After a couple of months spent home when I went back from my Up North and Down South trips, it was time to start over again. As usually - why should it be easy, when it can be tough - North for the winter! Let's see where Windy islands tour part 2, will lead us... 😎😆
You can also fallow the trip in Polarsteps. Not to overload the post with pictures, most of the photos you can find at the end of it divided into galleries.
20 December 2022 – Dublin, Ireland
As soon as I arrived, my new couchsurfing hostess led me through the woods. How can we not go along perfectly!
The arrangement was that she could only have me for one night, so I had to look for another option till 23th. I actually had, a host accepted me for the all 4 nights straight away, but I kind of didn’t have a good feel for it.
I rather look for a hostel…
21 December 2022 – Howth island, Ireland
Well, yeah, but it’s not the first time I’ve gone somewhere for one night and left after 5 days or 6 months… 😜 with a friend for life. Well, in this case the days were 3, but the friendship is friendship!
On the second day Miska took me to a wonderful little semi island. Despite the wind that was literally blowing us away (yes, it moved up even me!), the view and the company were magnificent and both of us (actually the three of us with Peppa the dog) truly enjoyed it!
22 December 2022 – Dublin, Ireland
On the last day, Mshka wouldn’t even be at home, but the understanding and trust that was established between us was the reason for me to get the spare keys to leave at a certain place on departure. Thanks, friend! 😘
In the morning, however, she did not miss to take me to visit her friend, where we managed to destroy two portions of incredibly delicious homemade delicacies to disappear and а wonderful coffee! I haven’t had coffee like that in a long, long time!
After which she left me on the beach, where I again enjoyed the peace and beauty of the sea, although the mist hid the surrounding hills.
But before that, still in the dark, my grace hurried to the city centre on foot to buy a transport card so I could go back home afterwards. And as well add to the collection, of course! 😛
I took the train back into the city and dedicated myself to a tour of central Dublin. Well, it wasn’t very long, since it was already dark at 4 in the afternoon, but… next time more! 😉
Couldn’t miss to at least pass by the most famous cathedral in Dublin – St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
Finally, before returning to Miska’s home, I met for coffee with the host I had refused.
My intuition had not failed me. We had absolutely nothing in common with this man – my stay with him would be an awkward passing and a game of hide and seek.
23 December 2022 – Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
And of course Ireland had to send me away with an Irish weather (witch I kinda managed to skip till now). Not only did it rain all night and I was greeted with more rain in the morning, but I had to wait (in the rain!!) for the bus that was supposed to be on time, because of the flights cancellations, missed flights, etc.
It’s not in time. It’s not there at all! After an hour delay, the driver of another bus to the airport took pity on us and picked us up even though we had tickets for another one… 🤦🏻♀️
This was a real shame after all the efforts of my couchsurfing host (now a dear friend) to facilitate my trip. She even used my birthday as a pretext to give me a ticket (on top of the 3 days of hospitality!) for a direct bus so that I wouldn’t have to wander with Roberto on the unreliable public transport in the morning!
Well, apparently Irish public transport in general cannot be relied upon at all… 🤷🏻♀️
So, thanks to the fact that I was quite early, I actually made it just in time. And new action awaited afterwards. Well, I had never passed such an airport check. They only didn’t make me take the teeth crowns off for inspection, dammit! 🤦🏻♀️
I was sitting on the plane, which took off 30 minutes late, wondering after that Irish send-off, what kind of Scottish welcome awaits me…
And so while I was wondering, the plane that took off 30 minutes later landed 15 minutes earlier… 🤣
And here it was another surprise waiting. Apart from the miserable, tattered Roberto who appeared in the baggage line, no one else paid any attention to my humble self.
There was no passport control, nothing at all. Go figure it… 🙄
After all the “teasing” Scotland has been doing behind my back, I wasn’t sure if the arrangement of picking me up from the airport was genuine. But yes, it was! I have been picked up and taken to a wonderful location on the outskirts of Edinburgh – right on the beach!
I’m typing right now and watching the waves…
This will be my home for the next few days. Then… Then we’ll see…
26 December 2022 – City of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
The three days spent with my host were quite stressful. A guy I only knew in short and from FB, and who has nothing to do with travel, saved my pretty ass by letting me crash on the sofa in his living room. In addition, he had to seriously change his schedule on this occasion, since he is generally a night bird living in front of the TV until 3-4 in the morning.
It was not comfortable for two Muslim male roommates to have their living room occupied by a stranger woman. His roommate didn’t come in at all (he was quite shy and extremely religious), and I felt guilty that the guy didn’t have free access to his own kitchen (through the living room, of course). Apart from that, my host smoked a lot, literally non-stop, of course in the living room. And he was smoking nothing but weed…
God, how that shit stinks! I feel like even my bones have absorbed the smell!
The situation was uncomfortable for everyone, and I should have changed it sooner rather than later. Therefore, from the first moment I was glued to the laptop to look for options.
When I finally had a solution to the problem on the third day, I allowed myself to stay another day and see at least some part of Edinburgh. Not much, but still better than nothing.
Who knows if I’ll ever go back again, although I’d love to – the city is so lovely and there’s so much to see and feel...
27 December 2022 – Carlisle, UK
On my way to the next adventure, I had to get to Carlisle and wait about 2+ hours for a bus in the opposite direction to take me back to Scottish soil.
To kill time and hide from the cold, I slipped into the first possible establishment. There wasn’t much choice, almost nothing was still working after Christmas.
I hit a nice place. After ordering a coffee for £3, I decided not to hang out there for two hours (the restaurant is tiny) and asked for any idea where I could leave Roberto and walk around the town.
The smiling girl immediately replied – but of course, you can leave the backpack in the service room, no problem. The manager appeared at this point and created a problem.
Well, it was their problem after all. I was just sitting for two hours warm in front of a cup of coffee with a huge rucksack next to me attracting all the attention of the customers… 😆🤪🤷🏻♀️
27 December 2022 – Newcastleton, Scotland, UK
The solution I found after being kindly screwed by Bess was actually a lady who offered me her hospitality indefinitely.
I wrote in various FB groups, including Bulgarian ones, in Scotland. As I feared, I received only unnecessary “advices” in the Bulgarian groups – why am I here at this time of the year, since I have no right to work legally…
I remembered again why I do avoid my compatriots abroad. Sad but true!
I got some useful pointers from the Scottish Scottish groups, one of which was about the “host a sister” group, which I had used before but had just forgotten about at the moment.
I had already started emailing the hostels in Edinburgh for work when I was literally inundated with messages in this group. Under my post and personally. Taila was the second person to offer help, and since she didn’t set a time frame (which gives me freedom to search another option without added stress), I didn’t even think twice before accepting her generosity!
I am extremely grateful for the sympathy that all these ladies have shown. Some offered help, those who couldn’t afford it, wished success, but they all sent tons of positive energy and warmth! Thanks!!! 🥰🥰
Taila, a single mother with a ten-year-old daughter, was expecting a baby boy, but that didn’t stop her from taking in a complete stranger, even giving her her own bedroom, just because she was outraged at the injustice done to her! Thank you from the bottom of my soul, Taila! 🥰
Evie and I took advantage of the rare breaks in the rain to walk the dogs (three!) and ourselves! 😁