EdinburghPosted: December 3, 2011
At 8.2 pm0 Mariah and I headed over to the Glouster Green bus stop (the one right by Regent’s). But the bus ran into a bunch of construction traffic in London, missed the deadline for Mariah to store her big luggage long term, and almost missed our overnight bus. Thanks to God, I had happened to ask our bus driver where the next station was that we needed to change to, and he said, “Oh, that one? it’s the next stop, just get on!” and took us. we would DEFINITELY have missed the next bus if I hadn’t asked and he hadn’t let us keep going. we were so thankful for that.
The trip 9 hours overnight was not too fun. especially since the bathrooms ran out of toilet paper an hour in. Plus it’s not to easy to sleep on a bus. But that’s alright, we made it, and we didn’t have to buy a night’s lodging for that night.
we arrived at 7.50 AND IT WAS STILL KIND OF DARK. psh. Moscow weather…
we wandered around a bit trying to find our hostel, and between my printed directions, Mariah’s phone app, and a helpful bystander, we got things figured out. We’re staying at High Street Hostel. It’s pretty good, so far. They let us store our stuff from 8 am, even though you can’t check in until 2 pm, it’s warm-ish and got internet. so we got good info from the front desk, regrouped, and left again. we stopped at a grocery store for breakfast/lunch food, then wandered around a bit at a graveyard and a park (which turned out to be on the tour later. as Mariah said, we “pregamed the tour”, but we didn’t know any of the stories). Then we spent 45-ish minutes in the really cool National Museum of Scotland. The Scottish history stuff was cool, but we were tired enough that we had a lot more fun looking at the kids exhibits of dinosaur skeletons and stuffed giraffes and sharks and videos of volcanoes.
Then we walked back to the “Royal Mile”, a really historic part of town, and took a free (well, tips-only) 3 hour walking tour of Edinburgh’s Old Town. There were about 22 people on our tour, and a friendly, funny Scot named Jonny lead it. We were SO COLD, though. I still haven’t thawed. But it was really interesting and historical but also entertaining. I’d heard really great things about the New Europe tours, and this one definitely didn’t disapooint.
Edinburgh is MUCH hillier than Oxford.you’d round a corner, and see that you’re 20 feet above the street below. Although I haven’t taken a tour of Oxford to have a direct comparison, I think Scotland is much more defined AGAINST England, as SCOTS, and their hsitory is one of a lot of conflict. Which makes for really interesting stories, but it’s a different feel. maaaaybe more of an American, defiant, pioneering feel, although in American there’s no ONE enemy against whom we define ourselves.
So we’re back at the hostel now. Mariah’s showering and I’m on the internet, and trying to warm up. It’s not going very well. so i may head downstairs to get some complementary hot chocolate and play whichever of the beat up guitars downstairs in the lounge works best. Guitars!!! I love them!
Tonight I think we’ll go to a pub, and then turn in early. We need to be at the bus station by 7.45ish tomorrow to pick up Mariah’s luggage within the time frame that she stored it, and then our bus for Inverness (3.5/4 hour trip) leaves at 9 am. So, just a quick, cold day in Edinburgh, but really fun.
Edit: we went to the pub, were serenaded by a group of very drunk Scotsmen with Christmas songs, and did NOT eat haggis. And I think I’ve finally warmed up. I was convinced there for a while that I would never be warm again. four shirts, two layers of of pants, two layers of socks, and a 3 hour nap helped. Also: the internet hates it when I try to upload pictures. So those’ll come later.