Monday, June 6, 2011

...And All I Got Was This Stupid Bus Pass

One of the rewarding parts of vacationing is the ability to distance oneself from work.  While I was able to escape the day-to-day stressors that accrete between vacations, transportation and transportation funding were underlying themes of my experience.

The streets of Edinburgh were bustling with activity, from tourists to bankers to local kids wearing Super Dry clothes.  Even though the town is relatively compact, the preferred method of travel by almost everyone is bus transit, not because they are all euro-hippies, but because it is so unbelievably convenient.  Lothian Buses were ubiquitous.  Most places it seemed there were as many double decker buses as their were automobiles.  The places where auto traffic was not allowed were still busy with double decker buses avoiding signs indicating the current project to add a high capacity tram in the city. 

Lothian buses allowed us to go anywhere in the city, quickly and affordably.  A single ride was a little more than a pound, a day pass was 3 pounds 20 but a week long pass was only 16 pounds.  Just think - 25 bucks to be chauffeured around all week, 23 hours a day.

The 3 pounds I had to pay for the physical Lothian bus pass provided me with a great souvenir.



And here is a picture of me near Waverly station, picking up the wifi signal from an airlink bus.  Airlink is a service offered by Lothian providing buses to and from the airport (about a 25 minute drive) every 8 minutes.  Remarkable convenience.  



While not everyone knows of the Lothian buses in Edinburgh, most everyone knows of London's tube.   I learned a lot more about the tube in London this time around.  I had no idea it went all the way out to Heathrow.  This would have come in handy instead of having to pay the 50 bucks or whatever it was I paid to ride the Heathrow express on 20 March, 2009 (of course that offered a small souvenir too).



I learned before the trip of the Oyster cards which, if you have one, provide approximately half price fares (along with unbelievably helpful information to transport planners over there).  After learning that Oyster cards were only five pounds, I knew I had to get my own, even though Ally's brother gave us two to use for the trip. 

Five pounds later I had a smile on my face, as I owned my very own Oyster card...

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...with fricken Will and Kate on it. Ugh.

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