United Kingdom Trip: Cheers from the Piries Hotel

_UK Trip

Gentle Reader,

The train from London to Edinburgh seemed very long. Gorgeous country flashed by, but that combined with the lovely swaying motion worked to put me into a stupor. Couldn’t get comfortable for a nap, though. Thankfully, some “lovely lads,” as they called themselves, boarded the train in Newcastle, the last stop before the Scottish border. A whole big group of them, and they were hysterical. A teenage girl got cornered by them because she was sitting by herself right in front of us, and they were giving her such a hard time. She had a good sense of humor about it, though, and they gave her a “can” (beer) and some “sweets” (candy bar) for putting up with them. By the time we pulled into the station, they had made up song lyrics about, “I thought this ride would be a pain, but then the lads got on the train…”

Maybe you had to be there.

Got in to the hotel at about 3 pm and laid around for a bit. Went and had dinner at a little pub; sat next to some very drunk Scotsmen whose accents got thicker with each beer. Our waiter was an Australian who’d only been here for 3 weeks himself, and so he couldn’t tell us where anything was. The drunk Scotsmen couldn’t believe that he was an Aussie, since he had a “bonnet so ginger” (a head full of red hair.) One of them even got friendly with Chris and took some “chips” (French fries) right off his plate.

Totally overwhelming to me, but amusing at the same time.

Edinburgh is very different from London. It’s still definitely a city, but it’s a lot more run down. More down to earth, too. You don’t have to be fashionable or skinny – women wear their old jeans, men have on sturdy coats and it’s perfectly acceptable to have a bit of a belly. You can throw back your head and laugh. You can be friendly. Here, though, I sense a…heaviness. A sadness about the people, covered by a thin veneer of cheer. I can’t quite explain it. I think that times are tough here, and it certainly doesn’t help that Palmerston…Avenue, I think, is all tore up. The main thoroughfare, and you can’t really get to any of the posh shops. I think that people are just beat down and spend less effort trying to hide it.

In London, it’s glitz and glamour. Here, it’s life.

The weather is terrible: cold, gray, misty. I love it! Everything’s green all around me. Old buildings rise right through the trees and up on the hillsides through the low clouds. THIS is why I came to Scotland. This feels homey and comfortable to me, although we aren’t out doing anything special. It’s party night in Edinburgh, but we’re making our own party with some Mars Bars (Milky Ways,) some “crisps” (chips) and some Q.I. (a television game-show.)

Anyway, I’ll be going now. Time to burrow under the covers and drink in the chilly breeze that cradled and inspired the likes of William Wallace and Robbie Burns.


For all posts in this series, go here.


2 thoughts on “United Kingdom Trip: Cheers from the Piries Hotel

  1. I live in Edinburgh so it was really interesting to read about your trip and what you thought of it. I’ve had many of those train journeys with “interesting” company!
    The roadworks you saw were for the tram line being built and they were a nightmare and went on for years, but it’s all been a lot better since they finished and much easier to get around.



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