See! I told you all I already had a title picked out for my next blog. Then again how would you know that unless you’re inside my brain? And if that’s ever the case…get out, Spongebob!
Okay, so as part of the title dictates, I went to Scotland! But where in Scotland did I go?! Edinburgh! I’ve said this line a million times so I might as well trademark it: “Edinburgh is breathtakingly beautiful!” and “It’s breathing…literally. Amen I don’t skip leg day as the incline was real.” So what exactly did I do? Let me break it down day by day for you.
First I went to London on Saturday, October 31st (’cause you know…I was invited to a Halloween party too late). Didn’t get to explore there at all, which was a bummer. Why? Because of this thing known as the Tube! The Tube is a nightmare! Getting on the train from Bournemouth to Waterloo was the easy part. Just hopped on and enjoyed the ride for two hours. Then came the tricky part: catching the Tube to Kings Cross Station (‘ya know, the one that Harry Potter uses). There were no signs that said “Kings Cross” no information boards that said “Kings Cross”. Just a bunch of boards that said “Northern Line” “Victoria Line” “South Line” like okay, how am I supposed to know where to go my first time? I asked two people, and I didn’t really catch a word of what they said (hence my asking a second person, who spoke exactly like the first person so that was a bust). Something about Oxford Circus and Bakerloo. So I got on a Tube, the right Tube, actually, and I could barely hear the PA system. I looked up and noticed the rail line path printed on the Tube. I saw Oxford Circus but it didn’t say “Kings Cross” so I didn’t know when to get off. And I didn’t want to get off at the wrong stop for fear of my ticket no longer being accepted. So I missed my stop. And instead of getting off at the next stop to go the other way, I rode the whole Tube to the very end. Got off, asked for directions, got on the wrong Tube going the wrong way, rode that two stops. Got off, got on the right Tube, missed my stop –let me take a moment to say this: you know how on television or in the movies you’ll hear “Doors closing” and there will be those people that slip right in through the closing doors and barely make it?! Yeah, I saw that. It was FREAKIN’ AWESOME! But it did not make up for the fact that I kept on missing my stop.– Okay, so I asked some people that spoke English. My kind of English, not British English, ‘ya know ‘Murica and everything. So they were very helpful. Got on the right Tube, rode one stop, got off, crossed to the other side, rode three stops, then finally, and I. Mean. Finally. I arrived at Kings Cross Station. Walked to my hotel which was a straight shot, got up to my room (third floor; highest floor), hot as anything. Amen there was a fan there as I plugged that sucker in and turned it right on. Nice view from my window, but that was quickly closed as heat was pouring in (couldn’t think of a good metaphor). Closed the curtains, turned off the lights, took a shower, and just cooled down. Turned on the t.v. to see what was on and I wound up watching Stephen King’s “IT”. Movie is more funny than it is scary (I’m not even sure if it is supposed to be scary). Then a Sherlock Holmes movie came on and that was wonderful to watch! I must say the commercials in the UK are hardly existent. Had an amazing dinner at this place called ‘Honest Burger’ and since it was my first time the owner treated my like royalty. That was really cool! Okay, moving on to the moment you’ve all been reading for. Gonna toss in a too long; didn’t read.
TLDR: I got on the wrong transportation. Finally got on the right one. Didn’t explore London. Relaxed and watched t.v.
Day One: I finally arrived in Edinburgh and it was already getting dark. I went straight to my hotel, checked in, grabbed my camera and headed right back out. I walked around just to explore. Wow! What a beautiful place! I saw some lovely views, got some awesome photos. The kicker though is as I was walking to my hotel, I could see Edinburgh Castle, and when I got to my hotel I realized that views of the castle were right down the street. This hotel was awesome as it was in walking distance to everything and had amazing views of the castle. I mainly walked around a park which was lower down a hill. This was so beautiful as the trees were all colorful (sorry, colourful), there were leaves on the ground, a silence in the air, blue skies, etc. It was magical. As it was getting darker though I made my way back up the hill and to my hotel for the night.
