Scotland 8: Day 1

03.02.20 | London, England | 14:00

I’m happy to report that I got about an hour of sleep. You may think this is not a significant accomplishment, but it, in fact, is. This is coming from a guy who can’t sleep on planes. It is such an uncomfortable sleeping position, even if I’m able to get the seatback reclined. How cool would it be to fly on a flatbed?

Upon landing at Gatwick, I had about two and a half hours to get from the south terminal to the north. I notticed when I was going through customs and passport control that Gatwick is doing it all automatically. You line up and make your way to this machine that scans your passport, and a camera looks at your own face to make sure they match. I had to do it a couple times since my new glasses look nothing like the glasses in my passport picture.

Now I am waiting for my third plane- this one will take me to Scotland! A Swedish lady just asked me for help finding her gate. Thank goodness for Google Translator! I took the time to explain that she hasn’t yet received a gate assignment and that she needed to check the monitor in about 10 more minutes. She thanked me, pretended to understand, and then left me- only to go ask another man the exact same thing.

London Gatwick

When he explained it, precisely as I had, she wandered off, I’m guessing so that she could ask a third person. I walked over to the man and told him that I had just told her the exact same thing that he had, but I’m guessing that she didn’t trust me.

The guy had an American accent, and he told me that he was from Chicago. I told him that I had been to Chicago for work, and we talked about pizza. This is a subject that I am fond of, what can I say? He told me that his name is Billy Branch and that he is in London singing. I googled him, and sure enough!

I have added one of his albums to my Apple Music and will check him out the next time I feel like listening to the Blues. He was very kind and great to chat with. This is what travel is all about: The lives you touch or are touched by along the journey.

Edinburgh, Scotland | 17:55

After traveling for over 24 hours, I really didn’t have the desire to deal with public transportation. It cost me £25 to get an Uber from the airport to the flat. Had I chose public transit, it probably would have cost me under £6, if I remember correctly. I didn’t have the strength, however. By this point, I really wanted a bed.

The problem I was faced with: I didn’t know how to get into the apartment. When I’d booked with AirBnb in the past, I’d receive a message from the owner/manager about 24 hours before check-in explaining how I get into the place. Usually, it’s a lockbox with a key, or there is a code on the door or something. This is my first time using, and I received no such message.

After about 15 minutes on the phone with the property management company, I’m inside the most awesome little flat! Location is everything, and I have the most fantastic view of Edinburgh Castle! This place is up on the 4th floor (the 3rd floor, if you’re from this side of the pond), and there is no elevator in the building, so I get to lug my bags up the stairs. When I walk in, it’s totally worth it!

I’m so tired, but I need to go grab something to eat. I went to Pret and grabbed some soup and a sandwich, swing by Boots to grab some shampoo and body wash and head back. I’ll head out in the morning. I need food and sleep.