Sunday, November 23, 2008

Lines written a few miles between Scotland and England

Current status: trapped. I kid you not. Thank God the guide lent me his MacBook, or else I'd be freaking out here, somewhere on the border of Scotland and England. Despite the current transportation snafu (our train is broken and we've been stopped for two hours), my trip to Edinburgh was truly spectacular and the fact that I was given free internet usage for my train ride back was just the icing on the cake. After my 2:50 AM wake up (though I don't think I really slept), I lived in a sluberly blur all the way to Edinburgh, despire the chatty Cathys around me. After a guided bus tour (the guide wore a kilt and played the bagpipes when he wasn't lecturing us about Mary, Queen of Scots' beheading), I made friends with the one of the other solo travelers, Beth. We clicked very nicely, as we have a frightening amount of similarities, which made for a nice new friend in a nice new city. After a quick Thai lunch, Beth and I explored the Old and New towns of Edinburgh, and did some shopping along the way. I think I saw more kilts than jeans on the men! Edinburgh is a very historic city with adorable alleyways steeped in tales from years (and beheadings) past. Due to the previous night's sleep (or lack thereof!), we called it a day pretty early, and hit the sack around nine to prepare for the following day's excursion through the highlands.

Loch Ness and all the other lochs (a.k.a. lakes) were amazing. The snow on top of the mountains was totally breathtaking -- seeing the Scottish slopes got me very psyched for the skiing sheason ahead! The mix of lakes, greenery, and mountains made for an amazing countryside... even though I napped each time we entered the coach! Out guide, Fred, as a traditional Scottish man, wore a full kilt and spoke highly of Americans and lowly of the English. It was hysterical! On another note, this trip was filled with an extremely varried group of people "on holiday." My guest house room had two American girls, one Kiwi (a.k.a. a New Zealander), one Colombian, and one Spanish. The bus was filled with people from Azerbaijan, Italy, Georgia (the country, not the peachy state), China, Japan, India... you name it! It really gave meaning to the tour group name "International Friends!"

Currently, our train has not moved... Our delay is scheduled for 145 minutes... Time to cool down...