I have indeed managed to get all the way up to John O’ Groats, but my way there was somewhat different from the route I had planned. After Newcastle I got up to Edinburgh on the good old National Express bus, but orientation there was a little more difficult. After managing to find my way from the drop off point to the railway station, I eventually managed to find the now-closed tourist information but was somehow still able to locate a few hostels near-by, in one of which I ended up staying. I hadn’t been aware of it, but it now was the time all the students came to Edinburgh so most beds were actually “reserved” for them.
The Scottish Parliament
Anyhow in the hostel I had the chance to chat with two guys staring out at the University of Edinburgh this September, one of which was going to study English and the other, an older guy from Lithuania, who was first doing a prep-year and then going to do some post-grad in something so strange I cannot even remember. They were speaking really good about their first days &c. and it all sounded like a good place. Being out and about the next two days was not so much to my liking though – forget what I said about Land’s End – Edinburgh High St is like a Scottish uber-Land’s End with the most commercialised castle to one side and the Scottish parliament and Holyrood Place to the other. Still, the castle was good (apart from the way they extract money from visitors) and I spent an afternoon in the Parliament’s gallery, listening to the several discussions, one of which, co-incidentally, was about the unhealthy balance and more healthy ways to further increase tourism in Scotland. Quite interesting, if not always a painful realisation for a liberalists heart, to see important decisions being made with an almost empty house and the low interest many politicians seem to have in matters personally not relevant to them. On the last day in Edinburgh I climbed Arthurs Chair, just outside Holyrood Place and the Parliament, which offers splendid views over all Edinburgh and let me realise that there must be much calmer parts to the city than what I had seen (Thanks to Nic for the hint!).
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Admittedly, it’s been a while since I wrote something last. I felt a bit depressed lately, which is not to describe a mental condition but rather the sensory feedback that my latest stops evoke in me. From Cardiff, where I spent a few days reading, seeing the castle with its imposing keep and the surrounding parkland I made my way to Aberystwyth. However I couldn’t find anything to sleep there for the night so had to move on farther north to Borth where I spent the night in the youth hostel. Borth was nice, I rented a film from a local shop for the night and hat a nice chat with a a girl around my age who had been “forced to see Wales” by her parents.
Cardiff Castle’s keep
The next day I walked down to Aberystwyth again, which was nice as I came over the hills by the cliff, seeing not only the cable car but also Aberystwyth open up below me. I spend the day at he museum and a scarcely visited pub and the next morning went to see the remains of the castle and some part of the uni there. After Aberystwyth, which was quite different from what I had ever expected (as seems usual with most places now..) but nonetheless very nice and rich in history and surrounded by a beautiful scenery, I caught the national express bus to Liverpool, then to Manchester, then to Leeds and finally to Newcastle, where I am now. Continue reading →
I’m in Cardiff, or Caerdydd, now. Well.. I sort of had a little alteration regarding my travel itinerary. I have not gone to St Ives at all but have instead decided to go for some windsurfing fun over the weekend. I left the hostel in Penzance on Friday to walk the roughly 16 miles from Prenzance to Land’s End, which was just a fantastic trip!
First I was walking alongside the coast via Newlyn and Moushole, then I decided to go a bit land-in and walked up to the little village of Paul where opposite the cementary I was greeted by an old and grey-bearded roaming dog who would then
My doggish friend
accompany me for the next 4 or so miles to Lamorna.. I don’t know if he was just looking for comradeship or if it was hunger keeping him around, but he really cost me some nerves at times. He almost got run over by a car one time only to then go on and cause another car to almost collide with a vehicle coming down the other direction when he wouldn’t understand to at least not walk in the middle of the bloody road.. As nice and adventureous our short companionship was I felt rather lucky when some twenty minutes and several people shouting at me and blaming me for not keeping “my dog” under control, I eventually managed to get a policeman in ca passing car to stop. It took the constable a good fifteen minutes to chase and arrest my doggisch road-safety enrisking friend. A last “goodbye, comrade!” wandered my mind but this was definitely the better of our two journeys for that slightly dim vagabond.. Still he got me into some talking with the locals later on who were keen on knowing why a constable with dog was standing by the road in the middle of nowhere.. Sadly I didn’t have all that much time for chatting and so marched on. I still had to catch the five o’clock bus back from Land’s End to Penzance in order to make it to Coverack for the night – this is where I was going to spend the weekend windsurfing. One thing I have to say though is that the landscape around Cornwall really is astonishingly beautiful! It’s really great walking all those little hidden footpaths across fields, over loose walls and through weird stonecirles, passing by medaeival graves and every now and then an amazing view off the cliffs and down the sea… Finally then I arrived in Land’s End, my feet hurting and my head blurred from all the nice things I saw on the way there..
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