Nice sunset view as we pass over London, England, on our way to Albania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Shkodra, Albania.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Hiking the Peaks of the Balkans, June 13-24!

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

We sure put on the steps!

The step counter on the phone read 24,365 by the end of the day.

We had checked out of our room but left our bags in the storage area so that we could make our way to pick up our car rental on the other side of Birmingham. Then, I found a little breakfast and lunch restaurant in a nearby industrial area. That turned out to be a great choice!

Breakfast out in England tends to be around £10. But this little place did a full breakfast for £7.50, or a smaller one for £5.25 ($6.70 USD, $9.10 CAD). We chose the smaller one, and that was more than sufficient.

Kay's Cafe in Birmingham is a good choice for breakfast out!

From there, we found the bus stop to take us downtown. It was too far to walk, so we figured we would take the bus to the center, and then walk the 5 kms (3 miles) or so to the Hertz location.

There's our bus!

Cost for the bus was £2 ($2.50 USD, $3.50 CAD) per person and I was able to tap and pay with credit card. The front seats on the upper level were empty, so we sat up there.

View from the front seats on the upper deck.

But for whatever reason, the bus didn't take us as far as we expected. It eventually pulled over at a stop, and the engine was shut off. We sat for a few seconds, and then the driver came up and said that was the end of the line. There were a few other people also surprised. Anyhow, it added another couple of kilometers to our walk.

Ruth, trying out one of the deck chairs.

Birmingham has a lot of canals.
On the right side of this photo is the LEGO store.

Built out of LEGO.

Birmingham has more canals than Venice!

We were lucky that our route to the car rental place took us right along one of the canals.

It did go through some sketchy areas though.

Lots of graffiti.

And this one area had lots of trash in the water.

There are a lot of locks on this section.

Canada goose with her little ones.

Made it to Hertz about ten minutes later than our 11:00am reservation. The car was ready, and it was a simple process to get us on the road. We have a 2023 Vauxhall Corsa with 13,000 miles (21,000 kms) on it.

Made it back to our hotel and picked up the bags.

Our wheels for the next three weeks.

It's a nice enough car, with all the toys... however it's totally gutless with a little 1.2 liter 3 cylinder engine. It does fine though, and it's going to be good on fuel at 5.6 liters per 100 kms (about 46 mpg U.S.).

We got on the secondary roads and drove about an hour north to the Loynton Moss Nature Reserve.

Out for a walk.

Lots of pretty wildflowers out.

Through a forest area.

And then alongside this canal.


Looking back at where we came from.

Canal boats.

And along this country road.

A field of buttercups.

Back at the car, we headed further north to the town of Crewe. We had rented a room at a place just south of town called "The Dairy Farm". And that's exactly what it was... a dairy farm house that has three rental rooms. Really nice place.

Ruth, at the entrance to our house.

Big bright room.

The bathroom is huge... with a heated floor.

View from one window.

View from the other window.

More expensive than we like to pay, but still really good value for what you get, at £45 ($57 USD, $78 CAD) per night.

We hadn't eaten since our big breakfast, so around 5:00pm we were getting hungry. Not many choices within walking distance, but there was a pub about 2.5 kms (a mile) away through some fields. As we set out, the owner greeted us (we hadn't met him yet as it's self check in). Really nice guy. Anyhow, he said that it was complicated and muddy to get to the pub through the fields and instead he suggested a different walk to a different pub, but it was a longer distance.

No problem, we need the exercise.

Anyhow, we ended up not being able to find the way across a major road, and made our way back to the original pub through a different route.

Small church along the way.

Through some more fields.

Saying hi to some sheep along the way.

Through another field.

And finally made our way to the pub! Got there about 6:30pm. No idea how far we walked, but it had to be over 7 kms (4 miles)!

We each had the chicken tikka masala.
It was really good!

Total bill including a beer and a cider was £39 ($49.50 USD, $67.50 CAD).

Then we had to walk another 2.5 kms (a mile and a half) to get back to the house.

Today, we will drive up to Preston where we will be house sitting for the next 8 days. 


And in Canada...


  1. Great post and pics, so much greenery, thanks. Never heard of a Vauxhall Corsa

    1. Thank you, we are glad that you enjoyed the post.

      Vauxhall Motors is a British car manufacturer and their cars are not sold in Canada or the USA, that is probably why you have never heard of this car before.

  2. Thank you Ruth. I reread your post and saw the step

    1. Yes,, we did a lot of steps but we have to get ourselves prepared for our hike in June. 24,000 steps is about equal to 18 km (11 mil), on our hike in June we are going to have a number of days that will be between 19 and 23 km (12 and 14 mil) along with lots of elevation. So not only do we did to work on distance but we need to find some hills to climb. :-)


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