A Travellerspoint blog

The clapped out plane trip.

Or rather, I've never been on a plane trip where the pilot receives applause upon a safe touch down.

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Yes, I was on one of those flights where I wondered why I took a photo of the plane before takeoff. Would my iPhone be recovered and studied from the burning wreckage of a busted up Boeing?
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Turns out: no, and it was all fine, but I had the strange experience of an applauding plane upon touchdown.
And here I am in Ireland. And it is grand. But back to my tale of arrival.
For anyone that has been on a Ryanair flight, you'll understand the cramped conditions and the grumpiness of passengers as they hurtle through the air, overhead lockers stuffed with overnight bags pushed to the limits with a week's worth of clothing pretending to be under 10kilos crammed with under 10 x 100ml bottles of non-contraband fluids. Also, the budget airline doesn't have the safety card in the seat pocket, as there is no such luxury, nor a tray table to secure firmly in the upright position for take off and landing. But the safety instructional diagrammtic lesson *is* attached to the seat in front of you so you can study/obsess over it for the entire duration of the trip. So it was this that I first clamped eyes upon as I woke up from my slumber of cope. I use this terminology as the way to deal with no leg room, touching thighs and elbows with complete strangers and breathing insufferable air is to catch a few zzzzzz's. Rest your weary head in your hoodie and sit back and (try) to relax. You'll be there in an hour. (Everywhere takes an hour in Europe and the UK, it's quite uncanny! Perhaps time difference plays a part in some instances, but mostly it's an hour or so.)
So, as I woke up upon descent and could see the ground of Ireland below me, I thought it was odd to feel us throttle up and the nose of the plane to once again point toward the sky. Had the pilot been listening to the radio and wanted to hear the end of the song, or had he seen a parking spot closer to the gate and decided to go around again?!
Either way, up we went again, and headed out over the water. Was this a good idea? Of course, this was accompanied by over movement of the plane, dipping and bumping, pitching and heaving it's way through the sky with enough force to make me feel that I was lucky enough not to lose my lunch - it was still in my bag, placed securely under the seat in front of me. Phew. I'm gonna need a snack on the Lost island. Passengers around me were beginning to laugh nervously and open up to complete strangers to take their minds off us soaring out over the water, buffetted by strong winds. I kept my eyes on the steward seated facing us. He looked calm, so I was calm. Then the pilot crackled over the intercom. He alerted us to the fact that it was windy so we were going to make an approach from another angle. I guess he just wanted to be sure to be sure. (Sorry.)
So as we continued flying, dipping, weaving through wind as I looked down to the cool waves of the bay below me, I was eyes forward facing the safety instructions. The brace positon has changed, I wonder why? What does it mean no earrings? Do they want us to remove them? Surely that requires non shakey, not on fire hands? What if someone else inflates their bouyancy jacket before exit, do I have permission to puncture their lifejacket in order to save my own life?!
The older woman in my eyesight that was staving off ahem early onset dementia by suffering through crosswords and puzzles crossed herself after slient mumblings. If the great lord above spares her, surely he/ she/it would have to save me, too. Right?! Did this silent crossing cover me, too. Am I the recipient of a bounce about blessing? Either way, still we circled, still we careened.
It wasn't too scary, but unpleasant enough to cause me laugh about it and share this experience with you. Don't the worst experiences make the best stories?!
Sufficie to say, I made it, and so did everyone else. We bumped down, engines roaring and as we slowed and didn't burst into magnificent flames, the cabin mexican waved a series of applause through from front to back. Happy passengers, it's nice to hear/see.
I resisted the urge to kiss the tarmac, strangers went back to being just that - save for the 15 minutes that they were spilling their life stories, overflowing with fear and love and faith or lack thereof, and we all lined up to collect our bags. Another sucessful Ryanair trip. (Why *did* I take a photo of the plane?!)

