Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Tuesday 1 October - Return to Canada

Our flight was due out at 1515 so we were not rushed. We took a walk down to Kensington Gardens, passing a newsagent/tobaccanist which had an Oyster top up machine.  These are all over London.  We noted how easily we had topped up our Oyster cards at an Underground station yesterday - it took about 30 seconds each.
The last few weeks have given us the opportunity to experience Shropshire in some detail. Shropshire is very much a provincial town where the pace of life is slower than in the cities. The people seem less rushed and were happy to talk to us. We met some pleasant and interesting people. We also had the chance to get out into the country. I have been reading Keats' Ode to Autumn and, although written some 200 years ago I could identify with many of the items discussed - full grown lambs, swallows, robins, crickets etc. I have just downloaded a version of Housman's A Shropshire Lad which should provide some interesting reading. I now know about the Long Mynd, Wenlock Edge and the Clee Hills and while we didn't quite get there I now know where Clun Castle is which places a whole new meaning to the steam locomotive named after this remote location.
Altogether a well worthwhile trip.
The Heathrow Express was good and we left main line but there were places when the ride was very lively indeed.  I don't know if it was a track or a truck problem.
The Air Canada flight direct to Ottawa was very good although the cabin crew were somewhat surly and inept. There were no screaming kids to punctuate the boredom.  We arrived in Ottawa about 20 minutes early but had a bit of a wait for our bags to come through.  We walked through the Rideau Centre off the 97 bus and had to fight our way through the line ups to buy monthly passes for OC Transpo.  I didn't need to look at a calendar to figure out it was the first of the month.  Ah well!