The first day 22nd June (Thursday) click on the blue frame picture, you can enlarge it
At last the day of departure came. I didn't think we made enough preparations because there weren’t much information about Ireland available in Japan.
and we were very busy with the garden.
Luckily it wasn't too rainy in the rainy season, just cloudy. We always have fine weather during travels for some reason or other.
It's typical! We hope the world would be good weather in Ireland and Wales.
When we left early in the morning, we made a lot of noise in our quiet town with our heavy bags!
One good thing is that there has an elevator in Higashikoganei Station, so it's much easier to carry baggage on to the train.
We took the 7:07 a.m. Narita Express as usual. However, we were a bit stressed out as we've left a little late.
Admonish us! Remember our original intension!
We had a simple breakfast on the express. We arrived at Narita airport on time, thankfully.
As we had electronic tickets, it was easy to check in.
I wanted to throw away my receipt but I couldn't find a garbage can anywhere, so I threw it in my bag.
Afterward I realized how lucky this was.
When we checked our baggage at the counter we discovered that we had to retain the itinerary/receipt through out our journey.
It would be required at the check-in on return. Without it, I would have been stranded in London! Whew!
After reading the receipt carefully, the sentence below was written in the beginning.
"At check-in, please present all necessary travel documentation and this itinerary/receipt.
This itinerary/receipt must be presented to customs and immigration if requested.
Please retain this itinerary/receipt through out your journey."
Now, we have to exchange our money. We have enough pounds from our last trip.
In the Republic of Ireland currency is Euro. The rate of exchange was 150yen. I was surprised, but we needed some Euros.
Finally in the tax-free shop my husband bought a bottle of whisky (Ballantine's 17years) for a nightcap.
We drank a toast to our safety travel in the regular lounge. We've already changed into traveling at mode.
When we arrived the boarding gate, it was almost final steps to load. Three mechanics were working at the cockpit window.
They seemed to be repairing the wiper. They were adjusting again and again, watering to the window as they signed to the pilot.
This airplane, which is made of state of high technology, doesn't have a window-washer. It's funny!
The plane took off on time. It began its long flight twelve hours. Soon we were served our in-flight meal.
I chose western food, but my husband selected Japanese. He probably said a tearful good-by to the rice in his mind.
He wouldn't get much in Ireland!
I found for the first time that there were a metal spoon and a plastic knife and fork in the pack.
They must not be used as weapons. Anyway, we enjoyed the in-flight meal.
During the long flight I watched three films. One of the movies was The Antarctic Story produced in U.S.A. I was greatly moved.
On the other hand, my husband listened to classical music on the self-audio.
This year is the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of Mozart's birth.
After we had set an audio cassette player up in our renovated living room, he has been interested in the music.
He found "The best 101 pieces composed by Mozart" in the program of the self-audio.
He said he listened to the whole menu twice until we landed at Heathrow Airport.
We arrived at the airport on time. As usual we went to the Herz office by the shuttle bus.
Though we made a reservation seven weeks ago, the clerk took a lot of time to select a car.
Moreover he asked us "What kind of baggage do you have?" "Do you prefer a compact car?"
The hours by went quickly! At last he chose a blue Ford for us.
We put all pieces of our baggage into the car and my husband checked all its functions with care.
He said "This car is like new. It runs only 500kilometers. If it's somewhat larger, I'll feel more satisfied."
The time was already past six thirty. Let's start quickly.
M4→M25→M40→M42→M6→A5 Our car sped up on the continuous motor way that I knew so well.
On the way we made a stop at a service area and then watched the Japan versus Brazil football game that was live.
We didn't have any time to see it, so we started with reluctance for the first B&B in this travel.
The B&B's names were Cottage Garden Rose near Stafford. We chose the B&B because it was situates between Heathrow and Holyhead, car-ferry landing dock.
After confirming the B&B we knew that it has not only three diamonds of AA but also a nursery of roses and a shop selling rose fragrances.
The owner greeted us with beautiful roses all over the garden and its sweet smell was our expectation.
First she showed us to our room and recommended the nearest pub according to our request.
A tall handsome boy who looked like a high-school student carried two pieces of baggage to the upstairs.
It was already nine o'clock. We were very hungry. so we hurried to the pub named The Bell Inn.
At that time the pub was very busy. We waited at the counter drinking a pint of ale beer each.
The master was very cheerful and I felt his face was like a Japanese. When my husband took a photo, he posed with a waiter in the counter.
During these times we were stared with curiosity from all customers in that pub, but we were oblivious of our surroundings.
We chose fish and chips in honor of the English popular food. The other dish was Crab & Shrimp Cake.
As waitress gave us seats at a table, we took the seats greeting both customers sitting next to us.
The couple that was sitting next to our right has eaten one-pound steak each. We were too surprised to talk about it.
Then waitress served two various size Fish & Chips to a couple that sit at the table over there.
I wondered which size we have ordered. Small one looked like just good, I thought.
The couple that was sitting at the table next to our left asked us about our trip. "Where are you from?" "Where do you stay?"
"What purpose is your trip?" "Where are you going to tomorrow?" We talked about our garden tour, then they recommended a garden near there.
After a long time our Fish & Chips was carried. Oh, that was a large! It was an incredible size! The other dish was carried soon.
Those were both very nice, besides its side menu, chips, peas and fresh vegetables were all tasty.
We tried to eat them completely, but those were too large for us. But we enjoyed the first dinner in England.
Please look at our travel diary with many pictures.
| 1st July