Monday, 13 January 2014

Hello Scotland. You're Barking Mad

What, with last week being shittier than a flock of cows with double diarrhoea, I decided that I needed to get away for a bit. In Cognitive Behavioural Therapy parlance, it's called 'distraction tactics', a handy phrase that can be used to justify almost all hedonistic activity.

So tactically distract myself I did. By heading off to Edinburgh, Scotland, for a few days.

For some bizarre reason, I decided to travel by train (something I hadn't done for about fifteen years), and not much had changed. Firstly, the cost was extortionate - £137.00. Secondly, it took forever - 6 hours and 30 minutes. And thirdly, the food was minging. I had to survive the journey by nibbling on an anaemic burger that tasted like cat food. Not that I have ever eaten cat food (for the record). It's how I imagined cat food would taste. In fact, cat food would probably be preferable.

As the train chugged inexorably towards Scotland, it gradually emptied until I was the only one in the carriage. But then something bizarre happened. We stopped at an outpost approximately one hundred miles from Edinburgh, and a solitary bloke embarked.

Given the choice of an entirely empty carriage, he decided to take the seat right behind me. WTF! Is it me, or is that an etiquette faux pas? A similar scenario is when you are the only person in a large public toilet, and someone else comes in and selects the cubicle / urinal right next to you. It's just all wrong .... surely they know it makes your bladder contract faster than an octopus eating plankton.

Pic.No.1 The weirdy bloke in the seat behind me

Anyway, you'll be pleased to know that even though he was a bit weird, he wasn't an axe murderer, and I successfully arrived (alive) in Edinburgh at about 7pm.

Pic.No.2 This is a picture of Edinburgh from the train station

Within one minute of arriving in Scotland, I was ripped off.

After leaving the train station, I jumped into a taxi and gave him the name of my hotel - The Jurys Inn.

"Nay problem, luv." he said.

And then he literally drove me 100 yards before saying, "Here we are, that'll be £5.00 luv."

Cheeky bastard. I could have walked that distance in less than 30 seconds. Who knew the hotel was so close to the station?

Never mind, I was there to chill out, so I checked-in and made my way to my hotel room.

Pic.No.3 This is an exact copy of my hotel room. I forgot to take a picture so I had to nick it from the internet - hence the bluriness

Ostensibly, at first glance, it appeared to be a perfectly respectable hotel room. But after spending half an hour in it, the flaws started to appear. All I wanted to do was relax in bed with a cup of tea, some food, and a bit of internet time. Each of which were scuppered by:

- The fact that the kettle couldn't be filled because it didn't fit under the tap in the bathroom
- They didn't do room service
- Internet access cost £5.00 per HOUR! In this day and age - surely you're kidding me?
- The curtains weren't black-out curtains, and the street-lights were shining through
- The bed had horrible foam cushions (being Lady M, I am a stickler for duck-down cushions)

Pic.No.4 The Jurys Inn Hotel in Edinburgh - it's pants

It didn't stop there.

'Ummm, a shower would be nice after such a long journey,' I thought.

So I headed to the bathroom, only to discover a tiny bath with a weak shower above, and a mildewy shower CURTAIN (what kind of hotel uses them in this day and age?) that clung to my body for the entire duration of my ablutions.

By this stage, I was feeling wearied by it all, and decided to go to bed .... not realising that I had inadvertently booked into the noisiest hotel on the planet.

In summary, every time the heating kicked in, the radiators made a loud knocking sound. Then at about 7am each morning, there was a huge clattering outside as the hotel put the bins out for collection.

As if that wasn't enough, on my second night there, the hotel had decided to undertake maintenance work on the room below. From 7.30am, all I could hear was the intense sound of drilling and hammering ....... for two solid hours. Bastards.

Then, on my third morning, I was awoken by someone knocking at my door. I opened it, bleary-eyed, only to find a member of staff standing there: "I just wanted to let you know that your 'Do Not Disturb' sign has fallen off your handle," he said. What a twat.


It couldn't get worse ....... or so I thought.