So, here I am in Ireland, about an hour out of Dublin in Navan. Safe and sound. Drinking a Guinness 2_1289581864163_photo 2.jpg(for health reasons and comparison research, mind), staying with the first friends I made travelling in Thailand, and their new pet rabbit, 3_1289581869272_photo 3.jpg
Bugsy.
A nice way to bookend my trip.
Ain't life grand?!

Pen. x

Posted by PennyJelly 09:11 Archived in Scotland Tagged me flying ireland Comments (0)

Food (for) thought(s).

Or rather, some 24 carrot food tails that need to be perched on this hog, I mean, blog. My name is Jelly, and I am funky.

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Hello!

I bought a pack of carrots from M&S (that's Marks and Spencer for the uninitiated) which you can steam in the bag in the microwave (right in the bag!!! Modern UK science is amazing!!! No more boiling vegetables beyond recognition or health benefits) - and the bag helpfully states: *warning - contents may be particularly hot* - Even the carrots sound English!'
Sorry, how hot?! 
Ah, right. *Particularly* hot. Good-o. 
Who knew that adjectives were a measurement of heat? Not aye!

I have also steeled myself to the ultimate challenge of trying some haggis. I've seen it, discussed it, mocked it, feared it, photographed it - all that remained was to try it. 
And that I did. 
Thoughts: anything which is this unmentionably odd to eat which has to be disguised with oats and spice and gravy, well, it was ...alright... 
But it's not my food of choice. 
Someone hand me a deep fried Mars Bar, stat!!

(yet to come, keep the emergency lines open) 

Posted by PennyJelly 13:50 Archived in Scotland Tagged food Comments (1)

Glencoe a bit out of Fort William... Just 'cos.

Or, a bit I wrote, waiting for the bus to and from Glencoe. Typing keeps the circulation going in my fingers...it may not be scintillating reading... But please be kind.

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My adventure to Glencoe:
And so the bus arrived, the number 44, and lo it was a mighty bus, yellow in colour and large in size. It was the bus company I had become familiar with: Citylink. This is the bus pass I have been using for my long distance travels, but I wondered whether this would be financially viable to use up a day's worth on such a short trip to Glencoe. So, naturally I asked. I presented my pass and asked the question. I was met with an answer: "this is a stagecoach service (the local bus network) so I can't accept that pass, that's a citylink pass, we're a stagecoach bus". She went on as I was silenced by my confusion. "I know it says citylink on the bus (in storey high letters) but we're a stagecoach service." 
I followed up with "You can see how I was confused. Is there a discount that applies? I've gotten one before."
"No, that's for citylink only, and this is a stagecoach bus, even though it's a citylink bus."
You know what, by that stage I just wanted to pay the £4.50 and get going. No bother. No drama.
And so it was done and off I was on my merry way to an afternoon out in Glencoe. I've heard it's lovely. Except, it's been threatening and often following through with rain all day. But I arrived, warm clothing wet weather gear, the lot. Little did I know that the information point for Glencoe was a mile and a half down the road at the 'town' we had just passed through, and this town was one long street... with very little sign of life. No matter, if worst comes to worse I can stay in the cafe for almost 3 hours. Nope. That's closed. So I continue to walk up the street, the one street of Glencoe towards a sign saying Glencoe Outdoor Centre, so I veer off to the left, find a path, another sign and then the centre. And then the door to the centre. It was a wild ride I don't mind telling you. Then again, nope. The outdoor centre is actually a training area and educational program run by Christians for kids and adult office workers or some such. Not really an outdoor centre at all. At no time did anyone throw me a rope or offer me a couple of sticks to light a fire. So I left, and kept walking to the hills. Pretty, autumn, misty, green hills. Passing by the Glencoe massacre monument, continuing near the flowing stream, to the foot of the hills. I decided to walk the road to the beginning of the walking paths. There were two. One for a mile, the other for a mile and a half. One with a bootmark to indicate difficulty, the other with a wheelchair. I took the easy road ONLY because in was short on time. If I missed the 3:57 bus back I'd have to wait for the 6:27, and with no cafe, heck!, no pub in 'town' and it getting dark at 4:39, I didn't want to risk it. So stomp along I did. It was an easy walk, along a made path, around a lake. Having a nice time!! Then it started to rain. I looked at my watch, looked at the rain, looked at how my positive vibe was fading and double backed. I've seen enough for one day. Really, it is beautiful. But there comes a time when you have to face facts, change tack and leave nature well enough alone. 
Luckily I made it with plenty of time to
spare. Back at the bus stop. There's more citylink/stagecoach fun (different but not worth the character space) and I'm now on my way back to thriving Fort William. I wonder if I'll get to see the Fort or if the mist shall have enveloped it. So many questions...   Maybe the pub can help me with the answers...

