You find me dear reader feeling ever so slightly sleep deprived, I'm writing this at approximately 3am on Wednesday morning, in 2 hours I leave to get the Megabus to Birmingham. I am snuffly with hayfever and decided that I should sleep on the sofa so that I didn't wake Mr C when my alarm went off at 4am, it's unfortunate then that I can't actually sleep, I did doze off only to be awoken by a husky tap dancing in her cage, the dog has skills!
You may remember a few weeks ago that the good people of Facebook chose via a public vote chose to send me to Birmingham after a contest of peoples least favourite cities. I'm actually quite excited because I think all cities have some amazing things in them to explore, especially if you haven't been before.
I've heard many wonderful reports of the Library of Birmingham and just looking at their page is enough to whet my appetite, have you seen that architecture, there's nothing else like it for sure and the views from the top are supposed to be amazing so that's going to be one of the first places I visit when I arrive in Birmingham at lunchtime.
This will be my first UK Cityscapes trip away on my own and I'll miss introducing one of my daughters to something they haven't seen before but of course this means the next time I return mum can be the official tour guide.
On Thursday I'll be taking trains to Coventry and Wolverhampton, worryingly, there isn't actually even an official tourist website for Wolverhampton but I'm sure I'll be able to find amazing things in both of the cities when I spend half a day in each of them. Interestingly when I googled Coventry I found this article by a local describing it as the armpit of the midlands, maybe I should be slightly more trepidatious about my upcoming 3 days in the Midlands?
My first big adventure which of course I will be reporting back on will be my very first experience of the Megabus, for anyone who doesn't know, one of the most important aspects of my project is that of responsible travel, I am using only buses and trains (and maybe a ferry for Northern Ireland) for this whole project, I believe in slow tourism and green tourism, I think it's a better way to sustain economies, it's better for the planet and life is a nicer thing entirely at a more gentile pace, even though I know this and I am delighted that my fare to Birmingham is £5, yes £5 (a day ticket in Newcastle is £3.80) I am slightly worried about the quality of travel you get for a fiver when compared to the train which was £110 (that is return and you do have to take into account that my trip back was £15) so £20 in comparison to £90. I suppose first of all there's the time aspect, 4 hours on the train as opposed to 6 hours by bus, the fact that I'm going on a bus at 5.30am in the morning and the bus does not have seat reservations so you could end up next to anyone but I suppose you could say that of the train too.
I'll certainly be tweeting about the experience on the go so if you are on Twitter please do follow me at http://twitter.com/MandyCharlton
Onwards to adventure!