Scotland 8: Day 15

03.16.20 | Dalmally, Scotland | 22:03

I’ve been watching the Coronavirus numbers rise from http://ncov2019.live. At least I’m going north. Maybe the virus will ignore the north for a few more days. I’ve already adjusted my trip a couple of times, and when though I was supposed to have a go in Europe, I’m now sticking to the U.K. Two more weeks is all I ask! Maybe I’m flirting with danger? On to happier things!

This morning I said goodbye to Dicky and Drew and caught the 10:33 train out of Glasgow. I wanted to spend some more time in the Highlands. Dalmally is one of the towns that I’ve always wanted to see. So here I am, about two miles outside the city.

I’d love to call this land home!

Stay Here!

I found what is referred to as a “glamping pod” on Airbnb, which is another way of saying that they are not going to provide Wi-Fi. Staying in this little pod is somewhat like I imagine it would be to live like a hobbit. It’s a small, intimate setting, miles from the nearest street light. No Wi-Fi is needed, however. Thanks again to my Skyroam. It’s a great setup!

Tonight I have stayed in, listening to the rain hit the roof of my little hobbit hole. It’s quite relaxing, but I am hoping that tomorrow brings at least some sunshine. There is a nearby road and a barn that I would love to explore if possible.

Scotland 8: Day 13

03.14.20 | Glasgow, Scotland | 19:00

It cost me £14 to get an Uber one-way to Apple Braehead. Apple Buchanan Street is only a few blocks from me, but they are the more popular destination and had no appointments today. So I get to the store, and five employees are standing on the doorway.

“Didn’t you get the email?” I tell them I didn’t and knew precisely where this is going. It’s this ridiculous over protection from the Coronavirus. They have closed their doors. This is ridiculous and stupid. Can you guys please plan your absurd apocalypse practice for a time when I’m not on vacation? Is that too much to ask?

The only good thing about this is the fact that I grabbed half a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts while I was waiting for my Uber back to the flat. I guess every cloud has a silver lining? I’m trying to make myself believe this very thing.

Other than the death of my computer and the stupid coronavirus, today was pretty good. I got an excellent walk all around the city, and I was even able to go shopping for some new socks.

Glasgow

I considered going out tonight and finding some music, but it is raining, and so I am tempted to stay in and possibly watch a movie on my phone. We shall see what happens.

Scotland 8: Day 12

03.13.20 | Glasgow, Scotland | 20:59

Today has been filled with some good news and some bad and depressing news. First- let’s talk about the good news. I managed to get the first ferry from the island Erin this morning and arrived in Glasgow just before noon. I’m happy to get back and spend a few days in this remarkable city. I always used to tell everybody that Edinburgh was my favorite, and even though it still is, sometimes, I feel like you can’t compare apples with oranges.

Now on to the other news – I found out late last night that Country to Country, the concert that I love to attend while I am here has been postponed. This is frustrating because I came to Scotland this time of year and planned this whole trip around this event. This is all because of the scare that everyone is experiencing with this coronavirus.

Most of the day, I have been thinking and trying to decide what I would like to do about all of this. Part of me wants to go back home to the states, but I know that if I do that, I’m just going to go back to work. In my line of work, I am more likely to catch the coronavirus then I am traveling overseas.

Let’s face it: as a flight attendant, I am near so many people during my day, and it’s not like I can distance myself from most of them.

To be honest, I’m not afraid of catching the coronavirus. I think things would be different if I was very young, elderly, or had a corrupt immune system for whatever reason. This is not the case, however. Chances are- if I did catch this horrible flu, I would be down for a few days, and then I would be fine. I know things could always be worse, but that’s no way to live a life.

As of now, I think I’m going to continue this adventure. I plan on paying attention to the news, and hopefully tuning out some of the things that are being spread all around social media. A lot of these people are idiots. Some of them happen to be my friends. Don’t give me wrong- know the natural thing to do is freak out and run out and buy all the toilet paper.

Enough of that nonsense –today was a pretty good day. I did walk around Glasgow for a little while but had to get some stuff done around the apartment. I am now back with Dicky and Drew, so even though I love to travel by myself, it’s nice to have this company for a few more days.

Tonight my laptop died. I can’t get the screen to turn off, and when I try to use it, it gives me a horrible beeping sound. This machine is about seven years old, so it is time for something new. I just hoped that it would last me till the end of this trip. I have an appointment with one of the Apple stores tomorrow morning.

