We left Porto in a rather gloomy and cold morning, quite unlike the usual weather in July, but which was an omen of what the summer would be like in my city this year, i.e., not there at all. We changed planes in London and it was raining when we got out both there and in Edinburgh, but the sky quickly cleared and it was sunny and warm all week long, with the exception of one rainy day. I visited London a few years ago in August, and the Netherlands and Belgium in July – all of these places were much rainier than Scotland, and while this may be just my personal and skewed experience, it’s now indelibly printed on my perception.
We had a Burger & Pint for lunch, at the Nor’Loch Pub inside Waverly Station, while we waited for the train that would take us to Inverness. We would later learn that Nor’Loch was a marsh that existed where the Princes Street Gardens are today. But that’s for another day.
I’ve always loved traveling by train. It’s the perfect combination between comfort, speed, and, most importantly, actually feeling like you’re going somewhere. Flying is strange: you barely notice where you’re going and the distances are too mind-boggling to register, almost like you’re being teleported (or so I imagine).
It’s also nice to be able to write and read, and experience the landscape; I don’t even mind the window reflections you always get on photos.
We shared a carriage with an all-guy birthday party and an all-girl hen night party, so it was nearly as “quiet” as being in the middle of the Porto student festivals. I didn’t mind at all. We had slept around two hours and everything had an air of unrealness to it. The smell of whisky breath got quite strong and the girl screamed and listened to corny love songs blasting through a radio.
I was too shy to take photos of the passengers, so I turned my lens outside instead. The scenery there is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. There’s green hills, lakes and lovely houses and manors everywhere.
It started getting dark, and by the time we arrived in Inverness everything was already closed, and there was almost nobody in the streets. We walked to the hostel with our bags, and then set out to find an open restaurant, which at 10 in the evening on a Sunday was harder than we had imagined. We found an Indian restaurant which was absolutely delightful, and went to sleep around midnight.
So that was our first, and uneventful, day, spent mainly in travel. Bear with me for these posts – I am used to taking photos, but not to writing about my travels, so hopefully things will start getting more interesting as I practice. Thanks for reading!