Scotland: Chapter 2 Tuesday Trek

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“Do you know what you want?” The waitress asked, American accent standing.

“Uh, yes, just some lavender tea, please. Thank you.” I said. I wasn’t up for earl grey, and I was just here to not be at home and to sit a bit.


I woke up at 5, but didn’t move until 7. I had some tea to start at home, and just sat in the living room, on the modern grey wool couch, covered with a very turquoise blanket. The apartment has a lot of ikea things, which shouldn’t be surprising, as w have even more apartments in the US with ikea things, but at least this apartment didn’t LOOK like it came from a catalogue. I think the original wood floors, the high ceilings and mastic key locked doors helped.

I began to get hungry and decided to head out for a cafe. I got ready, which ever takes long, and then out the door. Now I’m supposed to use the mastic key whenI leave but it didn’t want to lock this time. I gave a few more tries and finally just let it go. Eventually I’ll get the hang of this. I went down the sagging and worn cement stairs, out the already opened blue door. I crossed the street and headed up passed the park, towards the canal. I went up and across the first bridge which reminds me of Swiss colored clothing and dolls. I went left back up towards the city. After a few weird turns, and down some back alleys, I found the corner I was looking for. I didnt’ go to the cafe I had intended and I probably should have.

This Clock Cafe had a vegetarian breakfast but it wasn’t vegetarian. I think I only ate the toast that wasn’t on the actual plate with the rest of the meat-ful food. I really don’t think they understand that vegetarian means ‘no meat’ and I’m not just talking that there was cheese and eggs on this thing, there’s actual ham sausage and baked beans cooked with pork. So…meal one, super gross. Oh well. I paid, and I think this was the first time I didn’t tip. When I had entered, I was greeted oddly because I was alone, which I could tell was a problem for this waitress. I also had gone downstairs, with was a winding staircase. She clearly didn’t want to have to do that but there was no where to sit above, so what did she expect me to do? Anyway, I made like no big deal and headed down the stairs, where I waited a few minutes, ordered the horrendous meal, and read for awhile.

Soon a group of three came down and sat and talked in the back corner behind me. It appeared that this woman was being interviewed by an older brother and sister. ot sure what the job was, but it involved two retail stores, and some furniture and they kept saying how rewarding it was to work there. Eventually I got tired of being forgotten and dealing with rude people, so I went back upstairs to pay and left.

I headed back out and started walking to the right, down some more business streets. It was getting a bit more crowded the further I walked. Where I’d come from was quite empty and it was 9am, but around 11 when I hit the real city center, things were out of control busy. So many cars, and people walking up and down this super large mall center, across from some road and rails, and a very large garden-park area. It was just below this hill/mountain area with a giant castle on top. Oh, so.. That’s the castle everyone was talking about. Cool. I crossed in the middle of the road, like everyone else was doing, and headed down through the garden. I walked along the path, trying not to slip since it was wet from raining over night.

I kept walking towards this giant hill area. The street I’d come from went off in several directions and one was up the hill towards the castle, so I had added some to my climb by first going down through the garden and back up the stairs at the far end. On the stairs were a set of 5 mixed black and white corgi-somethings. I just called them 5 Sam’s as Sam is my friend’s dog, who happens to also be a black and white corgi mix.

I didn’t go up the stairs, instead I went right, down a path that appeared like it was closed. I’d see people walking all along the castle hillside, and found several paths leading that way from this one. I just continued straight up towards the end of the garden and found myself at the top of the busiest hill. People were all over, heading towards the Castle. I was not quiet ready to head to the castle give that I could barely breathe amongst these people, and trying to get through to explore further into this city area was proving tricky.

I saw a sign as I finally passed the large, not moving group of people,

Nice Drinks ->> ^ Maybe bears… Wouldn’t risk it.

I took a photo. I was finding signs like that with various jokes all over this UK. Ireland to England to Scotland. I did always find British humor to be pretty awesome.

