a weekend trip to Scotland

Edinburgh Travel Blog

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I traveled to Scotland with 2 friends of mine - Jatin and Simon. Our original plan was to attend the Edinburgh rocks weekend that was organized by the couchsurfing community (www.couchsurfing.com), which started on Friday and ended on Monday. We decided to skip the program and to travel around in Scotland for 2 days. At first Simon and I couldn't decided where to start our journey on Friday evening - Simon wanted to fly Edinburgh and I wanted to fly to Glasgow.  I had never been there before and wanted to walk around in the evening and find a nice restaurant or a pub that offers traditional Scottish pub food. Simon disagreed with me saying that the city will be packed with drunken youngsters and that Glasgow can be rather a dangerous place on Friday night. I was very stubborn and eventually I got my way, so we flew to Glasgow on Friday evening.

Well.. Simon was right.. Glasgow didn't look as charming that I hoped it would and there were plenty of drunken youngsters and young adults everywhere. In addition to that the bars had stopped serving bar food already an hour before we had arrived there. So our timing wasn't the best possible. We walked around in the city for 2 hours though, grabbed some food at the KFC (it was the only place where we could get food that late) and went back to the hostel. Our hostel, the Euro hostel (http://www.euro-hostels.co.uk/Glasgow_hostel/Index.html), was rather a nice place. At least much nicer than I thought in the first place.  Because the hostel charged only 15,95 £ for a bed in 4 bed dorm ensuite I though it would be either dirty or very noisy and that the beds would be really uncomfortable (I've been to some hostels like that), but but I was glad to notice that it was cozy, rather quiet (most people were drinking in the bar on the first floor instead of in the hallways/dorms and there was enough space for 4 people in the dorms. We didn't feel like sleeping, so we went to the TV room to watch a movie and play pool for the rest of the evening.  

The following morning we woke up early and went to the George square to attend Timberbush's (http://www.timberbush-tours.co.uk/) day tour to Loch Lomond and Loch Ness. There we met Jatin with whom we spent the rest of the weekend. The day tour was really nice! The scenery was incredibly beautiful - especially the canals, lakes and the mountains in the western highlands and central highlands  (http://www.scotcolour.com). We stopped in various places, such as Loch Lomond, Black mount, Ben Nevis and Loch Ness. I liked especially Loch Lomond (http://www.loch-lomond.net/), but Loch Ness (http://www.visitlochness.com/) was quite a disapointment for me. We were told that if we paid 10 £ we could go on a cruise to the lake on a 5 star jacobite tour so we (Jatin, Simon and me) did that. The stories were interesting, but he didn't really tell anything that we hadn't already read in the internet about the Loch Ness and the boat itself didn't look very luxurious. I actually would have given it only 3 stars, but maybe I just had too high expectations.  After Loch Ness we went to the Inverness, my friends told me that it was a charming place, but I can't really comment about it. I was so tired that I fell asleep in the bus and slept like a baby for well over 2 hours.

After we arrived to Glasgow Simon and I took a bus to Edinburgh. Jatin stayed in Glasgow, because he had booked a ticket for a different bus than we had and he couldn't change it to another bus ticket. We agreed that we would meet in one of the bars in Edinburgh later on. In Edinburgh Simon and I found a really nice Thai restaurant called the Thai orchid (http://www.thaiorchid.uk.com/). I haven't eaten that good Thai food for ages. Especially the seafood was delicious and rather cheap. I definitely would recommend that place. After the restaurant we went to pub called the Nicol Edwards, because it was said to be the most haunted pub in Edinburgh (?!?) I didn't see any ghosts there, but it was complitely packed with drunken people who were standing around like a flock of sheep. It was almost impossible to go to the counter to buy a beer and get it back to the table without spilling at least half of it on the way. Maybe there was a ghost or two once, but the people there were so loud that the must have scared even the meanest ghost to other pubs. I definitely prefer Scots when they are sober...

I was very lucky to find a guy there who offered Simon and I his couches (www.couchsurfing.com) for Saturday night. He was a really nice guy - warm hearted, witty and very talkative. In addition of letting us stay he actually even made us a big breakfast with mysli, bagels, juice and coffee! Jatin prefered a hostel, so we met the following morning. On Sunday we walked around in Edinburgh and visited 3 places - the Camera obscura (http://www.camera-obscura.co.uk/), the real Mary King's close (http://www.realmarykingsclose.com/) and the Holyrood palace (http://www.royal.gov.uk/OutPut/Page559.asp). We were supposed to visit also the Edinburgh castle, but our host told that it's not worth paying 10 £ go there and recommended us the Holyrood palace instead. All of them were really nice - especially the Real Mary King's close, beacuse we could go to the underground close and see the houses where people lived almost 300 years ago. The ghost stories about murderers and plague victims are thrilling and very entertaining as well. 

Because Jatin is Indian we went for a lunch to an Indian restaurant, Shamala, very close to the Real Mary King's close. The food there was very good, spicy and delicious. It was rather cheap as well - only around 12 £ for an appetizer, main course and dessert (it was a special lunch offer). It was so fulfilling I wasn't hungry again until late in the evening.

Simon and I went back to Glasgow right after visiting the Holyrood palace in the afternoon and Jatin stayed there for a couple of hours before going back to the Newcastle, where he lives and works. Unfortunately, our return journey wasn't very fortunate, because  ended to a wrong airport - Glasgow international instead of the Ryanair airport. Before booking the flight I was wondering why on earth we paid so little for our flights, but it's simply beacuse their airport is middle of nowehere and we had to pay over 60 £ (I don't even dare to count what that makes in euros) to get there by taxi :(


Anyway, we had mainly very good experiences of Scotland and I'm looking forward to going back there one day :)
Gierke says:
next time look for the tours of www.wildinscotland.com

was fantastic...
Posted on: Jun 20, 2008
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photo by: vances