So, I Survived My Trip To The UK…

I have to admit, that when I went to the UK earlier this week, things did not go as planned thanks to Air Canada. But I finally made it and got down to work. Because Air Canada cost me half a day, I was afraid that I couldn’t fit in what I was tasked to do because of some sort technical challenge that I would encounter while rolling out some new tech for the firm that I was working for. Good thing that my fears were unfounded as everything went well. I guess that all my bad luck was used up when Air Canada screwed up my travel.

My accommodations were great. I was staying at the Village Hotel in Solihull and I have nothing but good things to say about the hotel. One interesting security feature is that they have to reactivate the electronic key for your room every evening. Nice. The only thing that I could possibly complain about is that they have a dock for iPhones that allows you to play music from your iPhone. That was cool, until I discovered that it used a 30 pin dock connector. A word to the Village Hotel on that front. 2003 Called and they want their technology back. Thus populate your rooms with Micro USB and Lightning connectors for these docks.

Speaking of using my iPhone, I yet again relied on EE to provide my phone with talk, text, and data. Remember having an unlocked phone allows one to use a local SIM card and that is always cheaper than using a Canadian carrier to roam. In my case, I got 2GB of data, 500 minutes of talk and unlimited texts for £15. That’s something that Rogers, Bell, or Telus can’t come close to. So say no to roaming with a Canadian carrier and save some money.

My journey home was straight forward. I took  headed to Birmingham International rail station to catch Virgin Rail back to Euston Rail Station. At this point, I should note that my journey once I arrived in UK involved going from Euston to Birmingham International via London Midland. I bought a seat on that train service as my travel was screwed up by Air Canada, thus I needed to go from point “A” to “B” using a service that was easy to get a seat on. The downside? Virgin Rail takes just over an hour to go from Euston to Birmingham International. However, it took 2.5 hours via London Midland. But I would recommend it if you want to travel from London to places like Coventry which is the home to Jaguar and Rolls Royce, Stratford Upon Avon home of Shakespeare, Bletchley Park home of the codebreaking efforts in World War II detailed in the movie The Imitation Game. From there, I took the Underground to get to London Heathrow Airport. Now the Underground line that goes to Heathrow is the Piccadilly Line and I connected to it via the Victoria Line. You can get to any of Heathrow’s five terminals using this line. One tip I do have is to note which terminal you are going to. One branch of this line goes to terminal 4 only. Another branch goes to terminals 1,2,3 and 5, and a third branch doesn’t go to Heathrow at all. Thus you need to pay attention to which terminal your flight is leaving from. If you forgot to check, this line does run outside which enables you to get cell service. So you can go to Heathrow’s website via your smartphone and check the status of your flight assuming you have your flight number. My flight back was on a Air Canada 777-300 and though it left 20 minutes late, it landed on time in Toronto. Once I landed, finding my bag was easy thanks to the Tile that I placed in it. But you can bet that I will be avoiding Air Canada in the future because I tend to have issues when flying with them far more often than other carriers. On top of that, they tend to deal with the situations poorly. I don’t need that when I travel and there are many other carriers who deal with problems better than Air Canada.

I’ll have a few more trips coming up this year, and I’ll be documenting them in my travelogue section. Keep an eye out for them.

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