Day Two: Woke up at 9:30 a.m., got my free breakfast from Rick’s Restaurant, and ventured off to Edinburgh Castle. Man was that a hill to walk up or WHAT?! Getting there was a third of the fun! Lovely views as I was walking up there. On my way up I noticed ‘Camera Obscura’ and thought how perfect as I would just hit that after visiting the castle. I was a bit miffed at first as it was (insert pound sign here [the British one, not this one #] 16.50 for the day. No student discount. I almost didn’t do it at first, but I easily convinced myself saying “Not gonna be here again and it’s only money.” Boom. Simple. Got my ticket and I explored every freakin’ square inch, or whatever you all use over here, of that castle. Breathtaking views. Every part I could possibly climb to had amazing views. There was so much to explore! I got there about 10:30 ish as I went back to the hotel first after breakfast to grab my camera, but I wanted to relax and digest before hiking up the hill. Short lived as housekeeping came on through. I was there from 10:30 until a little after 1 p.m. just exploring. I ended my trip there with the 1 o’clock gun show. Giant canon where a soldier loaded a shell into the canon to fire it. We all knew it was coming and as much as I wanted to get the firing shot on my Snapchat, I was too nervous I’d drop my phone if the shot startled me. Why? Because a woman dropped her tea down the steps after that shot went off. Let me tell you, I’m not easily startled -and I knew this shot was coming- but man…that thing scared the sh*t out of me. It was really cool though! After this I left the castle and went to ‘Camera Obscura and World of Illusions’. Let me tell ‘ya right now this place wasn’t as fun as it could have been. Most everything here required a partner to perform the illusion. Nevertheless, was still cool to explore AND I got a student discount! Not much else really to say on the place though as I couldn’t do a lot of the illusions. After this though, I ventured back down the hill to the National Institute Museum of Art. You think art is beautiful? Combine that with absolute silence! The only noise I heard were the footsteps of others. So chilling, so haunting, so awesome. It was absolute serenity in there; harmonious, and just plain beautiful! The paintings were good, too! I swear I spent ten minutes standing in front of this one painting just staring at it. That caught the attention of one of the workers there. She came on over and said “You’ve been staring at this painting for a good bit now, haven’t ‘ya?” I replied back “It’s so beautiful, how can I not?” Then I turned to look at her and said “But of course that’s not the only beautiful thing in here.” My oh my did she blush. I don’t know why as I was talking about the painting behind her… (sarcasm, I was clearly talking about her. I LOVE Scottish accents. They are my weakness. I don’t fall for British, Australian, French or Canadian accents. I used to Skype with my friends from the aforementioned all the time so I got used to them [okay, Canadian accents can get me every now and then. Especially if it’s my friend Sara]). I chatted with her for a few moments in front of the same painting, then we walked to another one, observed, and chatted again. The magic ended when her sister came into visit her. She said was it was nice meeting me, and I said “Nice meeting you too, even though we didn’t exchange names.” She said “Oh! My name’s Gavenia.” “What a lovely name,” I replied. “Thank you! It means-” “White Hawk.” She was shocked when I said that. Naturally she asked how I knew that [readers you should all know how I know what I know when I know it] so I told her: “Etymology, Latin and Wikipedia.” She smiled (lovely smile) and asked my name. Told her my name and she said “Michael. Michael…that means like the Lord.” First off I melted because of how she said my name. Second of all SHE SAID IT TWICE! And third, well hot diggity-dang, she knew what my name meant. You know what they say: If I liked it then I shoulda put a ring on it. Moving on. Enough sappy romance love stories (even though that’s all I can ever write about, be it music, screenplays, journals, or now blog entries). Day Two was my favorite day out of my entire trip. I got to see so much!
TLDR: Edinburgh Castle, Camera Obscura and World of Illusions, National Institute Museum of Art (met an awesome girl who works there and we chatted and exchanged words about paintings).
Day Three: Once again woke up at 9:30 to go enjoy my free breakfast. I had planned out all these places to go see whilst here, but my brother told me that a lot of them were closed (curse you, TripAdvisor for listing them on ‘THINGS TO DO IN SCOTLAND DURING AUTUMN’). I was going to go to Jupiter Artland: closed. Inchcolm Abbey: closed. Arthur’s Seat: too far away. Royal Botanic Gardens: closed until 2 p.m., then closed for the day at 4 p.m. What kind of hours are those? Winter hours I suppose. Then I was gonna go to the City of the Dead, but it was way too early in the morning to go do that as it’s supposed to be some kind of scary thing. So I waited until later, and as it got to nighttime, I got hungry and went out for food at TGI Friday’s and tried their ‘Warrior Burger’, a.k.a. ‘I Should Have Written My Legal Will Before Ordering This’ -I didn’t finish the whole thing. I had a good portion of it, but there was still so much left over! So I didn’t go to the City of the Dead, I just went back to my hotel and packed up. On the way back though I noticed that workers were stringing up Christmas lights. Figures that the next day I leave is the same night they’ll be making Edinburgh look even more beautiful than it already is!
