04 July 2006

the spendthrift scottish life

Well it appears that although the internet was inconsistent in tanzania, it is damn expensive here, I must say!

As I mentioned before, I'm in Edinburgh, Scotland's proud capital. The town is divided into 2 parts, old town and new town (the former dating back to the 11th century and the latter to the 17th). Our hostel is called Castle Rock hostel and it's right beside Edinburgh Castle, which is truly awe-striking in the way it looms over the city and seems to be carved out of volcanic rock.

We've been eating well and for low costs. I'm convinced the people who complain about food being outlandishly expensive in the UK who wasted all their allowance money as children. Just hit a groceryt story and it's not so bad. In fact, today I found an amazing salad bar full of every great fruit and veggie imaginable for only 2 pounds! Beat that!

So we've been here for 5 days or so, after a quick visit with Ryan in London. He was a great host, showing us everything from the terrible late-night tv gambling shows, to the lay of the land, to Abbey Road and Piccadilly Circus. We'll be back in London at the end of the trip, but he certainly gave us a good intro. More on London next time we visit.

But Edinburgh is a city to fall in love with. It feels very safe to say the least, and completely welcoming to describe it best. Yes the crowds of tourists and the constant sound of bagpipes can get to you, but how can you find a complaint in the world when you're trekking through pre-medieval streets. In fact, the streets we walk on now are built on TOP of the original city, which is still partially accessible underneath. It's haunted as hell though, and quite spooky to visit.

This is my first time being a true backpacker, and it's pretty liberating. For once I only have a small amount of items with me (instead of my usual 90 million), and I hope this means I'm more organized now. Hostel life is pretty chill. There's free tea and only the odd arrogant spoiled brat traveller to contend with, or seventeen-year old whipping things around the room, or other seventeen-year-olds making out in the computer room when you want to send an email. But such is the life.

I keep thinking of my good friend Roz, especially today, when we took a free walking tour with a very jolly man named Ewan McLeod from Dundee. I also thought of her when we were planning out our scottish journeys in a pub to be helped out by some very friendly scottish men. They bought us a pint of Tennyson, and we listened intently as they gave us advice as to how to see the 'real' scotland. We also listened intently to understand their thick, thick yet merry accents.

It appears we're heading up to the highlands tomorrow, to pursue the 'real' scotland that they spoke so highly of. This first half of the trip is all about livin on the cheap, my friends. So it's half-price backpacker deals pub food, £6 bus rides to other towns, not drinking as often as one would think in a country brimming with ale and whiskey, and visiting free museums instead of pricy ones.

We're learning a lot already. Man, our tour guide was so jolly. He reminded me of my uncle, except his obsession was with history instead of Porsches.

Anyways, I suppose this is rambling, and I'm nearly out of time. Please see Brian's blog for an undoubtedly more straightforward of what we've been doing.

Lot's of love


Anonymous said...

i'm jealous -- i want to go [back] to england.

and i remember visiting scotland once. there were a lot of kilts, haha.

i admire you for having the guts to backpack, because i definitely don't think i could ever.


Burns said...

By now, im sure that Scotland has shown why it is that I consistantly paint tree's. =0)
Im glad my homeland is welcoming and I can only hope to see some fresh photo's soon.

Keep on writing and take as much highland tours as possible you wont be dissapointed! Soak it up!

Gillian Edworthy said...

sounds amazing dal,

i can't wait to visit my country of family origin... had to have gotten the curls from somewhere!

miss yah,
happy travels!


ps. your post was better than brians, haha

alex said...

such an exciting summer you're having! i'm jealous of all your guys adventures..

scotland's my homeland too! who knew you'd get to experience the country of origin of so many, haha

be safe and have fun!

love you, miss you! xo