains in Canada during winter! I know scary driving but this, this is totally different! Every time it was a tight squeeze my entire body would shrink in, like that would somehow help me to not hit another car or hit the fences/rock walls/bushes on my left side lol I’m sure other drivers thought I was nuts lol ๐Ÿ˜›

The town I was staying at was Llanberis (pronounced Clan-bear-is) and I did eventually find it.

Love this town!

Love this town!

I had great directions for once I was in the town for how to find the hostel but the signs within the towns of Wales are no better than the signs for marking the towns of Wales. I had to turn left on a specific road and did I find that road? Nope. Drove the entire way through the town without seeing a sign for it. By this time it was late, around 10pm, I was exhausted, cranky and all I could think was I am so close to my bed for the night and I can’t find a stupid road. When I turned around and went back in to the town from the opposite direction I saw why I didn’t see the road sign I needed, it was tiny, low to the ground, and only facing one direction. One direction! Which means I could only see it ย coming from one direction, not the other. Who does that?!?!

Once I turned on that road the street got even tinier, which I didn’t think was possible lol I followed windy roads up and up and up and eventually found the hostel, yay!

My first hostel of the trip

My first hostel of the trip

When I walked in the lady at the desk, she was soooo nice, she said “you must be Heather! I’m so glad you made it before 10:30p!”, that is when the hostel closed and I would have been stuck outside which would’ve been lame so I was also very glad I found them before 10:30p lol. She got me checked in, got me a towel since I forgot to buy one, told me where everything was and disappeared for the night…disappeared to her home I mean, not like, vanished in to thin air, though, how cool would that have been? lol

I showered, lamented a bit over my lack of a hair dryer and passed out.

And that my friends is how my vacation started. ๐Ÿ™‚

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