Suitcase wheels were rolling at 5:30am. Off to find the Aircoach stop back to the airport for our flight from Dublin to London. Predictably, at 5:30am on a Sunday morning, the streets were pretty quiet, and I wish I were back in bed or actually having breakfast.
Despite the headlines in Irish newspapers, the Irish economy has largely rebounded from the Great Recession and projected to grow much faster than the US. Like other European countries and the US, Ireland too had a property market collapse. They’re still dealing with some of this aspect, as there was a story about a €900 million package of bad property loans about to be sold, about a third of which were residential.
The coach to the airport took about as long as the walk to the departure point, 20 minutes. Security clearance was pretty quick, though there were quite a number of people. I was really happy we’d gotten our boarding passes electronically, as standing in that line to get passes looked to be quite long, whether it was for an American flight or Aer Lingus.
The flight was routine, much like any domestic flight in the US. We had thought we’d take the bus into town from Gatwick airport, but it’s MUCH slower than the train and doesn’t run as often. Though, the bus costs £8 a person and the train £20, one way. Rather than wait an hour to take a bus that would then take two hours (the flight was only 1 1/2 hours), we took the train. £40 means $60.
This is a long (Memorial day)weekend for Londoners, so Victoria (rail) Station is really crowded. We have our Oysters, but have to queue to recharge them (one has a negative balance 😂). The entrance to our Victoria Tube line is diverted elsewhere in the station , but combined with another line, so it was quite a mess. Fortunately, we’re only going one stop on the Tube before our exit.
Short walk to the hotel. It’s now 1pm, so we left the hotel this morning at 5:30am to catch the bus to the Dublin airport. Bus, plane, train, Tube and now 7 1/2 hours later, we’re in London. No Chunnel underneath the Irish Sea. Sometimes, traveling is work!
While having a bite to eat at Pret a Manger, I notice one of the ‘Duck Tour ‘ style vehicles we saw in Dublin (Vikings).
Across the street is Green Park and adjoining the park on the other side is Buckingham Palace. There’s some sort of health/fitness event going on in the park, so in addition to the normal crowd that would be in the park on a pleasant Sunday afternoon, there are all the participants and on-lookers. Buckingham Palace is equally crowded around the entrance gates as well as the Queen Victoria monument. The British flag was flying over Buckingham Palace, so the Queen was in residence.
More photos on Flickr.