EU-Trip 2023 | Week 3 (13.03 – 17.03)
It's already week 3 of my trip, following the post about week 2. Have no clue/context, then the original post, It's finally time for an adventure, is for you.
For the UK part, Gabriel, a friend of mine, will join. So expect him to be part of the stories and photos.
13.03 – Travel to Great Britain
Getting up pretty early today, went straight to the “Gare de Centrale Nord” in Paris. To my surprise, I was able to board already way before the 90 minutes. After I faced some problems checking in the regular way, had to do a manual check in at the counter, because of the Interrail pass. After a brief moment of shock, everything went pretty smooth and super organized. Taking the Euro Star felt a bit like boarding a plan, but way more relaxed. After the ticket check, checking in with my travel passport. That was somewhat self-service. Afterward, the obligatory security control with metal detector and x-raying your luggage.
The travel itself was also super relaxed, arrived headed to Liverpool Street to wait for my friend Gabriel to join me from his flight. It was freaking windy, 35 km/h when I looked it up! It was freaking crazy, my legs shook from the wind when walking … Unfortunately, it took longer than expected, so I – of course – settled for a beer! This time again a local IPA, at the Railway Tavern next to the train station. The Level head Session IPA was great. A lot less carbonic acid, as expected. But I really liked it.
The staff in the pub had the really typical British accent in their english. It was simply wonderful to listen to.
Gabriel's flight had problems because of the stormy weather, so had some time to explore London a bit. So started with the two bridges.
After 2 hours of delay, we first got something British to eat.
It was okish, but definitely not my favorite. All food was not really seasoned. Also tried the Guinness Beer, which was strange at the beginning, but something I really liked after a few sips.
Subsequently, went on the first sightseeing tour. From the London Eye, Westminster Abbey over the Big Ben.
After a long day, we arrived at our Airbnb, which was an interesting experience. Our hosts didn't respond to previous messages, and we ringed on both doorbells we found. The room and the whole floor was really strange and messed up. The quality of the stay was below average. Since it was only a one night to stay, it will have to work out.
14.03 – A day in Liverpool
Today it was time to go to Liverpool. We got up pretty early, caught the metro to Liverpool Lime Street. From there with the Express to Liverpool. Getting out of the train, seeing the city, made me fall in love.
First got to the Airbnb, where our host Lisa made it possible to drop off our backpacks. Exploring the district, until it started to pour rain.
As we got hungry, went to the city center, grabbing food at Nando's at the Queen Square. Unfortunately, we were too hungry to wait and make a photo, sorry about that.
Back with fresh energy, and a new stylish beanie, exploring the freaking wonderful city. I loved walking around and seeing so many great brick stone buildings.
After many hours just strolling around, got to the few tourist attractions in Liverpool, starting at Bold Street over China Town to the Albert Dock.
The Albert Dock was freaking incredible. Such a stunning view, but really a strong breeze. Also stopped by at the Beatles Statue, where we were by far the youngest people around.
I will definitely pay Liverpool and London a visit again. While we will be in London in a few days anyway. I feel like the city is really underrated. All the brick stone and nice people we met. We loved the dialect here, which felt as if low german spoken in english.
15.03 – Travelling to Ireland
After our lovely stay in Liverpool, sadly it was time to leave. Went for the Merseyrail. It was perplexing since no one was really sure if Interrail tickets are working there. So, we ended up walking in circles, just to realize no one really checked our tickets.
After a long train ride, also crossing Wales where we even drove through a damn castle. Arrived at Holyhead, where the ferry was just a few meters away. Searching for a place to get lunch, we realized that Holyhead only has the McDonald's to offer. Sadly, accepting the fact, got there to grab some food. Even the fast food restaurant had a limited variety of sauces and everything was either super sweet or had no taste at all. Seems really to be a British thing.
As it was not really spectacular or in any way interesting, we didn't even take any photos or selfies. What I can tell at this point instead is that I really loved the fact that all public toilets had warm water by default on all sinks. Something that I would wish to be true for other countries as well. No more cold water freezing your hands. We also realized that every restaurant we went to had the calories right next to the menu, making it more transparent.
After a long trip on the ferry across the Irish Sea, first went to Airbnb, rested for a few minutes and got straight into an Irish pub. And god-damn British beer is outstanding. I expected it to be not that good, but the opposite was the case. The barkeeper was really helpful, recommending us beers to choose. At the end, went for Irish Guinness and a Rye River Pale Ale.
The atmosphere in the pub was really different from what I was used to. Everyone was so kind and open-hearted. It felt really welcoming. Somebody randomly involved us in conversations, which was pretty neat.
I was blown away, as I expected a much different atmosphere and time in Ireland or the UK in general. It was a surprise, but a welcome to be certain.
16.03 – Over Dublin, Belfast to London again
We got up pretty early since we will take the ferry this evening and wanted to spend some time in Dublin and have a buffer in Belfast. The first thing on our To-Do list for today was visiting the Dublin Castle. It was really disappointing and super boring. So went to Trinity College in Dublin. Especially the library was our point of interest. We couldn't go in, unfortunately. It was okay to see, but nothing that you find too interesting.
So, the next step was Howth, where some nice cliffs and the Howth Castle were awaiting us. We got there by train, which gave a different view of the entire city and Ireland. Unfortunately, the castle is in private usage, so there was not too much to see, since most parts were private. Still was quite impressive and delightful to walk around.
Near the castle there was also the national transport museum. It was closed as well, since it is a weekday, but there were some armored vehicles standing outside. And I couldn't resist taking a selfie as well.
Following the experience, the next thing was going to the Howth cliff. Took the bus to the walking trail and walked the rest few kilometers by foot. It was quite foggy and cold, but still quite a pleasant view and experience.
From Dublin, we took the train back to Belfast, where we spent the rest of the evening before boarding our ferry at night.
17.03 – Back to London
After a good five hours of sleep on the ferry, we were woken up by the lovely “Reichsprecher-like audio” from Stena Line. Getting off board around two hours later. Taking the shuttle bus to the next underground station. From there with the express train to Chester, from where we took a train to London Euston. From there, a few stops with the underground rail to Airbnb.
On the way to the train, realized my knee hurt terribly with every step, so rather took it slowly and just chilled in the Airbnb the rest of the afternoon. Hoping it will get better tomorrow because we still want to go to some great places here. The Bricklane Street we are located in already stunned me on the way here.
Moreover, already a small sneak peek of the street art.
Recap for third travel week
I will definitely have to go to Liverpool and London dedicated again. Loved the cities, the people, and the culture. The food was really terrible, so traditional food is certainly not a thing for me here.