Casa’s Blog

A Life Abroad

When I wake up, well I know i’m gonna be, I’m gonna be the man who wakes up next you!

As was foreshadowed in previous posts, I spent this weekend in Scotland.  In Edinburgh to be more precise.  I headed off on a train to Edinburgh at 3:12pm on Friday after quickly packing my bag after university (I must admit I was better prepared in knowing what to pack than I had been before Cumbria where I took too little and Wales where I took too much!).  Early that day I had attended a seminar for Crime Prevention & Community Safety where I once again proved I can bullshit with the best of them.

We had an unmarked group presentation to do about an article(yes, unmarked!) and as a result I had put very little work in to it (20 mins reading the article to be precise).  Well when we got up there, our group who had divided up the 6 questions one each, although I had to do two rocked it.  Other groups, and people in my group, had powerpoints, written speeches, etc (way to eager if you ask me) but mumbled/bumbled their way through their talks leaving you more confused about the topic at the end.  I am proud to say that at the end of our speech the tutor said “wow, thats the best of all the seminars” and asked me if I had done extra reading as my part was so comprehensive.  Now this isn’t gloating, but more once again proving that it is best not to try hard at university😉 hehe.

So back to the train ride.  This was one of my first few long distance train rides (with only a couple of ones across China with school being taken before) and it was a great way to travel.  Most trains seem to be on time in the UK and the seats are quite comfortable – even with my train being relatively older.  It also gave you a great opportunity to a) Read my cybercrime book I needed to do before I can start my essay and b) see the scottish coast.  For most of the trip from York to Edinburgh, you hug the coast and see some amazing sights.

I arrived in Edinburgh just after 6:30pm and quickly caught up with Josh, Isuru and Brent who had made it up to Edinburgh on earlier trains as they had different university schedules.  We then walked to where Josh and I were staying.  Brent and Isuru had already booked in at a hostel before Josh and I and when we went to book, theirs had been booked out.  This we found out was great news for us.  We were staying in the Westend Hotel (Hotel and Hostel in one) which was not only cheaper, but had just been refurbished, had keycard entry to the rooms, was clean, amaingly decorated, had a bar downstairs and I could go on.  It wasn’t ‘in the city centre’ but was well worth the 5 to 8 minute walk.  Not bad for 12 quid a night.

After we dropped off my bags in our dorm and met the kiwi barman/receptionist/nightman Kurt.  Kurt seemed like a nice enough guy, and as the trip wore on he would turn out to be a great bloke.  On K-man’s advice, we headed off to Edwards’ for dinner.  Edwards’ was a pub much like the Hawthorn as it was a true pub bar day but at night a dancefloor opened up and the crowd changed slightly.  Luckily for us, the burgers were cheap (5 pounds or so) and oh my god tasty.  It even gave me my chance to try my first Scottish beer (Tennants), which although the scots seem to consider it much like the Carlton Draught of Scotland was very drinkable.

We then explored the city at night by roaming the streets. It had been dark when I had arrived so I would have to wait until the morning to get a good look at the city but even at night it was beautiful.  The old architecture of the buildings, the imposing figure of the castle on the hill that overlooks the city and the many statues made it just a lovely city to explore.  It was made even better by the fact although it was cold.  It was not raining, snowing or windy on Friday night.

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Johnno was already up with his family who live in Edinburgh and who he sees regularly.  After a few persuasive texts, a pop in developed and we dropped in to meet these true “Edinburgh-ians” (or what ever you call them).  They were nice people, fun to chat to, gave us some advice on the city and even gave us a beer.  Although as the family jokes about Johnno started coming out…Johnno quickly dragged us out and we hit the pubs and bars of Edinburgh.

We made our way though a few places (Hectors and Standing Orders are the two main ones) but it was just a fun, relatively relaxed night.  Once again we were questioning if the people around us were speaking English.  The Scottish accent being rather strong with some people – especially after a few pints!  We ended up chatting about all the things we seem to chat about and it must have been good conversation as I ended up losing my voice by the time we got back to the hostel at 2am and also the only reason we left at 2am was that the bar was shutting.
When we got back to the hostel, you could hear the singing from a mile away though.  Why was there singing at 2am you ask?  Well as we found out, we would be sharing our hostel with a bunch of Irish women on a hens night and boy can those irish drink.  We sat down in the bar with Kurt chatting about a few things and just observing how drunk/rowdy these hens could get.  Eventually when I left to go to bed though…things got interesting!

Earlier in the day, I had claimed the top bunk and josh had claimed the bottom bunk.  All good you might think but just as I was about to leap up the ladder, I noticed someone was in Josh’s bed.  A little confused, I went downstairs and got Josh.  After a little bit of interrogation by mobile-light, Josh went downstairs to get our buddy Kurt.  Kurt then walked in, turned on the lights (annoying the sleeping people but it wasn’t our fault) and realised that the room had been over booked.  A quick bit of negotiation later…and Josh and I had been upgraded to one of the hotel rooms – complete with LCD tv, personal en-suite 4 single beds (only two of which we used) and complimentary towels.

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So for those playing at home, that means that of the last 2 nights I have been meant to stay in a hostel…I have ended up in a hotel room.  SCORE!

March 10, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. i’m noting that you two slept as FAR apart as humanely possible lol… is it the same with me in beds as it is bathroom stalls… women are always closer together so you can chat and men want to be as far away from each other for fear of being observed in a potentially vulnerable state? lol

    and OH MY GOD i wish i was there with my tripod, that night shot would have looked fantastic! (looks pretty good for what you’re working with hehe nice composition)

    Comment by elladanes | March 13, 2009 | Reply


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