PMcJ x

Posted by PennyJelly 12:44 Archived in Scotland Tagged bus nonsense Comments (0)

Bawny Scortlarnd WITH PHOTOS

I know, I know, it's once again been a long time between drinks (but not for me) for sips from the Jelly Journey. I have been living it up in Scotland. Before that - living it up in Scotland - catching up with new friends from travel and old friends from... Life travel.
But for now, let me bring you up to speed on my recent adventures... Over 9 days ago I caught the Megabus bus to Inverness in Scotland. I need to point out that the bus was leaving London at 11:45 at night, so I was facing a twelve and a half hour journey throughout the night. It was a Sunday night and was cheaper than flying at short notice. I also thought it was going to be quite sparse on the bus, I imagined me and maybe three other scattered lost souls throughout the coach, powering through the night.
Instead, I got a surprise. Surely this is no surprise...

Firstly, I turned up in the nick of time at Victoria station and trundled my tailor made Scottish kit in my trusty One Planet TM backpack throughout the cool streets of mostly midnight London. I found the coach station, no problem. However, I could not find a destination of Inverness on the departure board. Every other city was listed, but no Inverness - luckily I had studied a map of Scotland, so knew the basic layout and headed of to a coach stance (Scottish for stand - they really are proud people, they take a stance on everyhing it seems!) that listed a city in the North, close enough to Inverness... and joined the biggest most disorganised queue you've ever seen. Luckily, a bus arrived and had the cities of arrival scrolling through the LED system. Inverness was listed (phew) but I was required to make a change in Perth. How long is this bus trip?! Anyhoo, I said see you later to my bag (not goodbye, never goodbye) going underneath the bus and hopped aboard the non numbered seating MEGAbus. This is certainly all very different to the European buses. I couldn't help but notice the bus was late (and subsequently all buses since have been late, this would never happen in Spain, you could set your watch to hose things), clearly running on Jelly time.
I found a window seat, more to rest my neck pillow on rather than viewing the passing and dark landscape of the night... And the largest girthed man took a seat next to me. Great. Twelve and a bit hours of fighting over the armrest- nay, trying to find the armrest. But then luckily, he swapped with another guy to sit with his wife. Lucky?! Or not?
Turns out, not.
I found myself sitting next to the drunk, stinky man that didn't realise or want to notice that I was wearing headphones. Sure, they weren't in use at the time, but he didn't need to know that. I slipped myself a generic half a roofie and slunk into my shoulders to try and get some sleep. The past few days had been spent gathering warm clothes (I am now sponsored by Superdry - it is a dream come true)

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Posted by PennyJelly 12:36 Comments (1)

Bawnee Skortlarnd

Or how my accent never accents the best of any phrasing... Let's catch up with Penny in Scotland

rain 7 °C
View I have been to here on on PennyJelly's travel map.

I know, I know, it's once again been a long time between drinks (but not for me) for sips from the Jelly Journey. I have been living it up in Scotland. Before that - living it up in London - catching up with new friends from travel and old friends from... Life travel.
But for now, let me bring you up to speed on my recent adventures...
Over 9 days ago I caught the Megabus bus to Inverness in Scotland. I need to point out that the bus was leaving London at 11:45 at night, so I was facing a twelve and a half hour journey throughout the night. It was a Sunday night and was cheaper than flying at short notice. I also thought it was going to be quite sparse on the bus, I imagined me and maybe three other scattered lost souls throughout the coach, powering through the night.
Instead, I got a surprise. Surely this is no surprise...

