Why Wales Entry #2- Planes, Trains, and Buses.
There are four New Paltz students (including myself) studying abroad in Cardiff. It is interesting to me, how we have all attended this small school for at several years, and never even knew of each other. Surprising to the both of us, one of the travellers not only shared a class and a major with me, but also lived in the apartment above me in town. As for the other two, we only had a few mutual friends on facebook. We met at the pre-departure orientation, and have been facebooking ever since. It’s interesting how four perfect strangers all heading in the same direction can become such great friends.
Day one, I arrived at JFK airport way ahead of schedule. I said goodbye to my sister and brother-in-law, and headed to check my bag. After a quick hello/goodbye with one of my best friends, I went down through security and waited for boarding time. As I was so early, I didn’t expect the other two NP travellers to be there for a while. Ironically, I sat there for about 45 minutes before noticing that Nina, the other traveller from New Paltz was sitting in front of me in the waiting area.
The plane was ahead of schedule, so we had extra time to do nothing in Amsterdam. Even though there was nothing to do during our layover, we were punchy from not sleeping on the plane, so we found things to do. We found these awesome kiddie chairs that we just had to take pictures on.
We also enjoyed some Starbucks to keep us awake to enjoy our first impressions of Cardiff, and we asked a not so friendly woman what time it was.
-“Excuse me… Do you know what time it is?”
–“There is a clock on zie wall!”
-“okay, thank you!”
Seriously, you had to be there.
We get to Cardiff. (Customs was a breeze!) We get to the baggage claim area where it is just me, Nina, and Christine waiting for our luggage. Christine grabs hers. Nina snatches hers off the conveyer belt. I wait. Approximately 30 seconds later, a gentleman politely comes over and informs me that ‘if my luggage has not yet arrived… it will not be arriving.’ …great.
But still, I’m in Wales!
That’s why the whole luggage thing didn’t get me down. I was finally in Wales. After all the forms, and packing, and saving, I was finally here. Plus, it was nice to have my hands free to take pictures rather than wheeling my luggage around.
From the airport, we took a bus to a train to a bus to a taxi. We took the taxi to Christine’s dorm (we decided to take each other to each dorm rather than individually getting lost). After Christine’s we made it over to Nina’s dorm. Then we had to take several busses to make it to my dorm (hall).
There we met up with Meg, the missing link from New Paltz who was adventuring for about 8 days in the UK before our arrival. She already knew about my luggage fiasco and was excited for some dinner and shopping.
I joined Meg for a ‘two for £5.50’ meal deal at The Royal George. It was here that we discussed our adventures getting here, and the adventures to come. We hiked our way back to University Hall, knowing that this is only the beginning.