Jan. 22nd, 2013 03:39 pm
misspotter: miss potter at school (Default)
[personal profile] misspotter
The train journey from Oxford to Edinburgh should only take about 6 hours. When I jumped on the train at 6:38, I expected to end up in Edinburgh at 12:22. In reality I was there at 15:50. Why? Snow causing our train to break down, meaning we had to go to Edinburgh via Glasgow instead. Not a disaster (and it meant I got two Scottish cities for the price of one), but quite annoying given that I had very little time in Edinburgh as it was anyway. 

While waiting for me to show up, my cousin and her partner had managed to procure two dozen Krispy Kreme donuts (being given away for free as a promotion for a new store). I was very, very glad for the sugar hit after nothing but a peanut butter sandwich, a pack of grain wave equivalents, and a packet of apple juice. We strolled around the Old Town and finished up with a coffee at the Elephant House Cafe, one of the birthplaces of Harry Potter!

And then I embarked on a Harry Potter tour of the city led by a lovely Glaswegian called Gemma. We went to an old graveyard which featured a McGonagall and a Thomas Riddle

I was joined on the tour by my friend CC from uni, who's on elective in Edinburgh. We had a great time catching up, comparing elective experiences, talking about what we would do with intern year around the corner, and so on. We also went out for dinner at Maggie Dickson's where I had a salad twice the size of my head that came with potatoes. Not bad value, really! 

By then it was kind of late, and I was starting to get cold/tired/snow-beaten so I met up with my cousin again at the bus stop to her place, which was outside a frozen yogurt store! I couldn't believe people in the middle of a Scottish winter would be interested in froyo, and yet I saw over a dozen people go in and out in the space of 15 minutes! What the?! Having said that, I also saw girls wandering around in short skirts and thin rights, so perhaps some people are just immune to the cold. 

My cousin lives in a lovely new apartment with double-glazed windows with water views! I would seriously have been happy with a couch and a blanket after my 8-hour ordeal but she had an awesome spare room which she'd tidied just for me. With a double bed that made me think of home. We also stayed up late just gossiping and talking about our family members which was really fun! I ended up sleeping at 11pm. 

When I got up at 8am nobody was awake anyway. After reorganising my suitcase and such, I had some time to kill, so I skyped the boy. Since it was just on my iPhone, I couldn't send videos but he was nice enough to give me a view of his kitchen where he was cooking up a storm (the most complicated thing I make is fried rice, whereas he has the patience to make pasta sauce from scratch and elaborate stew things). 

My cousin took me to brunch at this place where we had mocktails called the "Bloody Shame" and real Scottish breakfasts served on skillets. I got to try the vegetarian haggis with a potato cake-like thing. Not quite game enough to try black pudding yet, but I assume it'll be offered at Burns Night this Friday. 

And then we went into the city, via Holyrood Palace and Arthur's Seat (which unfortunately was quite icy and a bit too dangerous to climb). We did, however, get a decent way up the hill and got some views of both the sea and what looked like a dam. And then we strolled back through the student areas of the city to reach the train station, making a stop at the Balmoral Hotel where the final Harry Potter book was finished, and a Cafe Nero to warm ourselves up. 

My train was delayed by about 10 minutes, but given the debacle yesterday, I was just glad it hadn't been cancelled! I spent the journey getting through the third book of Game of Thrones, practising my Catan strategies, and knitting yet another sock. I used the 20-minute gap waiting for my final train at Paddington to refuel with a sandwich and smoothie (originally I'd planned to just have some midnight migoreng back at my flat, but I was just too hungry to think by this point). The trip back was surprisingly speedy, and I arrived in Oxford only one hour behind schedule. Luckily, I was still in time to make the last bus back to the hospital, thus avoiding cab fare and making more use of my Oxford Key! I'm pretty sure I've made more than 15 return trips so I've now earned the cost of it back :)
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