Monthly Archives: October 2012

How I survived Ryanair

I honestly don’t know why there is so much hatred towards Ryanair.

You can’t beat the unbelievably cheap airplane tickets. My flight from Edinburgh, Scotland to Munich, Germany costs me £100 round trip. And if I had booked the week before, it probably would have been £60 round trip. That’s crazy cheap!

I had been set up to believe that they have insanely strict guidelines and regulations, but in all honesty, they don’t. Yes I couldn’t bring my blowtorch on board, or bring any weapons aboard, but what airline does?

I was told they herd you into a plane like cattle and treat you horribly, but the flight attendants and rest of the crew were really nice. We also arrived 10 mins earlier then expected which was a bonus.

They state that 90% of their flights arrive on time, which (according to them) make them the #1 airline that has the best on-time record.

I had a two-hour plane ride and slept the whole way with music playing, so I’m unsure how the plane ride actually was. They have advertisements all over the plane and advertise any and every product possible almost every 5 mins (or like it seemed). They will try to get you to buy their £5 water as well as expensive cigarettes (even though you can’t smoke on a plane); so just plug in your music and block them out.

All in all, I survived my first Ryanair experience and I didn’t have any problems. Being a student, anything that can save me money, including airplane tickets that you can often get for even £16, will have no issues with me.

The only tips I can give when flying with Ryanair for the first time is pack light (like just bring a backpack or rucksack), because checking bags can be costly. Make sure you check-in online 7 days to 4 hours before departure and print off your ticket on your computer. Get in line at the gate as soon as you can because most seats are not reserved and you can choose where you want to sit on the plane. There is no terminal that you go down that is connected to a plane (which I’m use too); instead you will make your way outside and board the plane like your a prime minister or some royal individual. Don’t buy anything on the plane; get your drinks, food or reading material at the shops in the airport.

If you don’t want to be treated somewhat like cattle (which I personally don’t think you do) then I would advise you to go with another airline (maybe Easyjet? It’s also decent pricing), but if you want to go somewhere in Europe for a weekend or week and able to pack everything you may need in a backpack, then save a few hundred pounds and go with Ryanair!

If you can even book ahead early, you may even get cheap tickets beyond your wildest imagination.

~Ryan

Categories: Blog, Flights, Germany, Munich, Oktoberfest, Ryanair, Travel Tips, United Kingdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Next Stop: Edinburgh, Scotland!

Thanks to the hundreds (and possibly thousands) of sheep that kept me busy counting on my 5 hours bus ride to Edinburgh, I finally made it!

Savannah, my Queens friend who is studying her year abroad in Edinburgh, met me at the bus station at 6:30pm and we began our journey through Edinburgh to her lovely flat. My phone died as soon as I arrived to Edinburgh, and was only able to take one picture outside the bus station, and to be completely honestly, I had no idea what it said at first.

Wanna buy a consonant, anyone? Apparently you can’t choose the letter S, T, or B.

We ended my first night in Edinburgh with a lovely, and extremely delicious home-cooked stir fry (Savannah is a masterchef), and got caught up with each others lives over a nice, cold pint.


DAY 2

Savannah had a few classes during the day and I slept in; once she got home we headed out to check out what Edinburgh was all about!

Beautiful weather and magnificent architecture! The city was filled with so many buildings and views that were breathtaking. As we walked around the city, it did the expected; it rained… but only for a good 5 mins and then it was nothing but sun for the rest of the day!

We came to Greyfriars Bobby, which is a very tourist-ie sight. Basically, the historical story goes as follows: Back in the day, the original owner passed away and his dog wouldn’t leave his side or grave for the longest time; truly man’s best friend. They keep the restaurant open in memory of him and have a statue of the dog nearby! If you touch the statue of the dog, it’s suppose to bring you good luck! 🙂

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Afterwards, we passed by the “Famous” Elephant House where J.K. Rowling use to go and write; it was named “The Birthplace” of Harry Potter”. However, according to the locals, this is a false accusation. Apparently, J.K. Rowling did spend time in the Elephant House writing Harry Potter, but it wasn’t here; it was on the first floor of a place call spoons. (See picture below when I finally came around to visiting the actual birthplace, according to the locals). Scandalous.

I’m not totally sure which side of the story is true, buteither or, J.K. Rowling first began writing Harry Potter in the city where I was; and that’s super cool.

As we continued our journey through Edinburgh, Savannah took me through some really amazing places and gave me the non-tourist-ie look of the city; she showed me some really beautiful sights, as well as some of the places where she has classes and studies.

We got to “the royal mile” and made our way to the Edinburgh Castle. It was amazing! Definitely a sight to see in person.

We didn’t go in due to the fact that they charge £16 to get into the castle (what is with everything costing £16 to get in!?). We took the free train and just enjoyed the beautiful sights overlooking the city.

Typical Me; Updating my Twitter, Instagram and Facebook

Savannah and I then went shopping for a little bit because I needed more socks, especially some for our trip to Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany that upcoming weekend. After we walked around the city some more, Savannah took me to Calton Hill, which is 10% of the effort up Arthur’s Belt, and possibly the place with the most breath-taking sights I have ever seen; completely worth the effort!
I’m showing you the next few pictures in full-size, because they are very much worth taking up most of the screen. 
Did I mention how beautiful Edinburgh is? Absolutely stunning.

