Ali's Adventures

May 10, 2011

Adventures in Europe – Part 3

Filed under: Adventure,Vacation — by Alison @ 2:45 pm

We had to leave the farm house on Saturday, but there weren’t any flights to England until Sunday and we didn’t really want to separate before Easter. My parents were planning on staying a few more days in the region and then visiting Barcelona before returning to Canada. We were going to visit my sister’s place in Plymouth.

Our last night in France was spent in the seaside resort town of St-Cyprien, about 5 minutes from the farm house. The hotel was right on the beach. There were also two pools, one of which was supposed to be heated. However, we were the only family at the pool. My sister and her fiancé even went into the sea.

Not swimming weather.

The rest of us stood on the beach, in pants and jackets, to watch. My daughter got a little too close to the waves and was knocked over by one as she ran up the beach (hiccup). It didn’t seem to faze her, but I didn’t enjoy paying $10 to dry her sweater.

That evening we had hoped to have a nice meal to finish the trip, but there was nothing open before 7 that would seat all of us (hiccup). The kids were getting fussy, and I was getting annoyed. Luckily, we found one restaurant close to where we had been staying that we knew would be open.

The four of us ate, and the others waited to find a restaurant closer to the beach. It also continues my streak of eating at a McDonald’s in every country I’ve visited. Not that I started out with this as a travel goal.

Our flight back to England was on RyanAir, and it was about as enjoyable as a RyanAir flight ever is. When we arrived in Stansted there was some confusion over our cab (hiccup). My sister and her fiance decided to take public transit into Paddington station and we took the slowest cab ride ever. At one point, we passed another major train station and I was concerned that he was taking us to the wrong place. We made it to Paddington on time for our train to Plymouth. We didn’t have a direct train, and the first train was a lot nicer than the second one. While we were unloading from the train, people stopped and offered to help. It was a bit shocking after being in France. I’m not saying the people in France were rude, they just didn’t go out of their way to be helpful.

Our few days in Plymouth were some of the nicest of the whole trip. The weather was great and there was enough to do to keep us busy. As the Monday was a holiday, we got to enjoy it with our hosts. Their flat is close to the sea front, you can actually see the sea out of the bedroom window (when you’re standing). We went for a walk along the Promenade overlooking the sea, but didn’t make it very far because the West Hoe Funpark was in full swing. There were train rides, bouncy castles and very affordable soft drinks.

After the fun park and lunch, we continued our walk up to the Hoe. The view from the Hoe was breathtaking. A lot of Plymouth was destroyed during World War II, as it’s a major naval port, and the homes along the Hoe had been reconstructed. The downtown was designed in classic 1950’s cement design and isn’t as picturesque. On our walk back, we passed more fun.

Who doesn't want to run in a giant bubble??

You can see my sister’s flat from the bubbles, and she’d never visited the park before. Can you believe it?We headed back to the flat for a dinner of fish and chips, and deep fried creme eggs for dessert.

The next day, we set out to explore Plymouth on our own. As we were walking along, there was a naval warship sailing around the harbour with the sailors on deck. People were stopping to watch, and it turns out the HMS Cornwall was being decommissioned and this was its farewell sail. Neat to see.

We also hit the highlights of Cornish cuisine, the pasty. It was one of the most delicious things I have eaten. The tea shops were closed so we didn’t have a Devon cream tea (hiccup). Instead we went to Chococcino and had brownies.

So delicious!

For my daughter, the best part of the day was visiting Toys R Us. There was a huge selection of clothes for her Baby Born doll, and she enjoyed buying an outfit. I may have to provide my sister with a list for her to bring back.

The last night in Plymouth wasn’t the best, as my daughter became sick. Thankfully, no one else was sick and she was feeling better before our train ride to London.

The train ride was very scenic, as the rail line runs right by the sea. At one point, there seems to be nothing between the sea and the train. When we arrived in Paddington station, we found the Paddington statue. My cousin had arranged to pick us up, so we could have supper with his family. We weren’t sure how we were going to manage to see them, and I was really glad we worked something out. My daughter is a huge fan of my cousin’s teenage daughter, and started out a bit shy (we hadn’t seen them in 3 years) but was soon chatting away about Plymouth and her baby doll. My son was charming, and once he discovered their cat, he kept searching for it. Seeing them was the perfect way to end our trip.

The flight home the next morning was uneventful. There was some confusion about the seats we’d booked and the need for extra oxygen masks, but it got sorted once we were on the plane. The plane wasn’t full, so we ended up with 5 seats for the price of 3. I hardly saw my daughter the whole flight (Garfield again) and my son enjoyed walking around the aisles.

It was a great trip, and I miss my sister already. Can’t wait until she moves back in August.

1 Comment »

  1. So glad you had such a great trip. And I’ve been to a mcdonald’s in every country I’ve been to too I think, or at least almost. 🙂

    Comment by Lara — May 26, 2011 @ 2:37 pm |Reply

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