Monday, 11 June 2012

Edinburgh (trip through the UK part one)

Did you know that I've been saying Edinburgh wrong my whole life? Turns out the rgh isn't silent! You actually pronounce it "Ed-in-bur-ah". It's a good thing my kind British coworkers pointed out that little fact to me BEFORE I left for my Aptil trip or I may have been in trouble! (But apparently the Canadian accent means you get a little more forgiveness when you make those little mistakes)
Flights booked!!

Before I left the UK I decided it was about time I saw more of the place other than just Kendal and Cartmel. So after my last official shift (and the week where I helped out anyway because I'm just that nice) at work, I headed off on my little journey.


I think before diving in I need to explain two things. One: I've never really planned a trip before. Sure, I'm living in the UK but that's not a trip. Not really. I left home to come here and live. No booking hotels, no (well not much) wandering around strange cities trying to see the sights... Two: I like leaving things to the last minute. Want proof? I'm writing a post about my April trip 2 months later. :)

My trip sort of began on Wednesday the 4th of April. I didn't leave for the trip for another five days but this is the day I decided I was going. I bought my plane tickets and booked a budget hotel room for my first night, went into Kendal and bought a really cool (and on sale!) backpack. (also on a side note, this was my last trip to Kendal so it was kinda bitter sweet for me). I packed some clean clothes, my ipod, camera and some contact solution and I was good to go! I decided that since I was going to be carrying my possessions on my back that I would leave my laptop behind. This was basically my first time being without it since I got it in September 2007!!

Yep. Definitely in the UK!
After a couple more days of 'helping out' at work, Monday (and the actual start of my trip) rolled around. I should probably point out that my foresight was sort of lacking here. It WAS Easter Monday... but honestly, who would have thought that the buses wouldn't be running their usual route on Easter Monday?! So after waiting at the bus stop (in the rain... it IS England after all!!), I went back to the flat, woke up my lovely, wonderful, gorgeous, selfless flatmate (:D) and she drove me the five miles to the train station in Grange. (Have I mentioned how much I love my flatmate??)

I caught the train from Grange-Over-Sand to Lancaster then back up north to Edinburgh. It was standing room only from Grange to Lancaster and also from Lancaster to Carlisle then I was able to get a seat on the very crowded train (so unfortunately I didn't take any photos of the train ride but it was BEAUTIFUL!!).

Lovely little hotel room!

The very first thing I did on landing in Edinburgh was find out how to leave it. I was already at the train station so I figured that would be the best way to figure out how to make my way to the airport in the morning (10am flight meant I would be leaving earlier than most shops would be open to point me in the right direction so I needed to get all that sorted early!). I bought my bus ticket that would take me to the airport in the morning and then headed into the city center to check things out!

I did a small amount of wandering through the main downtown core (or the touristy part anyway) before I found my cute little hotel. VERY lovely, I wold recommend this place to anyone! After settling in, and ditching the super heavy backpack, I went for some more wandering and stumbled on the castle! Seriously. I approached it from a lower vantage point, coming at it from the bottom of the hill so my first view of the castle was AMAZING! So glad for that little misdirection!
The castle!!

I bought some shawarma (cause I'm not brave enough for haggis) and finished off my night by going on a paranormal ghost hunt under the streets of Edinburgh! Another highly recommended thing to do in the city, go on a tour with Mercat Tours. VERY fun!

Because of my early(ish) departure in the morning I called it a night after the tour, thus ending my (all too short!) time in Edinburgh.

I promise I'll be back!!!

Stay tuned for Northern Ireland, Ireland and my short adventure on the London Underground and Oxford!

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