Anarchy in the UK - A Trip Report

Sedition

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Hey guys,

This time next week I'll be making the long journey back home to Australia after spending 2 months in Amsterdam where my girlfriend lives. This is my second visit here, but on the first two years ago, we never made it out of The Netherlands. We decided to take better advantage of the walking distance between countries this time however, and hit Paris via Brussels a few weeks ago and just returned from a week in Newcastle, Edinburgh and Inverness.

Firstly, Paris is overrated and gun to my head, I still wouldn't go back. Nothing disastrous happened, but it just didn't feel like a welcoming city and as an English speaking blond caucasian, I felt very out of place.

Newcastle, home of the Geordies, and Scotland on the other hand were officialing brilliant. The cities and countryside were beautiful and the people were very friendly and helpful. I was making typical smartass Aussie comments while at the 4th test in Chester-le-street, but couldn't evoke a reaction from the mild-mannered Geordies surrounding us. It was probably the Geordie lasses that I was needing to watch out for I later found out. Luckily we left the test an hour early to avoid the crowds, and during the walk back to the station, Australia collapsed and England drove another nail into our coffin.

The 2 hour train journey to Edinburgh was filled with amazing landscapes and would only get better the following day when we traveled 4 hours on to Inverness. We weren't long off the train in Edinburgh before we were stunned by the views across the city. I wanted to message Colin and tell him how much of a bastard he is for living in such an amazing city. It was kinda like Australia meets the Netherlands with the old buildings and rolling landscapes combined.

Luckily I've gotten used to busy tourist areas after the time spent in Amsterdam, and it was made easier by cars being on the right side (that is, the left) and not worrying about 50 pushbikes or trams running you over.

We didn't have time to catch much of the Fringe festival going on, just wandered around the Royal Mile watching the street performers and spent most of the day at Edinburgh castle, which again is amazing. The military tattoo performances were great, with the Kiwis and Koreans putting on the best shows.

As we headed further north, it started to feel more and more like home and I realised why we have a number of Scottish named towns in the area I live in Australia. They had reminded the settling Scots of home too.

We quickly found our hotel in Inverness, overlooking the river Ness with another stunning view of a castle, which houses a statue of one of my ancestor's namesakes, Flora MacDonald. For the following day we had booked a 7 hour bus and boat tour of Loch Ness, castle Urquhart, Corrimony Cairn (older than the pyramids and great wall of china, maybe even the universe if you're religious) and surrounding areas. Another amazing time and the tour guide was great.

Longish trip back to Newcastle the following day. We were joined by some polite drunken Scots in the middle of a stag party which made things interesting.

We caught a comedy show in the evening at The Stand comedy club, hosted by Tony Jameson with some guests who were pretty good. We tried our hardest not to be seated at the front, but the locals were all smart and had reserved seats out of the spotlight. The comedians were kind to the Aussie and Dutch couple though, but can't say the same about the Americans or a couple of locals who had the piss taken out of them all night.

The whole trip was absolutely brilliant and we can't wait to go back. My girlfriend has even be looking at properties for sale in the highlands. I'm not sure about the cost of living in the UK, but I found food, whether takeaway or restaurants, train tickets, and obviously souvenirs and hotels to be very expensive compared to Australia, and a little more expensive than Amsterdam. I guess it could be balanced by cheaper groceries and electrical or water bills for the locals though?

Anyway, thanks to anyone who made it this far. Time for some pictures. Unfortunately I don't have the ones from Newcastle on the laptop yet.


Aussies taking the field



England all out in the blink of an eye. Warner and Rogers at the crease



Clarkey giving Swanny some stick



Edinburgh castle



Views from the castle









Looking over the river Ness from Inverness castle


Inverness castle by night



Loch Ness


Castle Urquhart ruins



I approve of this city



tl;dr - England and Scotland are awesome.
 

Dutch

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Nice write up and pictures. What does your girlfriend do in Amsterdam and if you dont mind me asking how do you manage to keep such a long distance relationship going or is she heading back with you to Oz?

Good that you are with a Dutch girl.......knock some sense into your Aussie brain!;)
 

zimrahil

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Great read, really enjoyed the write up :cheers
 

thedon5

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Good stuff.

England and Scotland seem to have a dim filter on permanently. I thought it was summer there so it would brighten up a bit?
 

barmyarmy

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Yeah the weather is the price we pay for beautiful scenery, This summer has been exceptional (for 2 weeks in July) but usually it rarely gets above 20oC.
 

Highlander999

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Pffft, Inverness. Bunch of sheep shaggers ;) North of Scotland is alright for a visit once, after that it can get very boring, very quickly if you live there. The missus spent 22 years of her life living there, and we've already been in London for 3 weeks and she prefers it down here

Newcastle, however = :thumbs :thumbs :thumbs :thumbs One of the best cities in England
 

Sedition

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Glad you guys enjoyed the read :) I keep reliving the trip over and over, so I feel the need to tell anyone who will listen and there aren't enough superlatives to describe it.

I was nervous about the weather trying to ruin our plans, but overall it was kind to us considering the stories I've heard of British summers. Only at the cricket it turned a bit crap with a freezing wind all morning and shower during the lunchbreak which led to some delays and misery. The excitement of it all kept us going though and while we didn't see much blue sky for the rest of the trip, the few drops of light rain didn't bother us.

Nice write up and pictures. What does your girlfriend do in Amsterdam and if you dont mind me asking how do you manage to keep such a long distance relationship going or is she heading back with you to Oz?

Good that you are with a Dutch girl.......knock some sense into your Aussie brain!;)

She works in a hotel as a supervisor and kind of jack-of-all-trades from what I've seen. Needless to say, when she tells me to get ---- done, I do it.

I have to make the trip home alone, so it's going to be hard to say goodbye next week. It can be tough sometimes when we have to rely on the internet to stay in touch, but on the bright side it's better than it was a few decades ago when people had to write letters and travel by boat. That's my motto anyway.

Once I get home we will start looking forward and planning for the next journey though. Still so much of England and Scotland to see, not to mention Wales and NZ when she visits again. That's if she doesn't keep falling in love with properties in the highlands though!
 

Skater

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That was a great read. Usually an Aussie would go on about what a slum we live in.

By the way, if you are after some decent weather, you want to try the south east of England - the further north you go the colder and wetter you're going to get!
 

Aislabie

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Well, you made up my mind to go visit Inverness. Will do that when I have some money to go with :thumbs
 

Sedition

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Inverness is definitely worth making the trip north for :) It's really only the beginning of the highlands too, so we want to trek even further into the wilderness next time. And with a supply of Talisker, we might disappear off the radar altogether :p
 

barmyarmy

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I was actually there last weekend. Visited Castle Urquhart and Loch Ness too :p
You don't want to live there though. Trust me.
 

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