Monday, 9 November 2015

2015 - Day Out 16: Return from London

Its our final morning in London and we wake up for the last time this year at Travelodge Docklands hotel and enjoy our last breakfast before making our way back to the West Midlands.

Travelodge Docklands Hotel
After making sure everything is packed, I make my way downstairs for some "fresh air" before Mr UKBuses surfaces and we make our way into the Bar Cafe where we fill up with a large breakfast to ensure we are full until we get back to the West Midlands. With a table chosen it is time to get our food and Mr UKBuses spends a few minutes again at the coffee machine and I think today he has got the hang of it. Whilst he is messing about with the coffee machine, I make my way to the food and load my plate up with bacon, sausage, beans and hash browns and make my way to the table. Mr UKBuses gets his plate filled up and we eat our breakfast. With my main breakfast out of the way, it is time to wash it down with some more apple juice and a few yoghurt's. Whilst Mr UKBuses finishes his breakfast off, I go outside for some "fresh air" before making my way back in. It is nearly time to leave and we make our way back to the rooms and make sure that everything is packed. I say goodbye to my room and make my way down to reception and check out. Time for a quick break of "fresh air" whilst waiting for Mr UKBuses and he checks out and we make our way to East India DLR station saying goodbye to Travelodge Docklands, see picture left.

We climb the stairs for the last time this year and tap in and make our way to the platform where after a few minutes we catch our DLR train to Canning Town, where we change onto The Underground and onto the Jubilee Line where we board a packed train. Luckily we do get chance to sit down for a few stops before we alight at Green Park, where we change onto the Victoria Line and catch our final tube this year to Victoria station where we alight and tap out. We make our way to ground, where Mr UKBuses asks if I want some "fresh air", only because he wants me to look after his bag whilst he goes around Victoria bus station to get a few photographs. Mr UKBuses has been gone for a while and expecting him to come around the corner, he pops up behind me as he has been in the station to get an extra OysterCard for when he comes down with family. Its time to say goodbye to London and we make our way to Buckingham Palace Road, where after a few minutes waiting at the bus stop, we board a London General service 11 bus. We don't have to go to far before we arrive at our stop and we alight at the same stop that we caught our first bus from on Friday, so you could say that we have come full circle and now is the time to leave London.

Victoria Coach Station
We are at Victoria Coach Station, see picture right, it is a bit different this time as we have to go in the main departure building and after getting some liquid refreshment for the journey back, we find out where we have to depart from. Once we find out, we make our way to Gate 14 and have a rest before our journey. With the coach due to arrive soon, I decide to get some "fresh air" leaving Mr UKBuses looking after the luggage this time. I make my way back to gate 14 and we still have about fifteen minutes to wait. A young girl comes running around the corner trying to get out but as the doors are locked she starts to panic but eventually she does get the attention a member of staff and luckily she does get to board her coach, a few seconds before it was about to drive off. It is nearly 11:00am and our coach is ready to board, we show our tickets to the driver who loads our luggage and we board our National Express Coach, this time taking the back seat as the front seat was unavailable due to a passenger deciding to leave his luggage there and using the seat opposite!

Just after 11:00am, we depart Victoria Coach Station and make our way through the streets of London and I follow suit as a fellow passenger takes his shoes off, so I take my boots off. After about 40 minutes we make a stop at Golders Green Underground Station, where a few more passengers board and then we make our way out of London and onto the M1 Motorway. Mr UKBuses decides to have a nap so he misses out on passing through Milton Keynes and Coventry and just before Birmingham, he wakes up just in time to alight when we arrive at Birmingham Coach Station at 13:50pm. With our luggage, we make our way to the bus stop and this time catch a National Express West Midlands service 60 bus from Digbeth to the Bull Ring where upon arrival, I forget we are not in London anymore and try to make my way to the non-existent central doors. After finally getting off our bus, we make our way around to Birmingham Moor Street Railway Station, where a late running train means we are able to board and get to Stourbridge a bit quicker.

We make our way through Birmingham Snow Hill, Jewellery Quarter, Smethwick Galton Bridge, Rowley Regis and Cradley Heath before arriving at Stourbridge Junction just shy of 14:30pm. Mr UKBuses has a lift, but I decide to pop into Stourbridge so I can visit the bank and also have a post-trip pint at JD Wetherspoons, "The Chequers Inn", so after saying goodbye to Mr UKBuses, I make my way to Platform 1 where I don't have to wait long for the Stourbridge Shuttle, where upon arrival at Stourbridge Interchange, I make my way to Stourbridge High Street and have a relaxing pint. On my way back to Stourbridge Interchange, I spot a Hanson's Service 250 coming down the High Street, so quickly make my way to the bus stop where I board and catch the bus into Wollaston, where after another quick pint of Batham's at "The Unicorn", I make my way home where I give my legs a well deserved rest.

Another great break was had in the Capital and a big thankyou to Mr UKBuses, as the break wouldn't have been possible without the planning by Mr UKBuses. Speaking of Mr UKBuses, his bald spot made an appearance over the weekend:
Bald Spot 1
Bald Spot 1: The Bald Spot makes an appearance at Canning Town Bus Station.

Bald Spot 2
Bald Spot 2: The Bald Spot makes another appearance at Canning Town Bus Station.

Bald Spot 3
Bald Spot 3: The Bald Spot pays tribute to "George" outside the Copthorne Tara Hotel, Kensington.

Bald Spot 4
Bald Spot 4: The Bald Spot ready to catch the coach at Victoria Coach Station.

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