Day Four: Leaving day. Got my free breakfast, liberated some food in disposable bags which I liberated from the first hotel I was at in London. Walked to Waverley Train Station, got on the right train which startled me a bit: it’s one thing to get on the wrong Tube which ultimately is like a forty-five minute ride straight through to the end of the line, but to get on the wrong train would be a nightmare as it’s a four hour ride! Nevertheless, got on the right train. Got to Waterloo. Here comes the fun part: I had a train to catch this time going home, whereas when I was trying to get to Kings Cross the first time, that was my destination; nothing else to catch. I knew if I picked the wrong Tube I would miss my train. NAILED IT! Stared at the board. Saw Bakerloo, I was like “Okay, gonna trust the Loo” Got off at Oxford Circus, walked straight to the other side [I was in Bakerloo] got on another Tube to take me to Waterloo. Boom. Made it there with plenty of time to spare. Could have even caught an earlier train, but the lady said it left in four minutes and it was cutting it close. Good thing too as I was in need of food. Hadn’t eaten since breakfast and even that was small as I didn’t want to feel too full on a long ride back. So I got on the very crowded train and I found TWO OPEN SEATS! Heck yes, time to extend my legs and stretch for the next two hours. Then I looked at my watch and realized it was only 14:48. Train didn’t leave until 15:05. This train was packed and, although people kept on coming in, they kept on walking right by my seat too! It was now 15:02 and I was so happy and ready that no one was sitting next to me. Then some lady came up and asked “Is anyone sitting there.” Thank you, Mom and Dad for raising me to be a gentleman: so I moved over to the window to give her the aisle. She whipped out her Samsung Galaxy Tablet and began watching some t.v. show with her Starbucks coffee (put the pieces together yourself). Okay, an announcement was made after two stops that if your stop was ‘Bournemouth’ or any of the other twelve stops listed, you had to move further up the train. Well I got up, past the lady on her tablet, and realized (sorry, realised) I was facing the wrong way. So I let everyone go by me and they were thanking me. Like, sure, no worries. I’m polite and would let you go anyway, but I’m actually trying to get past you. Kept on moving on up and up through the train. Hit the first class door and went to turn back, but people were coming so I was like “Welp, okay.” Went into the first class coach and dang! This thing had like four people in it. So I sat down and enjoyed first class for the next forty-five minutes until my stop. Booh-yah! It was magical. They didn’t even check my ticket. Of course I felt bad, like usual (me and my heavy conscience), but I just relaxed and enjoyed the ride. I stuck out though. Everyone had on black shoes, black socks, black pants, black belts (except one guy who had on a brown belt, like what’reyoudoingbruh?), and a dress shirt with a coat jacket. I’m j chillin’ (that’s what the cool kids say, right?) in jeans, boots and my rain jacket. Train pulled into the station and next mission was to catch a bus. As luck would have it, I got off the train, walked to the bus stop and a bus came a solid minute later!
TLDR: It’s not that long. Read it and stop being lazy!
Now I’m back home in Bournemouth. Kind of missed it. But it’s like I never left…the craziness is all still here and I do miss having my own bathroom in the hotels. I just didn’t like having to eat out my whole time there. I love cooking for myself. I am sad to say I missed choir as I got back late last night (Wednesday).
Anyway, back now. Woo! Back to reality, ope there goes gravity (Marshall Mathers). Meeting up with my group members today to discuss our t.v. series bible and that’s at 3. I’m still cozy in bed and haven’t eaten anything yet. It’s pouring rain! And I need to go shopping. Boo! Speaking of which: I need to find all black clothes. I originally had my black jeans packed too! I need all black for choir events.
Okay. Ending this now. If you’ve made it this far I don’t know what to say. People say “congratulations!” but who’s to say you didn’t just scroll down and skim to the end? Hmmm?!
Until next time.
Remember, remember the fifth of November.
Ugh…time to proofread. How do you think I feel? I have to type it and read it, then read it again!
PICTURES! Because putting them where they’d go in the story would break it up too much.
Soldier Next to Canon