Shortly after the 'do not disturb' incident, a mad bloke started Scottish yodelling outside my window. He interspersed his 'song' with shouty words like 'HAGGIS!' and 'ARSE!', before repeating the cycle ad infinitum.

It was like sleeping in a bloody train station.

But I don't want to seem too whiny just because the hotel was shite. There were very many lovely moments to Edinburgh ..... and because I am like Ariel Sharon (except that I am not nicknamed the 'Butcher of Beirut'), here are some pictures for you ..........

Pic.No.5 I had a bloody lovely pizza at a restaurant called Vittoria on the Bridge - an amazing Italian restaurant. The pizza was bigger than my head. Just as I like it

Pic.No.6 I also had a meal at a restaurant called 'The Dome'. The building and service was amazing. Apparently the building used to be a bank

Pic.No.7 The Dome had the biggest display of flowers that I have ever seen. It was probably bigger than Mother Theresa's muff fluff

Pic.No.8 Apparently this may be an Ionic / Corinthian / Palladia column. There has been a big debate about it on my Facebook. But all you really need to know is that I am in picture

I returned home from Scotland two days ago and am revelling in the abject warmth of Oxfordshire.

So dahlink, do you have any travel tales for me ...... come on ...... bad hotels and the like?


15 comments:

  1. Your pictures of Edinburgh look great. I have wanted to visit Edinburgh, especially to attend The Fringe Festival there (it is the only Fringe Festival larger than the Fringe Festival held here in Edmonton).

    Sorry to read about the 'hotel' and all the problems you experienced. When you want to get away and relax, the last thing you want are problems/inconveniences.

    Oh, and I love the ocean picture on your blog now, too.

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  2. You have a PhD and couldn't figure out how to fill the kettle? You really were in need of a break, weren't you!
    Glad it all worked out alright in the end,
    Always fancied going to Edinburgh, but, based on your experience, if I ever do go, I won't be letting the train take the strain.

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  3. Well now, aren't you a great selector of accommodation!!!!!!! At least the other photos made it all seem a lot better. Loving your screen saver. You really do not want to be like Ariel Sharon, do you now.

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  4. We always stay at the parliament house hotel. less than 5 mins walk from the station. Rooms are lovely. Breakfast awful but you can get that off princes street with out problem

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  5. Obviously the jury is in on the hotel. I'll avoid it like those flying heifers with the runs. I can understand why you needed a few days to clear your head after last week. Edinburgh is on my list of places to visit and I'm glad to hear your account. Cheers to you, Lady M!

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  6. Oooh, you must definitely go to Edinburgh – it’s ace (but cold!). But whatever you do, don’t stay in the Jurys Inn ;-)

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  7. Ha ha! I’ve had an unlucky run with hotel’s recently, but I plan to rectify that in the not too distant future.

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  8. It was a well tricky kettle, Mash! (cheeky git). You should definitely go to Edinburgh, but if you do go on the train, make sure you go on one of those fast ones. It takes about an hour and a half off the journey.

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  9. I’ll have to check that one out. Thanks for the tip!

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  10. Crikey Kevin, you must visit Edinburgh, but if you want to do it during the festival, make sure you book a hotel at least a year in advance. Yeh, the hotel was pants …… I’ve picked 3 crap ones in a row now, so I need to redeem myself!

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  11. Really! Do your menfolk wear dresses? You should use that as an excuse to visit – it’s an amazing place.

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  12. Nelson Connery15 January 2014 12:42

    Why you complain about Jurys when you travel here by second class - in train? Jurys is too good for woman from Buckinghamshires who go 6 hours for cheap Pizza. Better you go Butlands next time Missie Em

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  13. You had me laughing the entire time I was reading this. This so sounds like my typical days here in U.S.

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  14. Too bad about the hotel but the pizza and the Dome restaurant look amazing. I have never been to Edinburgh, but I might struggle there. The Scottish brogue is like another language to me...which is hugely embarrassing as I am Scottish/Irish.

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  15. If you have palavers, you should start your own blog – it would be a great read!

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