First thing was to make sure we caught our bus on time. Saturday schedule is a little bit limited, and the bus doesn't run very often at the best of times. We had a twenty minute walk just to get to the bus stop so we had walked it the day before just to be sure we knew how long it was going to take!
Ruth waiting at the bus stop in Pontrilas.
Notice the clear blue sky. We had to check and make sure we were still in England! It was a gorgeous day, and it's certainly not very often that you see a sky this clear here in the U.K.
Our bus was right on time and we paid our £9.20 ($15.18) for a return ticket for the two of us. It was about a half hour journey and we arrived at about 10:30am.
We had appointments for an eye test at 2:05pm so we had some time to get the rest of our things done. The central area is pretty easy to get around. Hereford is just a small city with a population of 55,000. But it sure does have a lot of traffic for such a small place! I think everyone drives cars because the public transportation is so expensive. Interestingly, anybody over the age of 60 can travel for free on any public transportation bus anywhere in England. At the expense of everybody else. So, 90% of the people on the bus are, of course, over the age of 60!
First on the agenda was new hats and gloves. We're going to be in Iceland, and we wanted to be prepared for chilly weather! But, we're not going to be there for very long so we didn't want to spend very much money. So we went into a lot of different stores. Saw a couple of touques in the Primark store for £2.00 ($3.30) each and figured that was a pretty good deal. Then we wondered if we really needed them at all because we both have hoods on our jackets.
Gloves were a bit more of a problem because we were having a hard time finding anything cheap. Best we could see was around £5.00 ($8.25) each. So for the two of us we were going to have to spend £14.00 ($23.10) on hats and gloves that were hardly going to be used. So we figured we'd keep shopping.
Went into a discount sporting goods store, and they had a small selection of gloves on sale. The pair I chose are too big, and the pair Ruth chose are slightly too small. Regular price was around £7.00 each, and mine were on sale for £1.59 and Ruth's were on sale for £0.99! Great deal! They're not perfect, but they'll keep our hands warm.
Then, we ended up in one of these second hand shops that support cancer or something. They had a whole bunch of childrens items, and on the rack were two brand new adult size toques. They still had the tags on them, and they were priced at £0.50 each! Great deal!
So, we are all set with brand new hats and gloves for a total cost of £3.58 ($5.91).
As we were shopping for those items, we were also keeping our eyes open for an electrical plug travel adapter. We already have the adapter from North America to UK, and we had borrowed adapters for while we were in Europe. But Iceland also uses European style electrical outlets. We ended up coming across one priced at £1.29 ($2.13) and picked it up.
We had brought some premade bread and butter and lettuce so we stopped in at the grocery store and bought some presliced turkey meat and cheese. Sat down and made our own lunch on a park bench!
As we were wandering back towards the central area for our eye test appointments, we saw some commotion at the central square. Turns out we were just in time for the welcome celebration for local Paralympic athletes.
So we stayed and watched some of the ceremony.
And then it was time for our eye test. We went to Boots Opticians because they had a coupon special where you could get an eye exam and test for £10.00 ($16.50) each. Regular price was double that, so it was a good deal. But it's a really good deal compared to the cost in Canada where we would have spent between $60 and $100 or more for an eye exam and test.
I have needed "beginner" reading glasses since I turned 45. But, they are getting worse although my distance vision is still close to perfect. Other than a slight astigmatism, my eyes are fine. Ruth is about the same, although my eyes are now slightly worse for reading than hers.
We will both be getting prescription glasses, but we're getting them from an online store because the prices are ridiculously cheap. In fact, we'll be sharing this whole experience with you next month because we are going to promote this company to our readers. But we want to try them out first to make sure everything goes as planned before we tell you all about them.
So with that done, we went and picked up a few groceries and headed back to the bus stop. Again, our bus was right on time and we were the youngest people on it until a couple of teens got on near the last stop. You have to wonder how the system survives. There must be a lot of government subsidies to support a system where most of the passengers ride for free.
So it was a great day, and we got everything accomplished that we wanted to!