Starting off my adventure - Day 1

Edinburgh Travel Blog

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The hub - where you can buy tickets for events
Arriving at Edinburgh airport from London Gatwick Airport.

By this time my first priority was to get my luggage and to try and contact someone from the Wild in Scotland tour so that I could figure out what I was going to do. Unfortunately, getting off the plane with just British pound bill and no change proved to be a disadvantage. I looked around and ask a couple of people about trying to buy a sim card for my phone; however, there was no places to purchase this at the airport. So I think I ended up buying a couple of things at a store in order to get some change and headed to the nearest pay phone that I could find. The interesting thing that I never knew and found out soon after, is that pay phones in the UK are quite expensive.
Picture of St. Giles Cathedral
I think I put the like 50 pence in to make the call but ended up being cut short, shortly after stating to speak with the tour representative. But what was interesting though was the fact that you a person can call you back on the pay phone free of charge. At least I think it was free of charge. Luckily I am guessing that the tour agency had caller I.D. and he quickly called me back.
So after discussing with the tour representative about wanting to go on the Macbackpacker tour; which had already departed that morning, we figured out a plan that I would meet them at Pitlochy. Having no idea where that was or how I would get there, I walked around the airport trying to find someone to help me with this task. The tour representative told me that there was a information desk somewhere within the airport, so I asked around until someone informed me that there was a Welcome to Scotland information desk at the other end of the airport.
Statue of David Hume Memorial - a famous philosopher who had a go at the social contract theories of Hobbes and Mill. Despite being a quiet atheist (people could be hanged for blasphemy in those days), Hume’s memorial still bears a religious inscription
As it turned out, this was in the departure area of the airport. How does this make sense? You would think that they would have this information desk in the arrival area but who knows, maybe they didn't have room. Either way, I found it and that was all that mattered.

At the information desk I met this lovely, extremely helpful lady named Heather or Helen. I think it was actually Helen. She was extremely helpful. I told her that I needed to get a bus to Pitlochy by 1pm. It was now close to 11am. She quickly pulled up a bus map and gave me multiple routes in which I could take to either meet my tour group in Pitlochy or in Inverness. Unfortunately, in order for me to meet the group in Pitlochy by the timeframe I was given, I only had less then 10 mins to try and catch the bus.
A closer look at the statue in front of St. Giles Cathedral. The statue is of Walter Francis Scott, Duke of Buccleuch, Lord Privy Seal from 1842 to 1846 and Lord President of the Council in 1846.
This posed a difficult issue for me. I had to cancel a hostel reservation in Edinburgh for that night because I was going to start the tour today as opposed to the Tuesday; which is what I had previously planned. Helen was very helpful though, she took down the information and offered to call the hostel to notify them that I would not be needed the facility for that evening. So after giving her the information, I basically ran to the bus stop to try and catch the bus. Unfortunately, it was not quick enough and I had just missed the bus. Now I was feeling a little defeated. What on earth am I'm going to do now? I had told the tour guides that I was going to be able to met them in Pitlochy. So I did the only thing I could think of, I want back to the kind customer service representative at the information desk to see if she could help me trouble shoot my predicament.
And yet a different look of St. Giles Cathedral.


At the travel desk Helen kindly greeted me and quickly helped me figure out a new plan. I had two options at that point, to take a 12 am bus from the city center terminal in Edinburgh, or a 2pm bus to Inverness. She also called the representative from Wild in Scotland and told him that I couldn't make it to Pitlochy. She also helped me figure out where to get a sim card once I got into Edinburgh. So next thing I knew I was off taking a bus towards Edinburgh to find a sim card and get to the main bus terminal in Edinburgh.

After arriving in town, I decided that I was going to take the opportunity to explore it a bit instead of rushing to Inverness. What was the point right? The tour wasn't going to get there until later that evening. So I bought a sim card and ended up calling the hostel to make sure that they received the call about me canceling my reservation.
I think it is a picture of New College, a University of Edinburgh
I found out though that you have to give more then 24 hours noticed of a cancellation or your going to be charged anyways. Oh well, I guess that what you get for trying to be organized.

So I walked around a bit and took a couple of snap shots on the way to the bus terminal. Once I got there, I spoke with the women at the ticket desk and she informed me of the price. I was a little shocked to hear that it was going to be close to 25 pounds for the ride. She informed me though that if I booked my ticket online, that it would be cheaper for me in the long run. I think I had just a little over an hour and a half to do this. I quickly got directions to the nearest internet cafe and made my way took book my tickets.

The internet cafe ended up being in a mall close to the bus terminal.
One of the Entrances to Princress Street Gardens.
But once again, I did not have enough charge on me to use the computers. So I looked around to see if there was anyone approachable to ask for some change and saw an elderly couple enjoying a meal. I approached them and asked for some change. Unfortunately, they only had a little over 4 pounds to give me for my 5 pound bill. I didn't care to much by that point, all I wanted to do was book my ticket online before I missed the last bus to Inverness. So I took their change re-assuring them that I was quite fine with not receiving the full amount, then booked my ticket online.

After this event and walking around a little more, I made my way back to the bus terminal to pick up my luggage and wait for the bus. As I was waiting for the bus, the elderly couple that I had previously asked for change, came up to me and gave me the rest of my change! I couldn't believe it.
View of Edinburgh Castle
I don't know if they made it a point to get change or happened to have bought something in the meantime, but they took it upon themselves to come up to me and give me the rest of the change! What great and honest people they have in Scotland I thought to myself.

After a little wait, I finally got onto to the bus going towards Inverness.

signedcutie says:
Well, it comes and goes really. It actually rained a lot in the highlands and it was very cold too!
Posted on: May 22, 2010
huibdos says:
Great pics, and the weather is so dry:)
Posted on: May 22, 2010
RJ82 says:
solo trips are always scary but exciting.
great trip. =]
Posted on: May 19, 2010
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The hub - where you can buy ticket…
The hub - where you can buy ticke…
Picture of St. Giles Cathedral
Picture of St. Giles Cathedral
Statue of David Hume Memorial - a …
Statue of David Hume Memorial - a…
A closer look at the statue in fro…
A closer look at the statue in fr…
And yet a different look of St. Gi…
And yet a different look of St. G…
I think it is a picture of New Col…
I think it is a picture of New Co…
One of the Entrances to Princress …
One of the Entrances to Princress…
View of Edinburgh Castle
View of Edinburgh Castle
View from street...in the distance…
View from street...in the distanc…
I think its a different view of t…
I think it's a different view of …
Scotts monument
Scott's monument
North Bridge
North Bridge
Scotts monument
Scott's monument
Closer look at the detail of Scott…
Closer look at the detail of Scot…
And yet another pic of Scotts mon…
And yet another pic of Scott's mo…
View from princess street looking …
View from princess street looking…
Picture of the Royal Bank of Scotl…
Picture of the Royal Bank of Scot…
Not sure where I took that picture…
Not sure where I took that pictur…
Edinburgh
photo by: vances