Firstly, I turned up in the nick of time at Victoria station and trundled my tailor made Scottish kit in my trusty One Planet TM backpack throughout the cool streets of mostly midnight London. I found the coach station, no problem. However, I could not find a destination of Inverness on the departure board. Every other city was listed, but no Inverness - luckily I had studied a map of Scotland, so knew the basic layout and headed of to a coach stance (Scottish for stand - they really are proud people, they take a stance on everyhing it seems!) that listed a city in the North, close enough to Inverness... and joined the biggest most disorganised queue you've ever seen. Luckily, a bus arrived and had the cities of arrival scrolling through the LED system. Inverness was listed (phew) but I was required to make a change in Perth. How long is this bus trip?! Anyhoo, I said see you later to my bag (not goodbye, never goodbye) going underneath the bus and hopped aboard the non numbered seating MEGAbus. This is certainly all very different to the European buses. I couldn't help but notice the bus was late (and subsequently all buses since have been late, this would never happen in Spain, you could set your watch to hose things), clearly running on Jelly time.
I found a window seat, more to rest my neck pillow on rather than viewing the passing and dark landscape of the night... And the largest girthed man took a seat next to me. Great. Twelve and a bit hours of fighting over the armrest- nay, trying to find the armrest. But then luckily, he swapped with another guy to sit with his wife. Lucky?! Or not?
Turns out, not.
I found myself sitting next to the drunk, stinky man that didn't realise or want to notice that I was wearing headphones. Sure, they weren't in use at the time, but he didn't need to know that. I slipped myself a generic half a  roofie and slunk into my shoulders to try and get some sleep. The past few days had been spent gathering warm clothes (I am now sponsored by Superdry - it is a dream come true)

and catching up with the folk of London, so luckily, I was quite tired. And it was midnight!!
At different stops along the way, Mr Stinky breath would produce a bag; brown and battered - and procure what I could only assume was cold McDonalds... And then I'd drift back into sleep once more... Over and over. Then, the next time I woke up, he was gone! And replaced with the sun and frost. But Mr Grunts-as-sleeps was gone - hooray! Him and his wandering legs. Just because I'm huddled into the corner doesn't mean you can cross the line of the seats and use that knee space as your own. That's my knee space, buddy!!!
Then I woke up just in the nick of time and changed buses at 8 in the morning.
New bus. New outlook. New journey. I was sitting in front of a kid being, well, a kid. This is the thought that ran through my tired brain:
"I'll give you a pound if you stop kicking the back of my seat, and I'll give you two if you keep doing it. Your choice."
Needless to say I didn't say that. I just tried to recoup he sleep that was lost in the first 8 hours.
Zzzzzzzzz scenery zzzzz wow! zzZZZZzzz ouch zzzzzzzzz crick zzzzzzZzzzzzZzzZzz dribble.

Then I arrived in Inverness - funny, true story, I used to live off Inverness Road in Kalorama when I was growing up. Not that funny, sure, not even interesting, but true, dammit!
And thus started my Scotland trip.
Inverness is lovely. Small but lovely. They have nice cafes, pubs, walks and information centre people, great hostels to stay with a cat and nice owners, a frozen food supermarket that also sold tinned haggis

and a great cinema/live theatre venue. What more could a gal want?! A close up of Nessie affording me the opportunity to make millions and pay off this trip aside: nothing!!

So I made plans for the rest of my trip... Stay tuned!!

Best Served Chilled Jelly x

Sent from my iPhone - so I hope this works okay...
It is actually supposed to include photos for example, but apparently no go.

Posted by PennyJelly 12:35 Archived in Scotland Comments (0)

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