Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Scotland the Brave

And so I find myself in Scotland again, for the first week of my 'Easter' holidays (even though we'll be back in College by the time Easter comes round). Due to the prices of flights, and me being on the old student finances, I was flying from Dublin. So it was a very early start on Monday morning (when really, it was still Sunday night), and down in the car on that familiar M1 road. I thought it would be plain-sailing the whole way with little traffic... and so it was - until we got to the Ravensdale complex... While I had already started Monday, a huge crowd of teens and twenties were just finishing their Sunday night out, pouring out on the kerb and road looking for lifts and cars. The press was so bad that the traffic was stopped! After I got through, it was again not very busy and good clear roads - the sooner we have the dual carriageway/ motorway the whole way, the better!

While waiting to get booked onto the flight at the airport, I got talking to three students from Alaska, who are spending their spring break doing some travelling. Wait til you hear this for a schedule... Saturday past, fly from Alaska to Dublin. Monday, fly to Edinburgh. Wednesday, fly back to Dublin, then on to Galway. Friday, fly back to Dublin. Sunday, fly home to Alaska. Boys oh... I don't know how they'll manage it!

The flight was good - very few people on board, so that we were only allowed to sit after row 6 - and it was good and sunny. The view was brilliant, although we didn't follow the M1 as closely this time, but I could still see the Boyne Bridge and Drogheda, and Dundalk. We then flew over the Mournes, but a bit of cloud was obstructing the view of Belfast and Lisburn and out into the country. I got some good photos though - in due course they'll appear on Flickr and here.

On arriving in Edinburgh (slightly late, as we didn't take off on time), I left off my bag at the station (left luggage is so handy!), and set off. I did my usual round of bookshops etc, and discovered one street where it is charity shop after charity shop. Yet even with all those books on offer, I didn't see any I wanted or needed at all!!! So sad!

With the threatened train strike on Friday and Saturday, I had booked myself onto the Citylink busses to make sure I can get home again. However, with that system, you have to book on the exact bus you want. It meant I arrived an hour early (my feet slightly sore) for the bus I was booked on. Two would leave before then, and I asked about getting on an earlier one - thinking I would be doing them a favour. But oh no, they would charge me well for the privilege of earlier travel, so I settled down to read and to people watch in the station for the hour. Oh, and to fend off the Attack of the Pigeons! The pigeons freely walked and flew about the inside of the bus station, on the look out for some crumbs.

The time of my bus came, and off we set for Dundee - without stopping or changing busses, which was handy - saved me from getting lost! The weather was really good, and I got a few pictures of the Forth railway bridge; and one of a brilliant rainbow! Plus, I managed to get two books read during the day, and have another couple for the rest of the week!

I've been in Dundee for about a day now and enjoying it. Here's to the rest of the week!

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