The Olympic Journey: Inbound, Leeds and York

With only one real task planned, see a hockey game in Torino, the journey was set. I’d be off on my first transcontinental flight, skipping over the pond if you will. After getting to the airport with plenty of time, I breezed on through the check-in process and security. Once on the other side, I found some hockey on TV in a bar and I waited and I watched.

My excitement level wasn’t very high, as I don’t normally get excited for things until they’re real. This, however, was becoming real. Sitting there in the bar with the most expensive pint ever ($9.95) watching a game knowing I was going to be there in less than a week. Now, I was pumped.

After the plane boarded, with me being the second one on (“premium” kicks ass, so far), I started hoping for the manual safety demo. Seeing as the flight attendants were all stereotypically hot and/or cute depending on your point of view, I wanted to see the demo by them. After a slight technical glitch, I got my wish. Anne-Marie, the Canadian-married-Scot beside me let me know how rare it is to see this these days. I told her I was hoping for it and she laughed.

The plane took off, 30 minutes late, without any issues, which is good… not that I was worried. It took that boeing 737 18 seconds from stopped to airborne. Reaching that point of weightlessness for that split second before leveling off at some odd 34,000 feet.

At some point after minimal chatter with Anne-Marie, she asked “Do you work with computers?” of course I said yes, but how did she know? Apparently, my sense of humor gave me away. I’ll have to work on that… although I don’t think I’ve ever been labeled accurately like that before; it was amusing.

The flight made up our 30 minute late start and arrived about 10 minutes early in Manchester. After the light crowd made it through passport control, my luggage was waiting on the conveyor already. Did I mention premium kicks ass?

I got my stuff, after stopping some random girl from stealing it. So much for being the only maroon-ish luggage.

I slept most of the first day, watching some Olympics here and there. But for the most part, just chilled at my Sisters house.

I spent the next day in York. Wandering around aimlessly looking at stuff. I hit the British National Rail Museum. There’s a reason European rail systems are so amazing; and just looking at a small piece of the history will let you know why.

Speaking of history, that’s basically what York is. A massive amount of history found in the winding roads of an old, yet thriving city. Still having most of it’s original walls that you can walk on, a stronghold, a castle (which was actually unimpressive), romans and vikings and railways. I’m no historical scholar or anything, but it’s all cool.

Day 3 is party in Leeds night. But not before my sister takes me cruising around the countryside. We were going to check out a castle, a real one, not a wussy one like Yorks, but when we got there it was closed for a wedding. That was disappointing, but what was even more disappointing was the lack of bridesmaids hanging around outside waiting for me.

Oh well, so we motor on through these crazy country roads with hedges and stone walls along the sides, which are barely wide enough for two cars, in some cases they aren’t wide enough. It’s truly insane, but nothing a rattling old Vauxhall Astra can’t handle.

Our destination this time is Mother Shiptons Cave. We got there, parked, looked around, it was closed. It opens in March, damn off-season travel! Ah well, It’s located in a town called Knaresborough and has the ability to turn a stuffed teddy bear into stone within a few months. It sounds cool, maybe next time. This town has one of the coolest houses ever. It’s a house in the side of a cliff. Yes, in it. I’d buy it if I were rich, or just build my own.

Anyways, now it was time to party. The night life in Leeds was pretty jumping. As I’d soon find out, it’s pretty jumping everywhere around here. But, the difference is, it’s an earlier night life. We were out at 7, and home not far from midnight. Drunk of course, but home none the less.

Out in Leeds I saw something magical. I saw some of the shortest, hottest skirts ever. And it wasn’t just one or two. It was many. There were many, many, very attractive yet almost slutty females out on the town. You can just park me here and let me die. My eyes got a workout and so did my liver. We hopped from pub to bar to bar to pub and ended it all with a tasty sub.

Good times, I say. Good times.

Day 4 is a travel day. The destination is London Gatwick, and a hotel near by. A few pints, a few eats, and a short sleep for the flight out to Italy in the early morning hours.

Italy, it’s almost here.

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