In August 2018, I’ll fulfill my number one travel ambition; thirty days in England.
My friends, family, and fellow journalist have heard lots about this trip. I’ve said many times, “This year I’m going to England for a month.”, only to be a ‘no-go’ for one reason or another.
2018 is the year I’m finally going to make it. REALLY!
A British Airways ticket, for seat 83D in the upper level of an Airbus A380, is in my pocket. The A380 is the world’s largest passenger plane. It’s a double-decker, wide-bodied jet, with four Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines. 525 passengers share 5,920 square feet of usable floor space. While A380s have been in service since 2007, this is my first experience with a behemoth jet.
Black Friday smiled on me with an early morning alert and a large reduction in airfare. I’d been tracking San Francisco to London for over a year. The holiday shopping frenzy saved me enough to pay the extra fee for an aisle seat in the upper deck. The top deck is a little quieter, with 188 seats, compared to 337 on the lower level.
Yes, I’m traveling economy, but from what I’ve seen, econ on British Airways is far better than domestic 1st class. For example, roomy reclining seats, complimentary full-service bar, on the house meals, help yourself snacks, personal entertainment system, two checked bags and a carry-on, no charge. All this and my roundtrip ticket cost just $32 more than a round trip San Francisco to DC last September.
My flight is non-stop from San Francisco to London. What a treat. No plane changing on the east coast. With a 7:30 PM departure, I plan to have dinner, wander and photograph the aircraft a bit, then sleep on the way to Heathrow.
I’ll arrive in the early afternoon in time for tea at my hotel, St Ermin’s. St Ermin’s has a ‘secret’ reputation. The top two floors were used as an annex by UK’s secret intelligence. MI5, MI6, MI9, and others conducted operations there and used the Caxton Bar as a meeting place for over 60-years. Some say they still do, wink, wink.
I’m fiercely working on plans for my trip and have found lots of destinations. I’ll wander Cornwall and the southern coast, visit the Isle of Wight, take a ferry to Calais, and cruise inland waterways and canals in a narrow boat.
I’m spending a couple of days at Hever Castle, Ann Boleyn’s childhood home. I’m not a golfer, but while there, I’ll check out the historical golf course for a story I’m writing for Links & Libations.
Here are some of the working titles for my journalist assignments I’ve gathered so far~ Cornwall Backroads by Bus – Dover to Calais, a Day Trip – The Isle of Wight, Only by Boat – English Waterways Via Narrow Boat, Learning to Operate a Lock – The South Coast of England, Exploring Via Ferry – Tea with Brits, 5 Classic Tea Rooms in Cornwall and Hever, A Queens Castle.
I’m researching content and looking for publishers for several stories. Among them, London’s Luxury Cinderella Rooms, Indulging the Solo Traveler, a story about single rooms in luxurious London hotels, and Rooftop London, Above the Madding Crowd, an article about rooftop locations to eat, sleep, and play in Central London.
Cornish food such as Stargazy Pie, Cornish Pasties and other delights will take up a bit of time. I hope to meet some local cooks and chefs that will help me master the art of Cornish cooking.
More adventures will make the itinerary. Stay tuned for chapter two in March.
Glad you stopped by, MaryGo