Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Saga of Norwich

As with many of my travel stories, this is best described as a saga. So...for those of you blissfully unaware of my travel disasters, I have had several, many of them involving travelling to King's Singers Concerts.

Disasters I have known:
1) Bicycling to the concert in Harrogate, Yorkshire (chain off bike, getting lost, about to twist ankle, out of shape, etc)
2) Road trip to the concert in Milwaukee, WI (car accident, snow storm, bus cancellations, laptop dissapearance, plane ride)
3) Conference trip to Salt Lake City, UT (hotel didn't exist)
4) Not quite as high up as the others, but my recent Stansted to Wales trip (8 hours, 6 trains, running across platforms, wandering up hills)

So, on Saturday morning, I headed out from York. The plan was to meet up with Adam in Ely and then go on to Norwich, where I'd booked a concert ticket and a hotel room. Now, being the brilliant person I am, I forgot to look up the concert details in York. So, at Adam's, I looked up where my hotel and the concert were. I forgot one vital detail: noting the time of the concert. I did stay longer than intended in Ely, but I was on the train around 4.15 or so, and we got into Norwich at 5.08. Still, in plenty of time to get ready before the concert. But, this is where I made my next huge mistake. I had looked at a map about 3 hours earlier and "knew" where I was headed. I did not stop to pick up a map. I did not go with my gut to get a cab. I decided to walk, mapless, to my hotel.

For those of you who are more visual, this is the route I should have taken: Route on Google

But I made a mistake early on. I took a left where I should have taken a right. Then I followed it. I knew I was on the ring road, hence I would arrive at my hotel shortly. It wouldn't be more than 30 minutes, 45 max. At this point, I should also mention that my pack weighs about 17 kg and my feet were blistered. I should've taken a hint when the first lady I asked for directions told me that I should catch a bus. But I ignored her comment and kept walking. Finally I ran into some very helpful men who told me that I was still 20 minutes from the road that my hotel was on. This was at 6.05. Smartly, I called the hotel to figure out which direction I should turn on my road, preventing me from taking a long, long, detour. I got to the hotel at 6.30-still in plenty of time for my 7.30 concert. I thought it was a bit odd that doors opened at 6.25, but I ignored it. I had to take a shower and eat my three slices of apple and two strawberries. I took my time, and, headed out of the hotel around 6.55, hopped a bus, and got to the city centre around 7ish. At which point I got lost in a mall and finally stumbled into the Salvation Army Hall around 7.15...early. But alas, I was not early, for the concert had begun at 7.

I took off my jacket (for it had been pouring rain, so I was soaked) and at the end of the song, creapt into the back of the hall. The rest of the evening went much more smoothly, although, as typically happens, I didn't eat...cause I really couldn't be bothered. It was a fun evening and showed off an interesting collaboration between the K'S and the Salvation Army.

The next morning, I set off around 9 in order to DEFINITELY make it to the station by 10.45. I had a map this time as well, but a lovely couple from my hotel gave me a lift, saving me a long walk.

On this note, I think, I will head out. I might go down to the Science Museum (I hear you all screaming "geek," but I am at a CS conference.) Then I'll go back to my hotel - I forget what I need, other than a cd of pictures, but I will go back there, before returning to my current location, the Computer Science building at the University of Dundee, for our evening activities and more free internet.

For those of you curious about my future travels, I'm headed to Lanark and Glasgow tomorrow and then from Glasgow to London either overnight Wednesday or Thursday early. Thursday is London and on Friday I head home...hopefully in time to get the key to my new flat so that I can move in before I leave for SC on Wednesday. *Sigh* I'm looking forward to the rest of the summer...travel free and scorching hot. Well, not the hot bit...

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