Tag Archives: Scotland

Day 6 – Belfast to Edinburgh

This day wasn’t as exciting as the others.
I started the day getting up early… … Got some tea and toast for breakfast to deal with the lack of nourishment in my system. Got some water for Dana too, who needed it. She didn’t remember my name, which when hanging out with people in a hostel environment that happens. Chilled a bit before heading out.

Got to the bus station and bought a ticket. Met a guy from California and we made the trip together. Went from the bus to the ferry, the ferry to the bus, the bus to the bus, and that bus to Edinburgh. I remember taking the ferry from 7 years ago, which was interesting.

After getting off the bus I was so lost and confused. I didn’t have a phone and my computer was out of battery so I couldn’t check where the shuttle was that I needed to pick up. The train station people didn’t know where it was but luckily gave me the phone number for the Globetrotter Inn Hostel I was staying at. I called them (and the phone ate a pound of mine), and the lady gave me some really confusing directions. I had to go towards the castle, then she said not to. She said to find Waverly, Waterloo place, and these things which I should have written down. I got out of the bus station and walked down to Princes street, but I got confused with bus stations and ended up walking up and down Princes street for a while trying to figure out where the right bus station was. Finally found the right one, and got on the shuttle to the hostel. The hostel was about 2 or 3 miles away from the city, which was really strange… And apparently it cost £1.50 to use it. Wouldn’t that discourage people from going into the city? Anyhow, I was tired so I stayed at the hostel. I tried doing laundry, which failed miserably because I didn’t press the white button when it got to the dryer stage. So my clothes smelled pretty funky, which sucked. But there was a nice sunset which I took pictures of. Got some Curry and Beer at the hostel’s bar, and watched a football (and I mean soccer) match on TV. Worked a bit on my laptop formatting pictures from Belfast. Then while waiting for the laundry I watched TV with the staff of the hostel. I don’t understand TV by the way.

Then it was off to get some sleep.


Day 7 – Edinburgh

Got up and eventually made my way over to the other hostel. The Globetrotter Inn has this system where you have to load money onto your card and then you can spend that money on stuff at the hostel. This is annoying, and I had 61 pence left to use before leaving so I bought a juice box. How long has it been since I drank one of those???

Anyhow, the other hostel didn’t have check in until around 2 o’clock, so I left my stuff there and headed out. Walked down the Royal Mile towards the Queen’s place. I got on a hiking trail (in my sandals) and hiked up to King Arthur’s Seat. This was a long long and steep hike, but I made it. Very nice view of the whole city. I went back down and around so that I walked down Regal street. The hostel wasn’t ready for check in at that point so I decided to get lunch at a place they recommended. Went to The Castle Arms, which was nice and tasty. I didn’t get the 10% discount because I forgot to show my hostel card beforehand. Oh well. Came back and checked in. Got to talking to one of the girls in the main lounge area named Amy, and we decided to go see Edinburgh Castle.

It was weird seeing the place again. As I’ve mentioned, I went here 7 years ago, and I remember bits and parts of it. It’s like reading a book with a sheet of paper covering the next line from where you are reading, except it’s remembering for me. The castle itself wasn’t that exciting. Maybe worth £7 but not the £11 that I paid.

After the castle we walked around the Old Town section of Edinburgh. Saw a hill infested with rabbits. Saw a guy carrying a whip. Saw all sorts of shops.

For food we got this really gross fast food kind fish and chips place. I wanted to get something interesting, so got a Tuna Pizza along with fish and chips. Both were extremely gross, and I don’t think I’ll be ordering that anymore. Oh well.

And another day was over.


Day 8 – Edinburgh

Got up, got tea, got lost. Meaning that Amy and I set out to find the famed Royal Botanical Gardens, and completely went the wrong direction. We walked and walked and walked, maybe somewhere around 5 miles before we somehow miraculously found our destination. On the way I thought out loud “I could really go for some fresh bread from a bakery” and by some magical spell a bakery appeared a few blocks later! With fresh bread! FOR 10 PENCE!!! Which was awesome.

Got to the park, and bought a map for 50 pence. Sat down and planned out our route while relaxing our feet from the long lost walk. Then slowly made our ways around the gardens, looking at all the flowers and trees and green stuff. There were some really interesting ones, and some really boring ones.

About halfway through we had a small lunch at the cafe in the center. I got an apple, another juice box, a caramel shortbread sweet, and a caramel muffin. SO much sugar. It hurt my brain it was so sweet! Especially the caramel shortbread. Wow. But the apple was great. Continued our journey around. Saw plants from around the world. Took a short relaxing break in the expanse of grass after the foresty area.

