You may have heard of this common saying before, but for those who haven’t, “on a wing and a prayer” virtually refers to doing something with very little chance of success, but trying anyway.
I couldn’t think of a better way to describe the last week!
Everything that I have been doing has been literally just a whim, probably won’t work…but who cares let’s try anyway.
This results in many unfortunate situations, but also plenty of great stories as well.
If you remember from last week, I was in Chania, Greece for spring break. Because of our problems with renting a car we decided to try out the bus to another city in the South of the island. The drive was absolutely beautiful through the mountains. I literally cannot explain or compare it to anything else I have ever seen. And after about 2 hours journey Anthony and I arrived in the seaside town of Paleochora.
Now, this town was beautiful, but also very very very very DEAD. No shops were open, no one was around, and it was too windy and cold to do anything! We certainly loved the views but realized after about an hour that our 4 hours there were going to be quite a long time. But we managed after walking around some more and finally getting a gyro to use our time wisely. I imagine in the summer it would be a beautiful and lively place.
The next day we decided to just enjoy our final day in Greece with some shopping and enjoying the day in Chania. It was so beautiful out!
On Wednesday we said goodbye to the great island of Greece….at approximately 9:00 pm. The Chania airport was crazy to manage, but we made it through onto the LONGEST RYANAIR FLIGHT OF MY LIFE (roughly 5 hours), and then onto the Aircoach to Cork at 12:30 am, then arrived in Cork where I took a taxi and ended up laying in my bed at 4:00 am. What a trip!
The following day I ran some errands in town and then “on a wing and a prayer” attempted to find a mystery Rugby match in Cork that was absolutely never meant to be found. So I turned in early to get a good night’s rest, and boy was that needed.
The next day I managed to get my bag repacked for ANOTHER trip that was to Lancaster, England to visit my friend Ben Wu. So Saturday I rolled out of bed at 6:15 am to catch a flight to Liverpool. Once in Liverpool I waited patiently in the John Lennon Airport for Ben to find me and we made our way back to Lancaster, on for me what felt like a “wing and a prayer” 😉
We hopped on a bus, then a train, ran around Liverpool, got some coffee, looked at some art, went shopping, hopped on another train, got off in Manchester (it was pouring rain), grabbed some food, grabbed some way-too-expensive mint tea, ran back for another train, grabbed a bus, and FINALLY ended up in Lancaster. From there I dumped my bag, and we grabbed another bus into town, ran in the rain to a 3 hour long Easter Vigil mass at the Lancaster Cathedral which was AMAZING, then ran into town for some McD’s, then to a local pub for a Guinness per one of his roommates, then one more bus back and BED.
SO much for a break right?
The next day we headed to Ben’s church for a nice Easter service, got some fish n chips, napped, and went out exploring his university. Ben was a fab tour guide, giving me the low down on all things “uni”. Lancaster University is so incredible! I was quite blown away. It was very well kept and I think quite technologically advanced. The campus is beautiful and very put together. It is also HUGE, and a bit aways from the town center (you have to take a bus). But imo, there is really never any reason to leave! This place has grocery stores, tons of food places, 2 banks, a home store, a hotel, a gym, a cinema, a pharmacy, and an assortment of local wildlife wondering the streets (aka cute adorable ducks). I couldn’t resist snapping a few photos.
That night we attempted to make “American” cookies, (on a wing and a prayer), as we completely forgot to get EGGS from the grocery store. But luckily Ben’s trusty English companion came to the rescue with some eggs even though he was very confused as to why we would put eggs in our cookies in the first place??? Oh little did they know it was the secret to all things good in the world. So we (I) roughly measured our dry ingredients in a liquid measuring cup and roughly converted every measurement (as we were of COURSE using an American recipe) and roughly creamed the sugar and butter without a mixer and roughly left out the shortening. While we were making the cookies, the Europeans could not stop asking questions as to “why we put salt in our cookies”, or “isn’t that too much sugar?”, or “why aren’t you pressing them down?”. Much to their surprise, (and my own), the cookies turned out great and were a huge hit. I expect Europe to adopt the egg ingredient to their cookies in the very near future because of this single experience. (You’re welcome)
So the nextttt day we decided to grab some breaky in town and then catch a bus to the Lake District, which is a national park area up in Northern England. This area is quite beautiful and the bus ride, although incredibly long, offered some great views! We arrived in Windermere around 3pm and got out and explored. It was actually quite a bit of a walk down to the actual lake, and surprisingly FULL of tourists, but there were still some nice views!
After walking around some more we grabbed some of the best icecream of our lives probably and then decided to catch a bus back to Windermere. It was one of those fancy buses that had an open top that of course we had to check out. Once we arrived back in Windermere, we decided our next plan of action which meant even more juggling of time tables. We finally decided to ride the same bus just up to the next town in the lake district in order to catch ANOTHER bus back to Kendal, a town just outside the parks.
*Side note, we had bought the “Northern Explorer Pass” which allowed us to hop on literally any bus between the Lake District and Liverpool.
So we take another bus up the way, and the views were spectacular, we were very happy with our choice. Then we hopped off, waited for the next bus, hopped on that and made our way out of town. Then we decided (our first mistake) to get off the bus in Kendal to take a look around. We knew there would be another bus coming in an hour. However, we realized after walking for only a couple minutes that absolutely NOTHING was open! It was Easter Monday, after all. So we walked around, managed to find some food, then waited again for the bus, only to realize that they were no longer heading back to Lancaster. 😦
So we then headed on over to the train station. We took the next train that came, and then waited in ANOTHER train station for the next train to Lancaster. Finally we ended up back in Lancaster at approximately the same time as we would have before with the bus, so hopefully not too much was lost. We then tried to go get some groceries, only to be denied entrance once again (Easter Monday so it was closed), then we walked and found a grocery store that WAS open. Got some food, waited again for another bus back to the UNI that decided not to come, but eventually did come. Then finally we made it back!
I have never ridden so much public transportation in my life….and truthfully it only makes me miss my car even more!
Tomorrow is even more public transport to Leeds..but it should be a fine day 🙂
Maybe, I am now realizing, we should do a little less “winging it” in the future…
and a little more praying instead!
Till next time…