Monday, April 29, 2013

Traveling within the UK

For Ryan's birthday weekend, we decided to get out of London and explore some of the greater surrounding areas. We quickly learned that booking a weekend getaway here doesn't work in quite the same way as it does at home. For example, it seems that the closer you are to your departure date the more expensive the travel options become. I suppose that is true in the states to some extent, but you can usually find some good deals on the numerous travel websites. Here...well...not so much. With Edinburgh and Paris both being out, we decided to take a train down to the quiet, seaside town of Broadstairs and stay in a bed and breakfast for a few nights.

The train ride down was actually quite pleasant. We took the tube up to St. Pancras station, then took the southeastern line to Broadstairs. The ride itself only took about an hour and twenty minutes, and Ryan clocked us at going 140 miles per hour at one point! Why high speed rail hasn't caught on in the US, I will never know. We arrived just after 8 pm, and were able to walk down to our accommodations at the East Horndon.

The next morning we walked around the town. It had many shops that supported different charities. Sort of like Salvation Army, I suppose, where you can buy used goods and the money goes to support the cause. The town's claim to fame is that Charles Dickens, writer of David Copperfield and Great Expectations, lived there throughout his mid-twenties through his thirties. It was neat seeing all the signs posting his whereabouts. We also took the opportunity to visit the Charles Dickens museum.

Since we stayed at a B&B, I should also make mention of the 'traditional English breakfast'. We have had a few options whilst here, but all of them have included a fried egg, sausage, bacon (which is more ham-like than bacon-like) mushrooms, and tomatoes. The variants have been the inclusion of baked beans and fried bread. And before you get excited about fried bread, I will just say don't be, unless you reeeaally like the taste of grease.