Saturday, 1 May 2010

On getting to London, just

The wheels on the bike box worked relatively well, but otherwise the trip to London has proven a bit problematic. I got to Trudeau airport relatively easily, but it involved listening to an-off duty bus driver yack on to the on-duty bus driver about how the schedules for the 747 bus had an interesting, that is to say non-existent, relationship with reality.

Getting through security was excessively long for some inadequately explained reason. Even then, I managed to short-circuit it by going through the domestic security gate rather than the international gate. I made my flight with little time to spare. Unfortunately, there was a fault with one of the radios which meant that what with figuring out the problem, tracking down the relevant spare part, installing it and dealing with knock on effects, the plane arrived at Heathrow nearly three hours late.

Then again, I did get to see an Airbus 380. That is one very large, but unattractive plane. Consequently, I doubt the 380 will have the cultural impact of the elegant 747.

Then my debit card refused to work for some yet to be determined reason. I managed to get some cash with my Visa, but I have not have had energy to seriously investigate the matter.

I went to Stanford's to get some better maps for the trip. Unfortunately, Sustrans (the British equivalent to Velo-Quebec) could learn a hell of a lot from the latter with regards to biking publications. It has a fair number of detailed maps, etc. but unfortunately, they are very local in nature. If I were to use them, I would end up carrying too much paper for too little value. I ended up getting a Great Britain A-Z road atlas that I will shortly be taking a jackknife to.

Then it began to pour with rain. Me without my waterproof breathable rain jacket. I made it to the Irish pub next to the Youth Hostel where it turned out they were out of sticky toffee pudding. Bloody Fenians! ;-)

Am very sleepy.


Mark and Alice said...

Dear Daniel, sounds great! Have a wonderfull time. I follow you quite closely, so blog as much as you want/can.
Worst case scenario is you do everything on Visa and transfer from your current account as you go (assuming you have online banking.)
love, Alice

Victor Chisholm said...

In case you don't know these travel tricks:

1. Canadian ATM cards often accept 6-digit PINs but many European systems only take 4-digit pins. If your PIN > 4 digits, you may be SOL.

2. It's wise to call your credit card (and ATM?) people before you leave to advise of your travel plans. Sometimes they block transactions that look unusual for your profile, to protect you and them from fraud, not knowing that it really is you unless you've alerted them.

Bon voyage,