My flight arrived on time yesterday. Both times I’ve flown BA, in flight they’ve said that we would get to London half an hour early. Both times, we’ve missed and been on time. Don’t tease me like that! This time, the only sleep I got was while we were circling the airport, so I guess I shouldn’t complain. I guess I’m just not meant to sleep on airplanes. I could never get comfortable. Last time the person behind me kept jabbing me with her knees feet or something. This time, the woman in front of me moved so constantly and with such force that the seat kept hitting me in the knees. I finally gave up and watched most of the latest Harry Potter movie. I also felt quite sick before landing. I don’t know if it was some sort of bizarre case of nerves or something I ate in flight, but I was having cold sweats and felt nauseous. It passed shortly after I was on my feet again.
When I landed, we had an enormous wait getting through passport control. Apparently, there’s some sort of New Year’s Day parade in London. I saw tons of kids and parents there. The kids (ranging from high school to college) had on various T-shirts indicating they were in the parade – I guess bands??
Once that was finally over, made my way to the train station at Gatwick and got my Britrail pass validated. The guy behind the counter asked where I was going, which was good as I needed advice about which trains to take. When he heard where I was going, he commented on how insanely busy the trains coming this way were and said, “Going to Edinburgh today, brave lad!”
The first train to King’s Cross allowed me to see much of the graffiti covered London that I had not previously seen. So did the Walk from the Thameslink station to Kings Cross/St. Pancras. But I lucked up at the station. Their computers were down. They could not reserve seats on the train, which meant all you had to do was buy a ticket (or have a pass) like me and sit down. It caused trouble all the rest of the way as people further up the line THOUGHT they had reservations. I’m positive that there were a lot of disgruntled folks.
I got here earlier than I expected – a little after 3pm. That was great! I slept over two hours on the train which was even better! I only saw a little of the scenery as I slept so much of the train ride, but what I saw was up here and beautiful. I saw the North sea from the train! As cold as it is, that may be as close as I come.
London wasn’t nearly as cold as up here. I heard several comment on it yesterday when we were getting off the train here. Naturally, while I was hunting for my hostel it rained. I had dinner and wandered up and down the Royal mile for awhile afterwards before going on a “City of the Dead” tour that is supposed to be a tour of the site of an actual poltergeist in Greyfriars churchyard. It was fun, but nothing happened to me. I felt cold (but it was COLD) and the hairs on my body stood up (did I mention it was cold?). On the way there, several of us slipped on ice (one fell, not me). I found lots more slick places on my way back to the hostel.
Anyway, I had intended to find somewhere to send out a broadcast e-mail last night, but I was so exhausted that I fell into bed after the tour. I slept a lot later than I intended, but I’m sure I needed it. I was still the first up in the room I’m in. I don’t know if I was truly the first one up, but the lights were off in the Men’s showers. I had it to myself and was not complaining. I just had breakfast here at McD’s – which conveniently has an internet cafe. I’ll have to remember this as the days pass by.
So, I’m about to head out again today. Am intending to head down to the train station and take a train to Dunfermline. I want to see the Abby and Palace there. I guess I’m seeing Edinburgh out of order as I’ve only seen the castle here from outside at night, but I’ve got days to see what’s here. The trains will be disrupted for the holiday weekend making it harder to get out to some places, so I need to do those trips now. I think tomorrow will be Stirling. But nothing is in stone yet.
[…] I’ve been in another country when the proverbial ball dropped to usher in a new year. The first year, in Edinburgh, Scotland, there was no long ranging plan. I went because I’d heard about the Hogmanay street party in […]