On our way back into the city, we came to a very old cemetery where many historical people were buried. Savannah and I came across this one tombstone and realized that this man’s death date was the same day that we were visiting the cemetery; October 4th. Unlikely that anybody would visit him (as he passed away in 1875), Savannah left him a dandelion and we wished the good sir a happy deathday. What else do you say to a dead man on the day of his death?

We ventured back through the busy streets of Edinburgh and came to the “actual” birthplace of Harry Potter, where J.K. Rowling actually fathomed the idea of Harry Potter and began writing the first few chapters. Again, this is according to the locals. Weirdly enough, the owners of Spoon don’t like J.K. Rowling, and if someone mentions her name in the restaurant, they will apparently kick you out. I found this hard to believe, but didn’t want to test it out for myself. They still managed to have a plaque on the building with J.K Rowling on the front; this could all be a local myth for all I know.
 
Overall, an amazing day! I got to see some breath-taking views that I’ll never forget and finally got to explore Edinburgh, the capitol of Scotland!

~Ryan

Categories: Edinburgh, Scotland, Travel Tips, United Kingdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Thousands of Sheep and Rolling Hills; I must be in Scotland

Guid mornin folks!

I am currently on a bus from Leeds to Edinburgh. If we’ve ever taken a bus or train through Scotland, then you will understand what I’m witnessing and taking in at the moment.

There are really no words to describe the sight of the countryside in Scotland; it’s beautiful. There.

The land is so very green and if you take a gander in one field, you could potentially see thousands of sheep. There are breathtaking hills that roll along the countryside; it’s just overall a glorious sight to see.

There was one point where there was this humongous hill and little white points all up and down the fields. To my surprise, it was hundreds of sheep all spread out and was something I have never witnessed before; until now. If only the bus wasn’t moving so fast, I could have taken a picture.

Categories: Blog, Scotland, United Kingdom | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Next Stop: London, England

Where Do I Begin.. to express my love and amazing trip to London, England…

Bloody hell.

IT WAS AH-MAZING. THERE IS SO MUCH TO SEE; SO MUCH TO DO.

I plan to go back very soon.

In the meantime, I will share with you my itinerary of all the things I did in the 3 days I was in London.

DAY ONE

  • Read about it here

DAY TWO

  • After a crazy night out in London with Joey and Danielle, we woke up a tad late in the day (partially due to going to bed at 4am, but also because of jet lag). Danielle’s auntie decided to help Joey and I plan our day out with a partial hand-made map of london with all the key locations, historical sites, as well as suggestions for little shops/restaurants along the way there.
  • We began our journey through the beautiful paths of Hyde Park. Did I mention how beautiful it was? Because it was; I couldn’t manage how stunning and gorgeous it would be throughout the change of seasons. Those who walk through it daily are some very lucky chaps.
  • Joey and I got sidetracked on our way to Buckingham Palace as a huge parade for the ending of the Paralympics was in the midst of beginning. The parade was being held right in front of Buckingham Palace, so we never got to see our first iconic English building on our adventurous journey through the busy streets of London. Even the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Walk was blocked off for the parade. Sad face.
  • As we squeezed through the massive and excited crowds, we managed to get to one of the most historical and significant icons of London; Big Ben and the Parliament Buildings.
  • Big Ben and the Parliament Buildings are a sight to see. You get the best view from the Westminster Bridge, which is where the photo of me on the right was taken. The architecture and building itself was magnificent. A real sight to see.
  • In the central area where Big Ben and the Parliament Buildings are located is the Westminster Abby, as well as various other historical buildings. To get into any building costs money, in some cases, about 16 pounds (25 CAD) to 25 pounds (40 CAD). We decided to choose the cheaper route and take pictures from outside the building and move on. 
  • We decided to buy a ticket to go on the London Eye, which was well worth the pounds. For those who don’t know what the London Eye is, basically, it looks like a giant ferris wheel that slowly takes you up to a height where you can see an incredible view of London. I would recommend it to anyone to go on “The Eye”, basically the view is just phenomenal.
  • Afterwards, we decided to be very North American and grabbed some Starbucks and use the wi-fi to message Danielle, letting her know where we were, as well as upload pictures and message others (with out iPhones, since I still wasn’t on a british network at the time and wasn’t paying for international charges)
  • On our way back to Danielle’s aunties place, we decided to check out Covent Garden market, which was really cool. Lots of little shops, flea markets, live music playing, street performers and the roads reminded me of Old Montreal.
  • On our detour back home, we came across Trafalgar Square, which was really beautiful and extremely busy. That is where the National Art Gallery is located, however, by the time we got here, there wasn’t much time left in the day. I plan to go back to this Art gallery as it is free and showcase lots of amazing works of art; another day, another time.
  • As the parade for the paralympics began to die down, Joey and I managed to catch a peak at Buckingham palace, as well as managed to take a picture with one of the Queen’s guards.
  • We managed to get back right before night began to fall and had a lovely Indian dinner. This was our last night in London, and an early one, seeing as how Joey and I would be catching an early bus from London to Leeds; where I will be living for the next 10 months.
  • But that journey to Leeds is another story.
  • Click here for my journey to Leeds.

~

I was extremely happy that Joey and I were able to fly to London two days early as had been expected and stay at my friend’s aunties place in order to experience London for the first time. I was extremely grateful for my stay and will definitely be coming back to London very soon. x

~Ryan

Categories: Blog, England, Leeds, London, Travel Tips, United Kingdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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