Edinburgh rocks!

The exams period was a bit boring at the end and I needed to rebalance my life with a good entertainment. The answer was Edinburgh!  The 5th of June, I decided to go there. The 6th of June, I had sended  a ten of requests to Edinburgh’s Couch Surfers(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CouchSurfing). The morning of the 7th of June I was lucky to get enough positive Couch surfers’ requests to spend a 4-night-5-day stay in Edinburgh. In the evening, after a 2 hour trip by train, I was in Waverley station and surprisingly …  it was rainning!

So the first thing I did was to buy a cheap umbrella with Scotish colors. Usually I do not care about rain and can easily turn into a sponge being happy of that. But I had my printed map of the location of the first Couch surfer flat and wanted to protect it. James’ flat was occupied by six flatmates from all around the world. I met in particular an Australian girl and a Japanese girl. One of the flatmates was abroad and I get a double bed for my first night :) .  I spent a nice evening with the two girls and my host James : I cooked a rough dinner ( 1 Omelette + 1 Bacon-Apple spicy meal +  Pita bread) and we played cards together. It was very nice!

On Tuesday the 8th, I decided to go running as I usually do when I arrive in a new place. I think that running in a place you do not know is a very good thing to do because it makes you feel as belonging to this place.  I jog in the city, I test the city, I am part of the city… This was a foggy morning and I could not even see the famous 250 metres Arthur’s Seat hill which rises in the middle of Edinburgh. However, I succeeded in reaching the hill talking to an old Scottish man whose accent was quite singular. Then, I did a part of the jogging along the hill. An original feeling : jogging on a rocky pathway at 100 metres height and hearing the city sounds without being able to see anything because of the fog! I went back home and James offered me a tour of the city during the afternoon :) . It was great and James gave me a few crunchy details about Edinburgh’s streets, monuments and pubs… In the evening of the 8th, I lodged at Dave’s flat. The first thing I noticed was his huge collection of Dr Who dvds, books, and so on (Dr Who is the most famous TV series in the UK, it has been broadcast since 1963).  

The 9th I visited St Andrews in particular for PhD opportunities at the University. St Andrews is a small town norther than Edinburgh and is quite pretty with its old ruins as you can see it on the second page of the photographies album. On the evening of 9th, after having had for diner the famous Scottish haggish meal, Dave and I joined a couch surfers meeting in a pub in town where we met James, the first Couch Surfer who hosted me. That was great! My first couch surfing event :) . People from all around the world drinking and sharing. Afterwards, with the boldest ones we went to a kind of nightclub with Rock Metal music. I took a nice video of Scottish youth moving their head and long hair drawing circles as they were in trance. And I tried it, well, if you do not have a stiff neck, that is easy ! After having sung a part of « La vie en rose » with James in Edinburgh’s streets, I went to bed.

The 10th, I spent most of my day, shopping, trying to get my hair cut and visiting the city, in particular the new town where most of the tourists are. I say « try to get my hair cut » because I went to a barber (only barbers in Edinburghs) and I told me to cut this « ——– » and he cut this = »— ». For 10 pounds, I was not very glad and it seemed to me I ended up with an English hair style lol. The new town is quite nice with beautiful monuments, a large free museum, good places for having a sun bath and a few French pubs and restaurants.

 The day after (the 11th, yes you are following well!), I decided to do what the fog prevented from doing last time : I climbed to the top of Arthur’s Seat hill at 250 m above the sea level and got a beautiful view of the city and its surroundings. I also found a bike and a sofa at the top of the hill, so well organised :p. Before getting my train back to Lancaster, I found time to buy some fresh bread and « saucission » in a special store that I spotted before. I gave them to the two Couch surfers who hosted me, James and Dave, and I found them delighted !

That is what couch surfing is about  ; instead of paying 100 euros in a hostel where the lodger will barely say you « good night », open yourself, share a good time with people you do not know and who are happy to host you, bring what you have and bought simple things for them. Everybody wins so much!

All was alright on the way back to Lancaster… except me sleeping in the train, waking up just while the doors opened at Lancaster, leaving my pieces of luggage outside the train and realising that my back pack with money and papers was still in the train. I went back in the train as the doors closed, bybye the luggage! … Hopefully next stop was 20 minutes away, I came back to Lancaster and found all my stuff kept by a train controller.

Yo soy un tipo de suerte…!

If you had an interest for visiting the UK, I would strongly recommend to go to Edinburgh instead of London for instance. This town has « du chien ». 

See you soon !

Kisses.

Nicolas.



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