Scotland 5: Day 36

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Pigeon at Waverly Station in Edinburgh.

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Waverly Station

04.05.16 | Edinburgh > Inverness | 09:40

It’s sad that most of my entries discuss the condition of the wifi. When did that become a thing? How did we survive as a species before the early ’90s when the internet wasn’t available to everyone? You know- before Al Gore invented it. Keeping with this theme: The internet on the train going north is horrible. I have to swap to a different train as soon as I reach Inverness. I hope things will improve.

If you’re following along with a map in hand, you may be wondering why I went from Inverness, all the way down to Edinburgh for a week and am now going all the way back up north. When I was booking my stays, one of my friends asked if he could join me for part of this trip. He told me when he was available and I had a thought that if he was only going to see two places, Inverness and Edinburgh would be the places to see. I’m not sure how much of a country boy he is, and these two places would give him a great feel for Scottish culture.

So I backed Inverness and Edinburgh up next to each other, booked my rooms and transportation and then my friend decided that he couldn’t join me after all. So, onward and upward- the next stop is going to be Thurso.

I’ve been to Thurso once, the last time I visited Scotland. It’s a lovely little city, right on the ocean. Someone once told me that that was a good place to surf. I would add: Yeah- if you want to freeze to death. Apparently, where the Atlantic meets the North Sea, there are some killer waves. I’ve never surfed so I cannot confirm or deny that claim.

Inverness > Thurso | 14:09

I had about two hours to kill when my train got to Inverness, so I thought I’d trudge over to The Godfather’s and enjoy a fish and chips. I use the word ‘trudge’ because my backpack is pretty dang heavy. Maybe ‘trudge’ isn’t the right word. I’m open to grammatical suggestions.

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Now I’m on my way- the couple sharing the train seats with me are also going all the way to Thurso. I haven’t gotten all their deep, dark secrets yet… they’re way too quiet for my taste. When I do, I’ll be sure to update you.

Thurso Hostel | 20:14

I love this hostel. I’m attracted to hostels that are old and just a little run down. As long as they’re clean, that is. I like their quirkiness. It’s like going to visit grandma’s house. The perfect example is the hostel I stayed in when I was in Hobart, Tasmania last year. Brilliant! This one isn’t as old as that one, but it tries. When the train arrived in Thurso, I remembered the directions from the station to the hostel. Not bad after only having been here once! I wanted to go see the ocean immediately but was very hungry. More than five hours on a train does that to a guy.

I went to the first restaurant I saw, right near the hostel. So tonight was curry again! I love it so much! I may be spending a little extra time in the loo tomorrow, though- totally worth it! A good curry burns going down, and then again coming out. That was crude! I’m sorry! You can quote me, though.

After sitting and eating, I could feel my body wanting to fall off to sleep. The ocean will have to wait until tomorrow morning. Sorry- no pictures from Thurso tonight. I’ll take some tomorrow. Think I’m going to call it an early night.


Back to the beginning of Scotland 5 | Forward to Scotland 5: Day 37

Scotland 4: Day 26

Inverness > Thurso | 10:53

I just had to say goodbye to Inverness. I love this place, but it’s time to see some more of Scotland. I’m excited to go north. My destination is Thurso, which is almost as far north as you can go while staying on the mainland. Not sure what there is to see or do there, but I guess I’ll find out.

I slept okay last night. At about 01:00, my roommates came in. They were very loud and somewhat rude. They kept turning on the light, then leaving the room, so I’d have to get up to turn out the light, then they’d do it all over again. I finally (nicely) told them to knock it off, and they did. While I was getting ready this morning, I might have been a little louder than was necessary.

Thurso, Scotland | 16:54

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Thurso, Scotland: Walking to my hostel.

I can now say I’ve been to Thurso, Scotland. Thurso has about 9000 people and seems like a lovely town. I checked in at my hostel and met my roommate. He’s a 60+-year-old Scot who doesn’t have much to say to me. Here’s how it went down:

Me: Hello. How are you?

Him: –

Me: I’m Dave from the states (I usually don’t introduce myself as ‘Dav’ when I’m abroad because that just opens up an entire conversation. I don’t mind the extra chat, but ‘Dave’ is a time-saver.).

Him: –

Me: Okay, well, I’m going to get some dinner.

I wonder what this guy’s deal is. I mentioned him to some others staying here, and they told me he’s like that with everyone. Maybe he’ll open up to me tomorrow.

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My Room at the Hostel

I walked to the local beach, which was quite lovely. There were people (mostly kids and teens) out playing in the surf, and they have a nice little setup here. What a beautiful ocean! I’m not sure if this is considered part of the North Sea or if it’s considered the Northern Atlantic. Afterward, I explored that town for a while.

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I also met Minesh, who is from India and Paul from somewhere here in the U.K. They’re on a bike ride that started at John O’Groats, and they will ride to the bottom of England. That sounds fun and exhausting! I’d love to do something similar one day.

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I had a great time hanging out with the guys tonight. They’re fun guys and I found out that they’re doing this ride to raise money for a charity- something to do with muscular dystrophy or something like that. That is very commendable! I hope they raise a ton of money! 

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Minesh and Paul

I have two new roommates now- two brothers from England. I’m not sure why they’re up here. Hopefully, we can chat tomorrow.