Today started with a very early wake up call in Edinburgh, to make sure that I had enough time to play tourist before leaving the beautiful city (read here). We managed to get back to the bus station without any problems, and sat down to wait for our bus to Inverness. The bus station was a bit confusing since we couldn’t find our destination on any of the screens. We managed to figure it out but by then we had around 10 minutes left to line up. Julia and I were really hungry and thirsty but we only had bills, so I managed to find a money changer machine and change my 20 pounds into 21 coins (19 one-pound coins and two fifty pence coins).
The bus to Inverness departed at 10:30am, and as soon as we boarded the bus we knew we were in for quite a ride! The bus driver’s accent was quite thick – so thick, in fact, that Julia nearly thought he was speaking another language! Luckily we were able to understand what he was saying (after several repetitions, mind you): he was reciting the other stops on the way to the Inverness bus station. On the road, we were able to look out our windows and see the countryside pass us by – we even saw snow-capped mountains!
When we arrived at Inverness bus station I immediately pulled out my smartphone (which has saved me many a missed tube stop or wrong corner turn), but after 10 minutes of walking we still couldn’t find our hostel. I was seriously worried that the hostel was a scam until Cassia had the idea of doubling back to the station through an alleyway. True enough, as we walked back to the station there was another street behind it with a “Tourist Hostel” sign printed on top of the doorway.
The hostel didn’t really look that welcoming from the outside, especially since we didn’t know how to open the door or alert the desk. Luckily we didn’t have to wait that long, since a man who was staying at the hostel let us in. The place looked nice and homey from the inside, at least! I particularly love the different flags placed on the ceiling of the lounge area – sadly, there was no Philippine flag!
We decided to walk around for a bit and wake ourselves up, so after locking up our valuables in one of the small lockers provided for guests, we bundled up and set out to see a bit of the town. I was really excited to see a castle probably 10 minutes away, so we slowly took our time to climb up the hill. We were definitely still tired from all the traveling we’ve been doing, but the promise of a good view of the city at the top of the hill was worth it.
The view was delightful, just as we thought! Inverness was actually quite windy though, so instead of model-esque photos under the sunlight we ended up with backlit photos of us flying or walking sideways…personally I always go for the goofy photos anyways, so it wasn’t that big of a deal!
We were pretty tired from all the walking we had been doing (plus all the traveling), so we decided to go for a cheap but quick dinner at Subway. I’m really excited to check out the markets tomorrow, but an early night sounds amazing – especially since we’re only halfway done with our trip!
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