I’m hoping this is something that they can fix by doing some sort of reinstall, but if it’s something like needing a new hard drive or something that’s going to cost me very much money, then My adventures with this particular MacBook Pro are over. Perhaps Dicky, Drew, and I will have a memorial service for this laptop that I’ve have carried around the world for the last few years.

[update: Link to this AirBnb]

Scotland 8: Day 6

03.07.20 | Edinburgh, Scotland | 21:29

For breakfast this morning, I returned to Mum’s. I have probably eaten at this restaurant more times over the years, than any other restaurant in Scotland. Not only is it a great location, but they serve delicious comfort food. The first time I visited Mum’s was back when it was called Monster Mash, but they changed to the new name back in 2010.

This afternoon, I took a walk up Calton Hill- this is an easy hike up the hill and offers a breathtaking view of Edinburgh, especially if you can get up there at night.

The guys and I decided to get Indian food for dinner since this is Drew’s favorite. We found a restaurant called Dishoom over on the New Town side. The food was so good (I’ll be back someday), and the service was impeccable!

Scotland 8: Day 4

03.05.20| Edinburgh, Scotland | 22:39

Today I have to confess that I did not have an opportunity to climb up to Arthur’s Seat. I know I promised myself that I would do it every day, but I have a good excuse! You see, I had to check out of that first Airbnb by 10:00 and couldn’t check in to the new one until 14:00. So I had my colossal duffel bag/ backpack with me. Maybe that’s a trek that a Navy Seal could accomplish, but not this guy.

One thing I did do is have lunch at Oink with Orie. Picture a dead pig in a restaurant window, slowly being carved away until it’s completely consumed. If you recall, I’ve been here a few times over the years. P.E.T.A. would have a fit.

Two of my Canadian friends decided to join me for a few days, then we’ll part ways, only to return and travel together once more. We checked into the new place, and I have to say- I like the old apartment better. Also, the other place was tons cheaper. Nevertheless, this place is beautiful too.

[Update: Book this Airbnb]

It dawned on me that I am wearing out the one pair of shoes that I brought with me on this trip. I decided to do some shopping to find some more excellent shoes to wear when I go out at night or church. I won’t tweak you how much I ended up spending, but I will let you know that I love them!

Tonight we grabbed a quick dinner and went to see The Lion King at The Edinburgh Playhouse. This is where I saw Matilda last year.

This was a blast! I remembered years ago- I was on a layover in Philadelphia, and a coworker and I managed to score last-minute tickets to the same show! It was a great experience then and again tonight.

I’m off to bed!

Scotland 7: Day 35

04.05.19 | Edinburgh, Scotland | 22:19

Dicky said he wanted to go see Camera Obscura, an Edinburgh tourist attraction that has been around since the 1800s. He invited me to go with him, and I went half-heartedly thinking I’d be bored. I felt like this was going to be a waste of the £14 entry fee. This was, however, Dicky’s last full day in Edinburgh, so I decided to go with him. I have always wondered what it was like inside. I have to admit that it was a pretty awesome exhibit.

Even though it was five stories high, with plenty to look at, I think it £14 is a bit steep of a price to charge. If you have kids, however, they would definitely love the place! It’s more or less a building full of optical tricks and illusions.

Scotland 7: Day 34

04.04.19 | Edinburgh, Scotland | 22:47

It is always great when someone can join you on your adventures. This morning I met a guy called Dicky. He is from the lovely country of Canada, so I guess that makes us next door neighbors. He is on a temporary, paid leave of absence from his job at Walmart. It is a sorted tale of him being an arguably bad employee, mixed with a store full of managers who don’t know how to manage- this got Dicky a paid leave while his bosses get things sorted. Sadly, he may be out of a job, but has already spoken to his lawyer and tells me he’s planning to sue if things don’t work out for the better.

He used this free time to come over to Scotland for the very first time. When he asked me for suggestions on what to see and do, I put my tour guide hat on my head and we hung out for the rest of the day.

We ended up at The Royal Museum of Scotland. I had never been there, and he said he really wanted to check it out, so we did. It was very cool- other than the fact that Dicky kept reminding me that the museum in Toronto was so much better. I guess Edinburgh needs to up their game.

Rat Fighting, Rat Loving
“Dolly” The Famous Cloned Sheep

Later this afternoon, Dicky got back from his Harry Potter tour (there is a bunch of them if you happen to be a Potter fan) and he was asking what we should do. I asked him if he had any desire to climb up to Arthur’s Seat. This is something that I told myself I would do every day while I was in Edinburgh. Due to bad weather, and just plain laziness, I have only been up once on this trip. He said he was very interested in going and since the sun was out, and Dicky is only going to be here for three days, we went for the hike.