Public Transport

Today wasn’t a fantastic day weather wise it was cloudy all day with occasional bouts of drizzle. The temperature was quite good up around 18 degrees. It was time to try our hand at using public transport and go into London. The nearest station is around a 20 minute walk from the accommodation. The trains from here will take you to London Bridge Station. Traveling on public transport is quite easy as you can use any contactless credit or debit card to pay your fare. Just make sure you use a card in pounds as your bank may charge a foreign currency transfer fee. We have Qantas Money card and that works a treat every where we go. With your card you just tap on and off just like the local Oyster card. Train journeys are £2.80.

The train takes 15 minutes to get to the city from Forest Hill. We arrived just as a train pulled in so our timing was spot on. The journey home took a little longer at London Bridge as the platform information wasn’t available till 5 minutes before the train was due to leave.

London Bridge Station is in an old and new section of the South Bank. The dominate structure is the Shard the tallest building in London and the tallest building in Western Europe.

The Shard

From this point you can see Tower Bridge, the Tower of London and HMS Belfast.

Tower Bridge
Tower of London
HMS Belfast

After dinning in Hornimans Bar we boarded a Thames Clipper which is a ferry service up and down the Thames. This service took us up to Greenwich.
The Royal Observatory is where all time is measured from. This is also the site of the Old Royal Navy College. Here also rests the Cutty Sark

Lamp on the Royal Navy College
Gates from the Thames
Entrance to the Greenwich Foot Tunnel

UK and Beyond

London 2019

We didn’t get to travel much last year, with buying and selling houses and moving, now we have time and start with a week in London.

After nearly 24 hours of being flung through the air we made it to London yesterday. Blurry eyed we managed to escape to confines of Heathrow Airport to find our Uber ride. This is when you realize you are not quiet functioning as well as you thought. We were to meet our Uber ride in the South Short Stay 3 car park, Level 3 Row A. We wait for the ride in Row A. The driver texts to say he is waiting where are we?
We are in Row A where are you?
I’m in Row A Level 3. A quick check to find him but no we can not see him but we do notice that we are on Level 1.
It does help if you are on the right level.

After an hour and a half in peak traffic we made it to out AirBnB in Forest Hill. It turns out to be a delightful bedsit in a leafy suburb.

Leafy Flat in Forest Hill
Even some wildlife hang out around here

Our host was kind enough to get in some bread, milk and cheese so we didn’t have to go out and forage for a evening meal or breakfast.

Horniman Museum

Not far from were we are staying is the Horniman Museum. This is a free museum for the people started by Frederick John Horniman, Victorian tea trader and philanthropist, began collecting objects, specimens and artefacts ‘illustrating natural history and the arts and handicrafts of various peoples of the world’ from around 1860. His overarching mission was to ‘bring the world to Forest Hill’ and educate and enrich the lives of the local community. 

The Horniman Free Museum
Clock Tower
Impressive Building


London from the grounds of Hornimans Museum
Grounds of Hornimans Museum

After several hours of wandering around the gardens and museum it was time for lunch and buy something for dinner.
The walk was a chance to see how we would fare on the up and coming bus tour. Tomorrow we will take the train into London.

Isle of Man

Yesterday we caught the ferry to the Isle of Man from Liverpool. Friday and Saturday were not the best days of our tour. We had spent a few days with our friend Val in Wiveliscombe Somerset and Val is coming with us to the Isle of Man. We had to catch the car ferry from Liverpool to Douglas on Saturday morning so we decided we would travel to Liverpool on Friday, stay overnight and catch the ferry Saturday.

We started out around 9am Friday in the rain. By the time we got to the M5 the rain was persisting down. About 11am we stopped at a services for coffee and the rain had stopped. Back on the motorway and onto the M6 there were warnings of delays ahead, then the M6 was closed between J18 and J19. This meant the traffic banked up for miles and miles. At J17 we left the Motorway to join all the other traffic trying to get around the closed section. We made it to our hotel at 8:30pm, a 12 hour journey that should have only taken 4 hours.

Checking into the hotel from hell didn’t calm us any and the shoebox of a room continued the downward spiral. Could only half open the bathroom door the get into the bathroom, the floor board creaked as did the bed. Outside our window all night were the smokers from the 24 hour bar and every time they went in and out the door banged, shaking our room above it.

We didn’t get much sleep so to be greeted by another day of rain didn’t improve matters next morning.

Once on the ferry the Captain announced that the trip should be reasonable with only a small patch of rough weather so the gloom continued. When we were within cooee of the island the sun was out and the afternoon looked to be promising.

Our accommodation was on the other side of the island which was 8 miles and yet again we were faced with road closures but this time there was no traffic and the island is so green and with such beautiful scenery that it didn’t matter. We have a self catering apartment in Port Erin and only a short walk to the Port. The day end with a lovely meal in a pub watching the sun set over the water.

Today didn’t hold a lot of promise but we headed out to Peel on the west coast. Here one of the delicacies of the island, the Manx Kippers, are produced. After walking around a ruined castle on a headland of the bay and being nearly blown away we headed for the smokery and a kipper bap washed down with a mug of coffee.

Heading further up the coast we went to the motor museum. Here they had a collection of cars and motorcycles from some very old to some odd more recent models

The day had brightened some what so we headed for Ramsey on the east coast. This took us along part of the TT circuit. WOW I don’t know how they can ride at speed on this track and I agree with the Late Barry Sheen that it certainly is a dangerous circuit, Even so I still want to be able to drive the whole circuit before we leave.

In Ramsey the sun was shining so we managed a walk in the sunshine.

The wind is still up so not sure what tomorrow will be like but that’s another day.