We had a several-hours long wait at the Portland airport between turning in our rental car and our flight taking off. We read, played games, took walks (at separate times), ate lunch and dinner, and the time eventually passed and we were one our way!
Each travel day is unique. Some are easy while others turn out to be a challenge, and some are longer than others depending on where we’re traveling to.
Our journey over to the United Kingdom wasn’t a difficult one, nor was it unpleasant. What it was though was l-o-n-g, and ended up being sort of expensive. It felt at times like our big savings on airline tickets were almost eaten up as we paid for airport meals and local transportation after we arrived.
Although our flight didn’t take off until nearly 8:00 pm., it was still light out and we got a good look at Mt. Rainier as we passed by on our way up to the north. Our exit row seats had tons of legroom and were very comfortable, well worth the extra we paid for them.
The sun was coming up as we began to cross over Greenland. We didn’t see much snow or ice down there.
In spite of departing a bit late from Portland, we arrived at the Reykjavik airport on time on Sunday morning. After locating our departure gate we enjoyed a light breakfast of chia bowls and coffee.
Somehow Brett and I ended up across the aisle from each other on our flight to London. We were pretty well exhausted at this point though and both of us slept through most of the flight.
It’s always a relief when our bags come off the carousel, and they showed up fairly quickly at Heathrow. We got some cash from an ATM, and then had to figure out on our own how to get to our hotel as they had accidentally sent us instructions for their Gatwick location versus Heathrow.
Big planes passed by constantly right across the road from our hotel room, but it the soundproofing was incredible and we never heard a thing. Booking that room for the night turned out to be a very good decision as we were extremely tired by the time we got to London, and were thankful to get a good night’s sleep before starting off for the Cotswolds.
Brett opted for a full English breakfast at the hotel before we left. I stuck with fresh fruit and sausages.
We had three train connections to make to get out to the Cotswolds, with not much time between them. After being spoiled by stations in Japan we found the signage and instructions here to be lacking, and it was difficult getting our big staircases up and down the flights of stairs inside one of the stations in order to make it to our train on time (the others thankfully had elevators). We figured it all out though and made it out to Moreton-in-Marsh on time, where we caught a taxi over to Blockley. Our train stopped in Oxford on the way – I was surprised by how close it is to where we’re staying.
This is the view from our front door for the next three months, with Blockley church (Sts. Peter and Paul) just a few yards away. Our cottage was originally part of the large vicarage. This view alone makes the whole trip over here worth it.
We walked over to the village market for a few things after we arrived – it’s just around the corner from our cottage. We were expecting to pay convenience store prices but found things to be very reasonable. We walked through the churchyard and cemetery on our way back to our cottage. It’s extremely lovely here – I could pinch myself! We’re looking forward to exploring Blockley for the next few days as we recover from jet lag and the rigors of travel as well as getting ourselves unpacked and settled into our home for the next three months.
Nearly 40 hours passed between when we got to Portland airport on Saturday morning until our arrival in Blockley on Monday afternoon, and although it was a tiring journey it’s all water under the bridge now. We are finally in the UK, and ready to begin our next travel adventure. The first step will be to conquer the jet lag that came along with us, but otherwise we are thrilled to be here.