November 13, 2012

Road Trip!

One of the biggest decisions that Erik and I had to make while on vacation this year was which mode of transportation would get us from London to Edinburgh. 
We kept going back and forth between three different options:
1) fly, 2) take the train or 3) drive. 
All three choices cost about the same,
yet we couldn't figure out which one would best suit our needs.

Should we fly and get there really quickly?
Should we relax and read a book on the train?
Or should we be adventurers and drive across the whole UK?

At the end of the day, 
we figured, when will we ever have the chance to road-trip in Europe again?
So a car was rented, and we were on our way!
Best decision ever made.

Approximate distance between London and Edinburgh is about 330 miles,
but we figured that since we weren't in a rush to get anywhere,
we could take our time and make a couple of pit stops along the way. 

Cambridge is less than two hours away from London,
and it's everything I imagined it to be and more. 
Oh what I would give to attend University in that beautiful town...

Once there, we spent a few hours wandering around the tiny streets that have been around since 1209. 
The architecture of places like the King's College Chapel, the Cavendish laboratory and the Library is out of this world.
After grabbing a quick bite to eat at Gardenia Take Away,
we hopped back into our little joy ride, 
and were on our way to the next destination. 

Enclosed within a circuit of 13th century walls,
sits York,
a romantic city full of culture and rich ancient history. 
We really enjoyed exploring around town, having supper by the river, 
and visiting places like the York Minster, which btw, is quite grand in scale and an unexpected surprise.
I wish we had more than one day allocated to our road trip so we could visit more small towns around the UK. 
As soon as the sun started setting over the River Ouse,
we figured we better get back on the road. 

The whole trip took us approximately 15 hours,
and I can honestly tell you that it was my favorite day of vacation. 
Between almost crashing in the center of London to getting lost in a tiny Scottish village,
we have so many memories that will put a smile on my face for the rest of my life. 

If you're ever planning a similar trip, here are a few tips:
- Rent a GPS system. Almost every car rental company offers them for about 10 GBP. It will make navigating SO much easier.

- Rent a car outside of London. We actually did this, by taking the tube to London airport and renting from there... the only glitch was when we realized we couldn't cash in our Oyster cards there, so we had to drive back into the city, cash them, and drive back out. At one point, we literally turned the corner and realized that we were driving across the Tower Bridge. Crazy! 

- Don't be intimidated to drive on the opposite side of the street. We were a little nervous at first, because 1) we rented a car with manual transmission which meant that Erik had to shift with his left hand {pretty hilarious}, and 2) all those round-abouts don't make it any easier to follow traffic signs. 
But hey, we survived, and like I mentioned earlier, had a blast doing so!


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