We didn’t get as lost on our way back, and walked straight back to the hostel. I took a nap on the couch, and worked on my computer a bit. Relaxed in the small room past the kitchen which is a bit hidden.

I introduced Amy to Eddie Izzard, which she thought was great. After a bit we went to get food at the local food mart, at where I got some Indian snacks which were delicious. Hung out with this German guy who was really friendly. He gave me two Fosters beers.

And then went to bed.


Day 9 – Edinburgh

I’m writing this from day 14, and so much has happened since this day so I’ll probably not remember the small stuff, but here it goes.

I got up and had tea. One thing I really liked about that hostel was it had free tea/hot chocolate/coffee. Brilliant.

Today we decided to go see the Museum of Scotland/Royal Museum. This was me, Amy, and that German guy. We left for the Museum and walked around. And around. And around. It was a lot of walking. We saw all of these taxedermed (?) animals, which Amy didn’t really like. Some of them were fake too. I thought it was really cool, and I wish I hadn’t been with them so I could have spent more time in that part of the exhibit. Later we got to a rock formation/type part of the museum and I found that really interesting, so I did slow down and forced them to semi-wait for me. The museum had this really weird clock at one end of their large hall that chimed on the hour, and did this whole moving musical number. But it was creepy because it was all statues of hellish fiends and tortured people. Actually in retrospect that museum was a lot more interesting than I thought it was at the time… They had this kind of cool history of design room, where they had different objects from specific types of designs (like Art Deco, Victorian, etc).

After getting through with that half of the building we made our way into the other side, which was Scottish history. First went to the roof and found that there are millions of chimneys in Edinburgh. We then went through all the exhibits, which weren’t too exciting… I don’t exactly find the old Scottish history that fascinating, though there are lots of dramatic moments.

So then we left that Museum and looked for something to eat. I brought us to the Castle Arms, the place I went a few days beforehand and though I had a good meal before, this one wasn’t that great. Apparently the beer in Scotland is flat, and warm (that’s actually how they have it). And I also got haggis for the second time in my life. Amazingly I had the same reaction. It tasted good, but the texture wasn’t great at all.

After getting filled with food, we headed off to another Museum. This time it was the National Gallery of Scotland. It was a lot of the usual old paintings. Maybe if I knew more Art History I would appreciate it more. I’ll talk more about art on day 13 (When I went to the Tate Modern).

So after that adventure, we walked a bit on Princes St, and Amy and I parted ways with the German (I wish I remembered his name). Amy and I went back to the hostel and just hung out, drinking with other people. Not any important specifics. I think I went to Tesco and got some gross lasagna (recommended by that Wisconsin guy).

Oh right, “HAVE IT!” That’s a phrase from a guy at Belfast. I like it.


Day 10 – Edinburgh to London

Got up and checked out of the hostel, which was a little awkward since I stayed at the hostel for the rest of the day sorta. I ventured out into the world where I bought a bus ticket, which was a not-so-interesting back and forth, trying to figure out what would be cheapest. I went to the Library to research hostels for later in the trip and booked some, and also looked at prices for other things. Eventually, when back at the bus station I saw a flyer that advertised a bus service that was cheaper than the normal one. Got the ticket for £20 from some really tall tall cool looking guy. But the bus was at 9:30 at night so I had to stick around Edinburgh for a whole day.

So I came back and did a bit of journaling, sat around. Amy came by and was bored with me. Made a house of cards, or that is several of them. They said it was daft to build a card castle on a smooth table. But I built it all the same. That one fell down. The second one collapsed and burned into ash. etc etc it’s a Monty Python reference, pay no attention to me.

Anyhow, I got really sick of all that sitting around, so I got up and took another walk around Edinburgh with Amy. Went inside a few shops. Took a secret picture of the Douglas kilt pattern. Bought some shortbread.

OH! That’s right. We were walking along and police were restricting people from crossing North Bridge. We tried to see what was going on, but after a while decided to move on. We tried going a few ways around but it was all cut off. A little while later we saw some people pointing over at the bridge. At this point we were at the next bridge down the way and could see over and saw a person who had climbed over the railing and was sitting on the side of one of the pillars. I guess it was a suicide attempt, and there were two people on the bridge talking to him/her. That was a little surreal and weird… Kind of mellowed the mood of the rest of the day.

Explored a bit more. Went over to the Observation tower. It cost money to get in, which I wasn’t going to pay, so we just sat on a bench overlooking the city for a spell.

Anyhow, had a very good and cheap dinner at the Tron. Then said goodbyes and got on the bus. Transfered in Glasgow. Slept all the way to London.