Saturday, July 3, 2010

UK Travelogue, Part 12: Stay You

Wednesday, June 9

After our whirlwind two days in Glasgow, we would gladly have slept for the next week. Actually, we would have settled for sleeping in to, say, noon. Unfortunately, this would not be possible for several reasons: 1) We had to check out by 10am, and 2) several very noisy girls in the hostel dorm were apparently checking out even earlier than we were.

After showering, packing, checking out, and stowing our things in a locker, we strolled our way through a farewell tour of Edinburgh.

A token foot

Rawr!

Signs of life

The inside of Christ Church

Alas, poor Yorick

On arguably the coldest day we’d spent in the UK thus far, I of course had given the temperature situation no forethought whatsoever, dressing myself in a t-shirt and the only clean pair of bottoms I had left: a pair of denim capris. My double-jacket move kept my top half warm enough, but it wasn’t long before I realized that my head-wrap would need to readjusted to accommodate the ice chips that were my ears.

Poor, cold, homeless waif

Due to general tiredness, we took it slowly. We returned the travel bug that Bethany had been unable to plant in Glasgow, then spent a few hours warming up in the National Gallery. After we’d overloaded on oils and canvas, we went back to the Word of Mouth café for a late lunch and some hot tea. (A little face time with our favorite adorable waiter did not go amiss, either.)

Cold hands + Hot Tea = <3

One thing that we knew we could not avoid was a very important phone call: a birthday call to our dear mother. Mid-afternoon, we whipped out the old International calling card (brought expressly for this purpose) and dialed her up.

Two of Mom's Favorites

In true mom style, she was suitably shocked, delighted, and horrified that we were spending our money to call her. In fact, she kept trying to hang up on us so as to save our “minutes.” So dear. She’d jumped the gun on us and had already seen pictures of the Glasgow Adventures, prompting the following dialogue:

Mom: So, you must have met Colin. I saw his pictures on Facebook.

Me: Yup. [insert ramblings about having fun.]

Mom: So.... you got to hear his voice?

Me: Of course not, mom. What are you thinking! He didn't speak the entire two days put together.

(Okay, truth.... that's not actually what I said. It was her birthday, after all, and she was to be humored.)

Me: Well, sure.

Mom: Oh. I'm so jealous! I want to hear his accent.

I had no idea this has been a cherished dream of hers. I’m certain I can arrange something for her: it’s not like he’s never posted any audio clips of himself…. (doing accents and silly voices and such… the possibilities are endless, really).

After the call to Mom, we saw something utterly and completely unexpected: the sun had come out. There was nothing for it but to make for the top of Carleton Hill and jump around in the sunshine.

Holyrood Jump!

Resting

After our climb, we wound our way back to take our things out of the locker and await our overnight bus back to London.

While we waited in the reception of the hostel (sipping hot chocolates and reading contentedly) an entire contingent of German teenagers arrived with their teachers. If I had to guess, I would say there were at least fifty very boisterous students, all wound up as they checked in and made their way to dinner in the hostel café. I slyly watched the interaction between students and teachers out of the corner of my eye, noting the sternness and volume with which the teachers seemed to use on the students, yet how little attention they really seemed to be paying them for all that.

At length one of the young male German students came down wearing a kilt, the entire dining room exploding in delighted whoops and riotous applause. He seemed to be a favorite among the kids and the teachers alike, creating a happy moment of camaraderie that was a pleasure to witness.

A bit later, after the German kids had cleared off, a young Scottish woman who seemed to be a bit special (if you know what I mean) wandered in to the lobby, worried lest she miss her favorite evening programs on TV.

Glued ardently to the inane banter and shallow plotlines, she laughed, gasped, burped, and talked freely to anyone who would give her eye contact (often simultaneously). I found her delightfully endearing.

Eventually, the time came to leave Edinburgh.

No worries there

We were quite delighted to see that we had the same set of drivers back on the 596 coach service back to London. One of the drivers in particular was especially a dear.

"You again," he greeted us, asking kindly how we liked Scotland and if we’d made it over to his home town, Glasgow. We happily reported that yes, we had, and that we’d enjoyed ourselves immensely. I'm always excited when people remember us (and not just the cute waiter at the Word of Mouth, either. I mean other people, too) but Bethany popped my bubble of joy by remarking dryly that he probably just remembered the head wrap. Either that, or the freakish contortion in which I'd found myself sleeping on the drive up.

But whatever! Negative attention is better than no attention, as any egocentric worth her salt will tell you. We had made ourselves memorable, and that was enough.

That turned out to be the last real happy feeling either of us experienced until we arrived at Victoria Coach Station.

The rest of it was all twisted neck muscles, thrashing about, itchy noses, wailing babies on board, and back cramps. Oh. And a very strange cross-the-aisle fellow passenger who set an alarm clock to go off at 5:30am. Now I ask you!

Between the two of us, we only had a few hours of sleep, ensuring that the Tube ride over to the St. Paul’s youth hostel where we’d booked a room was a quiet one indeed.

I'm sure the morning commuters were grateful.

1 comment:

  1. LOL @ your mum. Didn't she know I was a mute? Ha! I'm sure you can rustle up an audio post somewhere. Just remember the Errantry one isn't my real accent ;)

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