08.11.2009 24 °C
Well. My trip from London to Edinburgh was the single most stressful thing of my life, but I’ll get there in a sec. I took my time getting out of Duncan’s flat in London. I packed slowly and got some lunch for the marathon train ride, and didn’t head out until almost noon. Finally got into Duncan’s office and he showed me amazing views of the city that HE hadn’t even seen yet. It’s in his building, but I get the feeling he doesn’t leave his office all that often. He will now though! Or he should, as I tried to tell him to be more of a tourist and less of a workaholic! Maybe I’ve inspired him, but nonetheless we got great views of the city for free (thanks, Shell!)
After that I got the tube to London St. Pancras, and headed over to King’s Cross station to get the train up to Edinburgh. Well, I knew I should have reserved a seat, but I left it too long. I walked the entire, like, 15 car train looking for a seat and found none. I dropped my bag off in the train and kept searching, finally asking a worker if I could sit on the floor and he said no. Then I asked a different worker guy if I could reserve for the next train in an hour’s time, and he said reservations were minimum 4 hours in advance. So it’s 14:00, the train takes 4 and a half hours, and the tattoo was at 21:00. You do the math, it wasn’t going to work out! Sensing my panic, the guy told me to check coach G as that was the car without reservations, so I grabbed my bag off of like H or something and dropped it in the doorway of G and walked the car. Everyone’s empty seats were taken, and I finally found a table seat with a family of 3 and 1 seat open that they said was free. Hallelujah!! I wiped the sweat off my forehead and so did another Canadian girl who found a seat across the aisle from me. She and I sorted out where to fit our massive backpacks and sat down. She ended up being the dumbest Canadian I’ve ever met. I actually had to put my iPod on so I didn’t have to listen to her make a FOOL out of Canada. She was 20, obviously just got off the plane as she had no idea about anything about the UK. And I thought I wasn’t cultured, oh man. The Scottish guy across from her pretty much convinced her that everyone still rides horses around Scotland. She had the longest argument that a “pudding” is called Snack Pack, and is ONLY a sweet thing (the guys were talking about Yorkshire pudding, and she argued her point that they don’t exist in Canada, FRICK) and she continuously talked about Canadian weed and how as soon as she gets off the train she had to get her hands on some pot, or else she’d go crazy. Holy. Crap. The family I met was eyeballing her as well I think, and I was actually embarrassed for my country. Sorry Canada, but you do raise a few idiots here and there! Anyways the family I saw with was from Scotland and were very friendly people, with the most polite and mature little 11 year old ever! Was really nice to meet them, and I’m sure glad I got that seat and not one across from the idiot Canadian. She was very set with her arguments, and I don’t think we would have clicked too well..
Anyways I finally got into Edinburgh and promptly made a reservation for the train the next day. At 2 pound fifty it was money well spent! Didn’t end up needing it and the train today was empty when I got on it, but gave me full peace of mind so I could enjoy the tattoo. And man did I ever! It was unbelievable.
So I get in my seat, squished between two older men, and cried. Then the MC did a sort of country count, like “Who here’s from… the USA!!!” and then there were yelling and waving of hands, and then, “And North of the border, who’s from CANADA!!!” And then I yelled and cried! And then the show basically started with a mass piping band and I pretty much bawled. For me, it’s been something I’ve built up since I started highland dancing like 12 years ago, so to actually be there just blew my mind! It was definitely a milestone in my trip and life. And it was awesome! Took tons of pictures, but mostly just took it all in. And near the end they sang Amazing Grace (cried) and the UK’s national anthem (didn’t so much cry) then they did this obviously national song, because you cross your arms and hold hands with the people next to you and wave them up and down. Really awkward position, but the whole stadium of people were doing it (bawled!!) The guy on my right was English, so he grabbed my hand and told me what to do, and literally reached over me and grabbed the non-English speaking Japanese man’s hand and put it in mine, and showed him what to do too. Really cool! Walked back to my hostel on cloud 9 J
The trip from Edinburgh to Paris took be from 10:45 to 9:30, while losing an hour as France is ahead of Britain by 1 hour. So a long freaking day, in other words. They were talking on the Eurostar (the high speed train that goes under the English Channel into France, no Idea when I was underwater but it was really freaking fast!) about swine flu and if you've had a fever within the last 8 days to call this french number and tell them lol, quite funny, they're quite paranoid! I hadn't had dinner, so Matt, and Aussie from my room and I went downstairs to the bar and I ordered a veggie burger, no dairy, and salad. The menu said "Veggie burger with lettuce, tomato, and cucumber." So they made it with cheese and THEN the waitress told them about the dairy, so they made it again, and when she brought it out it looked like it still had cheese so I opened it up and there was a whole egg fried right on top of the whole burger, I couldn’t even attempt to take it off it was fried right in. CAN YOU SAY NASTY?? So I paid 10 euro for lettuce, as that’s all my salad came with, and the carnivore Aussie’s had all the veggies on his salad. AWESOME. I can’t wait to try and eat tomorrow. Maybe that’s why Parisians are all gorgeous and slim?!
Anyways off to bed and loads of sightseeing tomorrow!!