Day 1 – Goodbye Ireland and Hello England

Bristol Travel Blog

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Sept. 11, 2007:  Day 1 – Goodbye Ireland and Hello England


            After going through the ticket fiasco at Bus Eireann this morning, I was not too sad to leave Ireland.  I missed the 10:25am bus from Cork to Shannon Airport because I had printed out the email confirmation.  In Doolin and Galway I did not print it out, but just wrote down the MAC and Order numbers, and this was good enough for them to issue me a ticket.  In Cork they would not let me board without the printed email confirmation.  I was a wee bit upset. 

            So I had to go to an internet café, print out the receipt (1.15 Euros total) and catch the 11:25am bus.  I’m on the bus right now writing this and hope I don’t miss my flight at 4pm due to this.

            Justin and I split paths this morning as he took a bus to Belfast to meet up with Yogi and Stefan for a couple of nights before heading back to London.  We’ll hopefully meet up in London.  He’s been a great traveling buddy and I wish him luck in his travels if we don’t meet up.

            Today is also the 6th year anniversary of 9/11, and I realize I am flying.  Hopefully nothing terrible happens to anyone today.


            Well, I landed safely in Bristol (note:  RyanAir will allow you to bring on two bags.  They did not question me as I carried on my main bag and my detachable day backpack).  I did not hear of any major terrorist activity from elsewhere in the world.  So, it seems as this 9/11 was a relatively safe one.

            Helene, my CouchSurfing host for the night, was kind enough to meet me at Temple Meads Station in Bristol.  I caught a bus there from Bristol Airport for £5.50.  She was waiting with a red dress, and sunglasses. 

            We walked about thirty minutes to her place which she had just moved into about five days prior.  She kept offering to help me with my bags, but I kindly refused. 

            Helene is a hardcore world traveler, having spent about four years of her life traveling.  She had just come back from a year abroad in Russia and Eastern Europe.  So, she was a wealth of information and stories.  I was very grateful to her for hosting me after only having been back in England for five days.

            Bristol is undergoing a lot of construction currently and most of the places we walked by on the way to her place showed signs of this. 

            After dropping my bags off at Helene’s, and enjoying a nice cup of tea, we went to a fresh produce store where Helene picked up the ingredients she needed for a curry dinner she planned on making for me and her two roommates. 

            When we got back to her place, Tina and Axel were there and we all introduced each other.  I could tell right off the bat that they were all very nice people. 

            Tina and Helene had met in either New Zealand or Australia on one of Helene’s trips.  They had been friends ever since, and Tina is now in her 7th year living in Bristol.

            Axel is from France and is working as a wind engineer.  He is planning on moving north in a few months to move in with his girlfriend.

            While Helene cooked and my tummy grumbled from the delicious scents, music played in the background and we all chatted.  I occasionally dipped out to check my email to see if any London CS’ers had responded to my requests.  A style of music appeared familiar to me from the night before in Cork.  I asked, and indeed it was Serbian music. 

            After dinner was prepared, we all ate in the living room.  The curry was delicious!  Maybe it was the special ‘African’ potatoes that Helene was forced to buy at the store due to them being all out of the normal, less expensive potatoes.  I tried lime pickles for the first time, and are they hot! 

            I fell asleep as soon as I hit the pillow that night on the blow-up air mattress in the living room.

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photo by: petit_gooroo