Tuesday, July 13, 2010

To Manchester / Dublin

So, some adventures so far, if i can figure this keyboard out.

James, my room mate dropped me at the airport on Saturday with plenty of time to spare before my 725pm flight. I got through security with no problems and got to the gate to ask how it looked for me getting on. The gate agent informed me I was 6th on the list for Standby and there were two seats on the plane. Waited around nervously until the flight boarded and apparently some people didn't show up because I got on.

The flight was uneventful, I was in coach, and they had no movies. I tried to sleep most of the time, probably got an hour. Midway through the flight there was some commotion among the flight attendants and they called over the intercom asking for a Doctor, Nurse or EMT... apparently some guy had passed out. We landed extremely early in Manchester, and had to bring on the EMT to get the guy off. Also they didn't have a gate ready so they brought a ramp and we deboarded onto a bus that took us to the terminal.

I got through customs no problem, jumped on a train to Manchester Picadilly and then proceeded to walk around town for a while, hoping to find a church to go to since it was Sunday morning. I almost immediately ran into some guys doing street evangelism and talking to people about Jesus. I asked them if they knew of any good churches, and they suggested a couple, but we ended up hanging out for a while and I went to a Methodist church with them. It wasn't brilliant but I felt somewhat encouraged. Tony and Rob were the two guys and were clearly pretty evangelical and perhaps slightly pentacostal, but were nice and we had some good discussions.

After church I went back up to the train station to meet Billy who I hadn't been in contact with but who I had arranged to meet at the train station after he arrived. I was afraid I had not emphasized enough that we were to meet at Manchester Picadilly, but I couldn't get in touch with him because my American phone is CDMA and doesnt work in England, and my English phone had no charge. However, after a couple of hours of waiting, we bumped into each other.

Then we proceeded to find a hostel to stay at, ended up going to the Hilton Chambers. Then we figured out our phone situation by putting some more money on my Virgin Sim which I was surprised still worked, and then Jason Perrin, the coach of the Wales team and one of the organizers of Gin and Juice, the team we're playing for picked us up and we went to a barbeque with the wales team at the club they practice at. The food and company were good. I like the way the English set up club sports, having a club house and lots of different sports there, along with all the developmental teams.

After that one of the guys who is playing for Gin and Juice took us home and we found a pub to watch the game at. We were both insanely tired so we stayed for a half and then headed back to the hostel where we watched the second half. I fell asleep a couple of times but watched overtime and Spain win it all. Then I went to bed and was woken up a number of times by having to urinate badly and also the guy next to us snoring loudly. Also it was loud outside.

The next morning we got up at 5 or so to try to catch our plane. We got all our luggage and walked to the train station expecting to be able to use the left luggage lockers to store our luggage, but were dismayed to find it not open! So we decided to walk back and see if the hostel would let us store the luggage for a few days, which the guy there was kind enough to allow. At this time though we were running low on time, so headed back to the station and found the quickest train to the airport... which left at 645. Our board time was 725, and the plane was supposed to leave at 755... once getting there we ran to the terminal, and had major faff getting through security since first Bill had to get his international passport checked, then he had to put his liquids in a bag. Also, his ipad and bag both had to be put through the scanner twice. We didn't get through security until at least 740, at which point we pretty much sprinted to the gate. Thankfully the plane was massively delayed and so no one had boarded at all, which was a massive relief. I realised though that running there I had dropped my boarding pass and so would be forced to board last? So I walked back through the terminal and managed to find it, sitting on the ground. Anyway we got on the plane and made it to Dublin.

Upon arriving we took a 6 euro bus into town, found our hostel, showered, etc, and made our way out and about. The theme was that we were unable to do more than one thing at a time away from the hostel because we kept losing/forgetting the map and having to go back. More later.

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