I kept walking up the hill, further and further, finally turning right under a tunnel of sorts, towards the cathedral I saw over all the buildings. Well, I’d crossed over to the other side, alright. I’d found the Scottish tourist center of hell.

So many people walking up and down the hill, so many cheesy tourist shops, and do street performers. Needless to say, I didn’t last long here. I did go down the hill towards the small Sea view, but it was pretty far so I didn’t go all the way to it. I turned around at some point, and tried to get my bearings again. I few more alleys, a few more golden paint covered performers later, I was back on the right side, with the city view, just down from the Castle again.

I stopped and pondered heading towards the museum so I went down the hill, past the garden from earlier. After another few wrong turns, I was back at Waverly, the train station from yesterday. At this point, I took it as a sign to just go home and take a break. I’d been out walking since 8am, and it was 2pm. Seems like a lot of walking to me, so I took a quick train back to hay market for 2$ after the exchange, and then walked my original path from the day before, this time without the backpack, to the host location. On the way back, I did see about two people I’d seen the day before on the same walk path, again walking in the opposite direction I was. It was a different time of day too so that’s odd, right?

I tried one of the keys to the front door, but it just did not budge. A woman and her dog came up behind me. Her key worked just fine; Luckily for me. I went up the winding stairs, and tried the main key. Well that didn’t work either. I then realized the mastic key must have half worked, so I had to finagle that a bit, and then swapped keys. For the record, the gold key doesn’t work with the gold lock, nor silver on silver. It’s silver to gold, and gold to silver. In case I forget somewhere along this trip. I think John had said gold to gold, but we won’t tell him, will we?

I went in, got some water, had a snack and took a nap. I know, super exciting. I did go out again, to the Salt cafe, which seemed pretty nice. This walk took me up and around the canal, but passed it a bit, a few streets up. It was a further walk than I thought and it was up hill the whole way. It was also raining, and I was wearing flats instead of boots again. I passed several larger homes, that looked liked mansions but must have been multiple apartment homes because there were several cars, and it said “tenant parking only” above some lots. The area was all covered by large tall trees until I got into more of a city area.

I found the cafe, around the corner, and found an empty spot in back to hide in. There were two older women, American & Scottish, sitting a booth area nearby. They were discussing some sort of education problem. 2 hours of that went by pretty quickly, and I drank a lot of tea again. I read some and made some notes. The cafe was pretty quiet for the most part, and I wondered if they served food but the waitress hadn’t brought me more of a menu than the tea and coffee. They did seem to serve wine as well and beer. I didn’t feel like that though. It was sort of small, but square shaped, the bar in the middle. It seemed like it had been made into a larger space from two smaller spaces, given the way the beams above and the wall ahead of me were set.

I was ready to leave, so I flagged someone down, and I left the cash. I think I left a little more than it was, since this service was better and I don’t really see much in the way of tipping here? I don’t know, maybe it’s an American custom but the card receipts don’t have a space for it, or maybe I’m just not seeing it since every time I have to sign, they want to see a comparison of my signature so I have to pull out my driver’s license To prove it’s me.

Anyway, I did use cash, it was like 2$ or something silly, I think I left a 5. That’s ok. It’s only money I don’t really have since I don’t currently have a job. Woo. That doesn’t bother me in the slightest. Sarcasm much? Okay so truthfully, not having a job is only 35% bothering me, as the rest of me would just like to continue to travel for awhile. We’ll see how the next few months go and how much more to the current home situation there is.

Where was I? Oh yes, I was headed back home to a quiet night of reading and hopefully some sleep. I’m pretty tired these days. End story. I know, terrible ending, but I’m distracted at the moment with the fact that this cafe just gave me a latte, with coffee not tea, which is a problem for two reasons, 1 – I prefer black coffee like a marine, and 2 – I wanted tea. Whatever. Too tired to argue.

Ciao for now, people.