edinburgh (2004-10-05 - 11:52 a.m.)
Made it to Edinburgh! Amazingly enough. True to form, NatRail Enquiries was lying when they said there would be no engineering works on Sunday, and that the 12:25 direct route from Plymouth would indeed be running. I figured this out just after Julie, Grandma and Barb drove off after dropping me at the station. At that point, I figured I'd rather try to get to Scotland than sit around a station in Plymouth till they got back to pick me up, so I took the train to Newcastle at 1:20. The info guy said I could catch a connection to Edinburgh at Exeter or Bristol.
Happily, at least I had someone interesting to talk to on the train - an English guy who'd been down visiting his girlfriend in Plymouth. The train schedule rearrangement had screwed him up as well, so we were both in the same boat. Anyway, I tried changing at Bristol, only to be told that I had to run and get back on the train I'd just got OFF, because then I could connect with the LAST train to Edinburgh at Birmingham. He added that the train was pretty full and he didn't know if they'd let me on.
Thankfully they did, but of course the seat by the cool guy from before was full, so I was squashed in next to some girl who spent the whole time reading Cosmo. Ah well - I did make it to Birmingham and amazingly, did manage to catch the Edinburgh train. It was smooth sailing from there, although I didn't get in till twenty to midnight. Bee, being the sweet girl she is, picked me up at the station even at that late hour and helped me carry my luggage to the hostel. I was pathetically grateful, as trying to find a hostel in the middle of the night, carrying luggage, is the worst feeling ever.
The hostel was fine, and I got a free walking tour of Edinburgh the next morning with them. Was a good time, as it was only me and one Kiwi girl (who was living in Switzerland). So rather than a tour, it turned into hanging out with Vanessa the Kiwi and Graham the guide for hours. We had a pub lunch, and Vanessa had haggis, neeps and tatties... I've managed to avoid it so far, though!
Met up with Bee that afternoon, who has kindly offered to let me stay with her for the week. (She's moving to Vancouver on Tuesday). Her flat is large compared to London or Belfast, and reasonably priced, so I may take over the lease when she moves. I've only met one of the flatmate, a German girl called Pia, but she's all right. Bee also gave me the number for her old job, and they've agreed to give me a trial day starting tomorrow! It's not a great job, but money is money and I need some at the moment. I'll probably do that (kitchen work at a golf course) for a few weeks while I look for a proper job.
So thanks to Bee, I'm much more sorted than I have any right to be. I've basically walked right into her life: flat, job, favorite pubs... Sadly I'm not sure I can return the favour, as I don't really know anyone in Vancouver at the moment. But if anyone has any leads on jobs or places to live in Vancouver, let me know! Bee's a landscape architect, and is hoping to find an actual career-related job there. Any help would be much appreciated.
Anyway, was supposed to go see Edinburgh Castle with Vanessa the Kiwi today, but she hasn't called. Therefore, I'm going uptown to check the city out and maybe see about a proper job... For the meantime, though, I'm happy to be here and not completely lost.
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