So, I have made my second (and third) travel no-no. First I decided to go to a town that needed a train and 4 buses to get to, which is fine if you have a rental car but if you’re taking the buses you’re screwed. Second, I decided to stop somewhere and be a tourist in the middle of a travel day.
I left Edinburgh and made it to my train and was even there on time, but the train wasn’t, it was 20 minutes late. An hour later I got to my destination and found my bus stop and because I was late, I had to wait for the next bus, which was half an hour late. I considered walking 2.5 miles with all my stuff to get where I was going but I only made it to the next bus stop before giving up on that. (I’m starting to get blisters on my hands from my roller bag by the way, I need to pad it down or something)
Where was I going? Alnwick Castle AKA Hogwarts!! That’s right, I did another nerdy thing! Now, I have to admit, I don’t think I enjoyed it as much as I would have liked to. I had about 50 pounds of luggage, which they have a storage room for but which I still had to get to the storage room and then pick up again and lug to and from the bus stop a bit away from the castle and bla bla bla, you don’t really care, you want to see the pictures right?
So Alnwick is actually covered in these statue soldiers that you can see on the parapets which are pretty cool but you can’t really get a very good look at up close. And since it was once a working castle it’s filled with history and displays of the period. Once again, there was no photography indoors but that’s ok, it’s the outside that’s in the HP films. There were flight classes where about 30 tourists ran around with brooms between their legs and that was pretty funny to watch for a while. Also, the courtyard is never going to be as empty as you see it in that big sweeping picture because I photo-shopped out about 30 random people, because I could.
If I could have done things differently, I would have taken a day tour from Edinburgh so I didn’t have all my luggage with me at the time and so I wasn’t under such a time crunch to move on and make it to my next stop. Would I go back given the chance, damn right I would!
Now I made it back to the bus station, got on my bus and got to the next place I was supposed to stop and while my app that I got told me to change buses, the bus I was on was going to the same place so I just stayed on it. Weird right? Well I got to the next change over and this time I did change buses and the leader board said my destination, the bus said my destination, the app said my destination, did the bus go to my destination? No it did not. So I ended up somewhere, I don’t even know, changed buses to get me back to the right stop, caught the right bus and took it all the way to where I was supposed to be. There was only one more bus to take and did I catch it? Nope. Was it the last bus of the day? Yup. Was I stranded in a town without a place to stay. Sure was!
And now you can see why I didn’t have time to write a proper blog post for you. The bus station was closing and so I asked one of the attendants and he pointed me to a McDonalds that was open 24 hours. So I lugged all my stuff half a mile up the road to find some wifi and figure out what I was doing. Did the wifi work? Of course it didn’t! (Bet you saw that coming) So I used 11 of my 100 minutes of my international phone plan and I called my mommy. Surprisingly she still thought I was doing ok, which was a shock to hear from someone who didn’t even want me to take this trip in the first place. But I felt better talking to her and it calmed me down a bit.
I ended up going back up the road to a Jurys Inn that I had passed and I shelled out the £85 ($116) to have a room for the night. Now I have to say, after staying in hostels and B&Bs up to this point, staying in a hotel was so nice! I almost didn’t want to leave, nice big shower, queen sized bed, a place to myself, I felt a little spoiled. Even better, the wifi worked. So I settled in, figured out what my plan was and I took two Tylenol PM to knock myself out for the night.
Ironically enough, despite all of this trouble, I’m still under budget as a whole and I did not actually have to use my contingency money. Go me!