From London to Glasgow 2011 #4: Edinburgh


Our first problem with arriving Edinburgh is that we, for the first time, had no bloody idea where our hostel was and, unfortunately for us, it turned out to be ages away from the train station. We ended up going the wrong way for a while but got direction of a man with a very thick accent to head back towards what I thought was the house of “freezers”. After quite some time we still hadn’t found this home electrical store, House of Freezers…wait….

House of Frasers….oh….

Yeah they held that one over me for a while.

We were tramping down Prince’s Street (which felt like it went on forever) when we just collapsed onto a bench for a few minutes. The sun was streaming down and it was just too hot to keep walking. Then we suddenly noticed that the air was filled not with the usual city smells but the strongest scent of rose perfume. I looked around wondering if this was a symptom of heat-stroke when we noticed the park behind the iron railings.


Down a slope from the road were hundreds of perfect pink and yellow and red roses. There were so many that the whole street smelled of rose and we could not believe that we hadn’t noticed it until then.


Of course we made it to The Hostel, I haven’t forgotten its name the hostel was actually called The Hostel which isn’t as funny as they thought when you’re trying to organise the trip!

I would definitely give this place 1 to 2 stars out of five for reasons I will explain as we go along. We arrived and we made to wait quite some time before anyone would check us in. The room was so small and so overcrowded with bunks that only one person could walk down the centre of the room at a time, the sheets hadn’t been changed on all the beds (for reasons that also became clear later), the window was painted shut and the only plugs were outside the door; for “safety reasons” they told us. Ha.

Despite the crappy-ness of the room we were so tired that we stayed in the hostel for a few hours just reading and chatting. We knew we should have gone out and experienced the city but we too tired and only had one night before heading to Fort William which would be a five hour train journey. We got talking to a friendly Burmese guy who’d arrived that day as well.

But after a while we headed out to dinner in a little Italian place off Prince’s street. We ended the night in a Weatherspoons overlooking the bay with had reasonably priced drinks and didn’t seem to mind us loudly playing snap in the corner because we were too tired to be students out on the tear, so we relapsed into our default position of nerds.

Exhausted and lost at about midnight we got a taxi back to the hostel. Taxis are pretty cheap in Scotland especially with four of us. We snuck back into our room, the light were out and it was clear that not only had the rest of our roommates finally arrived but that they were all asleep. We took off our clothes as quietly as we could and got into bed.

That was when all the shrieking and rapid Spanish started.

A mostly undressed S had climbed into the bed he had left his stuff on earlier only to find an extremely freaked out Spanish girl who started to scream. I fell off my top bunk, narrowly missing the naked French guy as I tried to get down and help. Luckily S had some Spanish so we calmed the girl down and explained that there must have been a mix up. She agreed to stop screaming but wouldn’t give up the bed.

The group of four help a scantily clad meeting in the corridor outside our dorm. In the end the three girls were too naked and sleepy and drunk to go down to reception with our poor friend and he was assigned a bed upstairs on his own.

As you can imagine, the next morning we demanded S’s money back. The woman was very apologetic (especially after hearing that the girl S had dealt during the night had been drinking and was unhelpful) and I was tempted to demand our money back too but I didn’t want to push our luck. I went to poor myself some orange just only to find out it was an extra five pounds to touch the breakfast stuff, scabby bastards.

We had breakfast instead in a Starbucks down the road and bought some postcards but not this tartin corset which I was tempted by:


Then we got the train to Glasgow from the local station instead of the central one which meant less of a walk. Before that we bought our packed lunches and took our last photos of a city that we have loved….


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