Published: August 16th 2011July 16th 2006
Well, it's taken me about 24 hours longer than it should have but I'm here! I arrived at London Gatwick at 7am. They immediately held back my luggage for my 8pm British Airways flight to Edinburgh but I refuse to sit in yet another airport all day. I'm sure it's going to cost a fortune for me to get a new train ticket but at least I'll see something besides airports. So here I am...sitting and waiting for my luggage. But at least I've been able to chat with a really nice airline attendant that lives near Fort William. She's recommended a great B&B there :)
So I finally got my luggage! I wish I had heeded Rick Steves's advice and carried on but experience makes you a wiser traveler and I'll know for next time. So they've let me use my train ticket to get out of Gatwick to King's Cross but I had to spend another 96 pounds to purchase a new ticket to Edinburgh. That's almost $200...yikes! Especially when my original ticket cost me 24 pounds! But, it's too late now and I'm on my way.
I got to chat with a really nice guy named Ian...from Zimbabwe lol. He rode about half my trip with me and we talked about a lot of nice things...mostly about how pompous Americans are to the rest of the world and what a bad image we have. He was impressed that I believe that way because that's how the majority of everyone else outside of American seems to think as well. We moved around a lot. We wanted window seats but they were all reserved. No one was sitting in them so we did...we discovered really quickly that the reservation told us when the ticket holder got on so we would just change seats when that stop came up. I'm sure the rest of the people thought we were crazy but it was better than sitting alone in the aisle.
So Ali and Meg came and picked me up at the train station. I'm SO thankful Ali and I got cell phones and sim cards before we met up. We exchanged numbers weeks ago and it's made all the difference in the world. I haven't slept yet...not since that smoky hotel room in Nashville. It's been well over 30 hours so we dump my stuff, get a cup of coffee (they have Starbucks in Edinburgh, of course!) and head out. We go to the Hard Rock Cafe for dinner and just get appetizers...I get a Hard Rock t-shirt from every city I visit. Then we go to the tour of Mary King's Close, which I highly recommend. It's absolutely incredible...I get to walk into a house that was built in the mid-1600's and exists under today's Edinburgh. I don't know if I buy the whole ghost story bit but the history of it is really cool.
Our B&B is great! We're staying at Morningside Guest House and the owners, Heather and Giorgio DiMicheli are incredible. Giorgio is a little Italian man and Heather was born and raised in Scotland. They joke that he didn't speak English at first and she didn't speak Italian so their relationship was purely physical for the first few years lol. They're wonderful and are a wealth of information about Edinburgh. Our room is great...we share restrooms with the rest of the floor but who cares?
The sun doesn't go down here until almost 11pm in the summer so even though my train didn't get in until after 5pm we got in SO much sightseeing! Tomorrow we're going to Edinburgh Castle and then need to take Meg to the train station. She lives in London and needs to head back for work. Even though I just met her today I feel like we've been friends for ages.