I’ve loved neighborhood pubs in England and Ireland when I lived or visited there. However, I wouldn’t typically have entered even a British style pub in Los Angeles.
But my British friend’s long-time friend from England told him about The Fox and Hounds, “a proper British pub” and it had a Quiz Night. That clinched our decision. On a Wednesday evening, we headed over Laurel Canyon…
Good, relaxed quiz, prizes, a new cider for me, great Steak n’ Ale Pie, Steak n’ Kidney Pie for my friend. I’ll definitely bring more people to The Fox and Hounds.
Independent travel can take you anywhere at any time, planned or unplanned. Ireland was not in my plans. But the StenaLine Ferry walk-on price from Liverpool to Belfast was intriguing so why not? Of course, I was happy for the opportunity, the experiences, and the fabulous Irish people I met as I traveled Ireland for the second time in my life.
[Written while in Ireland. Posted after I’ve left Ireland.] Today was a unique, successful, rewarding travel-in-Ireland day. Where did I go? Mostly I sat at a table in the common area of a hostel in Dublin. What did I do? Mostly I sat at my computer and read email, then wrote up or posted reviews for TripAdvisor and this blog. But that’s now what was special or notable. What sights, scenery, buildings or landmarks, did I see? None. I saw the kitchen, the dining, and sitting tables. When I went out to the supermarkets I didn’t veer right to admire the huge old train station. I didn’t take photos of the beautiful pub next door. I didn’t see any of Dublin’s cool Talking Sculptures. So what made this a great Irish experience or travel day? The answer to that is… a conversation with a security guard who wouldn’t even tell me […]
Sleep Eat Love hostel-hotel in Liverpool, England UK, provides a choice of dorm or private room — a great-priced place to stay that’s less costly than the other hotels in Liverpool and is well suited to grown-ups. This new-in-2018 Liverpool hotel-hostel has created a sweet spot for travelers (or travellers). It provides a cultured hostel environment and mood with the quality of a hotel and a great social opportunity for those who wish to meet fellow travelers. I absolutely loved my stay here and highly recommend it as the place to stay in Liverpool.
Terrific location. Less than 1/2 mile from The Cavern Club. Only .9 miles from Albert Dock and even less to the Ferry Cross the Mersey. Supermarkets and an entire mall is right nearby, as is the don’t miss Royal Court Theater.
Great staff. Comfortable.
In 1497, approximately 17 men led by Captain John Cabot sailed out of the Bristol Channel, Bristol, England under Henry VII. On June 24, 1497, they arrived in “New Founde Landes.” Today we call that Newfoundland, Canada.
Christopher Columbus, on the other hand never reached North America. Oh, the things you learn while climbing around on a ship as you travel. Especially on the replica of such a historic ship. It’s hard to imagine this tiny ship making such a voyage.
When he returned with a USB adapter I jumped from my seat. He told me there’s an outlet right beside my table. I was able to get to over 60% by the time I was done eating. I said I’ll bring it back in a moment and he said to keep it!
I will carry this charger with me daily. Around the house. When I go out. I will truly remember this kind man every day that I’m in his country. And long afterward.
You might travel well without phone service, but having it can greatly expand your experiences.
Are you traveling from the United States or another non-EU country and into the UK? Are planning to stay in the UK or perhaps in the UK plus EU for a few days? If so — yes, even for just a few days — it can easily pay to get yourself a local SIM card and local mobile service. It certainly does if you travel long-term.
But what service and what plan? A contract (aka post-pay) is out. Should you get pre-pay or pay-as-you-go? What happens if you run out of calling minutes, texts, or data?
This is the narration of my own experience getting cellular service (aka mobile service) as I travel in the UK.
Meals at pubs are a part of experiencing England. When you find you’re hungry and there’s a pub around, you’re usually in for a treat, even if you don’t adore the food. My first pub food this trip was in Thornbury, a suburb of Bristol in the south of England, a small town you’re likely not to get to but I’m sharing it with you anyway because it’s worth seeing the menu.
On my first solo visit to the town of Thornbury, I happened upon The Swan for my first pub meal. In this post, I share the pub and its menu as well as my own first meal. (Sorry you can’t taste it online.)
I asked my long-time San Diego area friend if he had a recommendation for a good meal at a good price. A burger would be good, I suggested. Immediately he knew what to recommend:
Angelo’s Burgers in Encinitas
A very good burger for a very good, price — unlike many other eateries along California oceanfront towns, he added.
This is a quintessential Southern California Burger Joint — but with so much more.
It’s a beach town experience without today’s high beach area prices.
And the food’s really good.
I had four problems to solve today.
This is the first installment of Vicki B & her 10-year-old son Ben on the road.
While researching it I learned that we could take a four-hour scenic train ride to London. Llooking at the map, I saw that it was just a short ferry ride across the English channel and there’s France! And look – it’s just a short skip over to Italy! Our one-week itinerary slowly morphed into ten weeks.
Can an independent traveler find happiness on an organized tour?
After well over 6 solid years of days traveling on my own, traveling solo, going where I wanted when I wanted, seeing whatever I wanted on my own schedule — I signed up, paid for, committed to, an official 9-day tour.
I have to admit, I have been a bit of a tour snob. I’d watch groups of look-alike people follow a red umbrella or an orange flag, sticking together in a mini-mob, looking at what the guide said to, taking photos even when they seemed not to know why, standing in front of some monument for a photo just to show they’ve been there. That wasn’t my idea of fun or of cultural enlightenment.
Yes, I was going on a group tour. I was committing to travel with a group of people I didn’t know. I was facing the potential to be stuck with people I didn’t know, like, or have anything in common with.
I knew this tour organizer so I knew it would be a worthwhile experience full of great places, people, and experiences…
One of three popular destinations from Bratislava is Prague. It’s a relatively short train or bus ride. As I had not been to Prague or any of what was Czechoslovakia during my first travels, I decided that a couple of days in Prague, Czech Republic (as it is now called) would be a new experience and more worthwhile. So today, having relaxed and enjoyed much of Bratislava at my leisure, and knowing I needed to be back there for my friend Annaline to arrive and travel with me to Israel, it was the perfect time to take my side-trip.
I don’t always know where I’ll stay upon arrival to a new place but in this case, I had already selected and reserved my accommodations for the night. All that was left was to enjoy getting to Prague and making it my next home.
A long day…
Today is the day my friend and I leave fabled Cinque Terre for storybook Venice. From one romantic area of Italy to another. I am still traveling with my friend A, ever since hitting mainland Italy after Sicily. Today we’re traveling on FlixBus. But before we can get to our bus, we need to leave Riomaggiore (our Cinque Terre home base) and get to La Spezia as that’s where FlixBus travels from.
Want to follow along with me for the full day’s adventure? Check-out, walk carrying luggage, short train ride, bus from one coast of Italy to another, walk through some of Venice carrying luggage, check-in, and then… explore a new city!
Starting and ending each of my days at the On the Way hostel in Palermo, I give Palermo a 5 out of 5 for friendliness. Fantastically located on Via Roma, owned by a true traveler and staffed by helpful, enjoyable volunteers such as the great Matt from Wales. This is my recommendation for a hostel to stay at while in Palermo, Sicily.
My first morning in Sicily wasn’t where I had planned it. I’d planned to arrive into Palermo, but due to circumstances had to end my into-Sicily travels in Catania instead. This morning I would continue onto Palermo with just enough time to start my first-ever organized tour — Sicily’s Beating Heart Tour with La RosaWorks.
I woke up at 10 — only because I’d set my alarm for the last possible minute that I could shower quickly and still make check-out. Still groggy and with my coordination not intact, I started my day.