Epic European Cycle : 2015-07-03 : York

Type Name Service Provider Origin Destination Cost Notes Actions
Train Edinburgh to York Edinburgh York $0.00 Journey is about 2.5 hours. Get on something that will get us to York by 2:30 for 3PM check-in. There's a train leaving Edinburgh at 12:00 that gets us to York for 2:30.
Type Name Description Service Provider Cost Kms To Date Total Notes Actions
Sight See York City Walls $0.00
Type Name Service Provider Confirmation Location Cost Notes Actions
Bed and Breakfast Chelmsford Place Guest House Booking.com York $228.00 2 nights. $114/night.
85 Fulford Road, York,
CHECK IN at 3:00, per e-mail

Trip Log

Notes Actions
Before we left Edinburgh today, we walked up Calton Hill to have a look at what was up there. It was interesting. It's like every time Edinburgh wants to build a memorial of some kind, they default to putting it on that hill.
Before we left Canada, I ordered us some Brit Rail passes. They cost a little over £200 for unlimited train travel for four days out of 30 (from the first date used). When Dawn decided to come in to meet us and rented a car, I thought that we might not get our money's worth out of the passes. The first time we used them was just to get from Glasgow to Stirling to meet up with her, and if we'd paid directly for those tickets, they would have cost us only £8/ea. Yikes! That's not a very good deal! But today I calculated it out, and we will get about £100 ($200) benefit from the passes. Our train from Edinburgh to York would have been about £85. York to Waterloo would have been about £140, and Southampton to Heathrow would have been about £65. We'll be getting about £300 worth of travel for our £200 passes, saving about $200/ea by the time we're done. Yay! We could have done better if we'd had more longer journeys (like the York to Waterloo one) than we actually have, but this is good enough.
It had been about two days since I lodged my complaint with AirBnB about Caroline, who bailed on us at the last minute even though I had paid to stay three nights with her in Edinburgh, so I e-mailed them to follow up and find out when I'd hear back from them. When I got onto WiFi this morning, I had a message from Neil, supportive, and requesting supporting documentation for his investigation. Our stupid phone doesn't collect text messages into conversations, nor can we take any kind of screen shots, or forward messages on, so I had to take photos of the text messages with my camera. I made a nice little package for Neil, including messages sent through AirBnB, messages sent through e-mail, and text messages chronicling the conversations (which promptly ended as soon as I started asking her for my money back... grrrr). I am looking forward to hearing back from Neil and learning his assessment of the situation. He probably won't tell me Caroline's side of the story, but I'll be dying to know if she either (1) defends her position, or (2) tries to concoct a different story about how things went down. Probably I'll never know. Sigh.
I absolutely could not survive train travel without my PStyle. I have found it invaluable for dealing with peeing outside and peeing in nasty public toilets, but I could make do with squatting and hovering in those situations, if necessary. But, on a moving train, hovering is absolutely not an option. Thanks to the PStyle I can successfully and cleanly pee, in a nasty public toilet, on a moving train. Seriously. Best. Gear. Ever.
For the first two nights of our AirBnB fiasco, we bunked in with Dawn in her hostel, but then she went home and we had one more night to stay in Edinburgh. I booked us into Brodie's hostel with nary a suspicion that it could possibly be even worse than Paddy's Palace in Killarney. Well, I was wrong. Brodie's has made being a bad hostel an art form. They're a fair size, but their kitchen accommodates only four around a small table. All the chairs are flimsy and breaking. One of the fridges is completely full (not sure they follow through on their threat to clean it out regularly) and the other one is completely full and stinks. None of the faucets in the men's washroom work. Three of four faucets in the ladies' work. Only one of the showers work. There are mice in the kitchen - I saw one, and there is plenty of evidence that they're aware of it but do nothing about it (the graffiti on their kitchen table is essentially a "doodle shrine" to the mouse). Thankfully the room and the bed weren't bad, but we couldn't wait to get out of there.
I have been lamenting something that happens with frequent travel... the first time you encounter something, it seems amazing and cool. The more you encounter the same thing, the less novel, and more mundane, it becomes. The first time I came to York, I was blown away by some of the narrow streets, and fascinated by the walled city. Now that I've seen lots and lots of narrow streets, that's no big whoop anymore, and now that I've seen Derry, the York wall seems less fascinating and impressive somehow. I've been following Beth's posts on Facebook. She's currently in London - we meet up tomorrow for our shared holiday. She's never been to the UK before and she's making all kinds of neat discoveries... things that I already know about. I'm envious of her reactions.
From Brent: Our third night in Edinburgh we left the Stay Central Hostel and said goodbye to Dawn as she headed back to Atlanta and we headed a couple of blocks down the road to Brodie's Hostel. At this point there was still no sign of Air B&B coming up with a refund and our accommodation budget for the night had already been spent on a room that we couldn't have so Brodie's was chosen because it was cheap. Oh, never choose a hostel as cheap as Brodie's! I had thought that Paddy's Palace in Killarney was run-down and scuzzy but Brodie's was 1 step lower, at least the kitchen at Paddy's wasn't filthy.

I won't trouble you with too many of the details here but the most horrifying and funny thing about the place was the kitchen table. It was covered with grafitti. Some of it quite artistically tasteful. Some were simple sentences stating that Brodie's was the worst hostel in Edinburgh (or the world, if you believe the guy who scratched out the word 'Edinburgh'). There was a picture of a tombstone, engraved with the name, "Brodie's Hygeine." Another spot a cartoon mouse sat on it's haunches saying, "Buy more cheese, please." Someone had started a list of broken or non-functioning things in the hostel and left space at the bottom for others to add to the list, several people had added items, and when we were there none of the items had been repaired. All this and more was written in Sharpie marker on the kitchen table and nobody had even bothered to try to clean it off. Rhonda saw a mouse in the kitchen, I didn't turn around in time. By the next day Rhonda and I calmed down a bit from our shock and laughed a bit at the gallows-humour of the place. Rhonda took some pictures of the table as reminders.

At least we didn't get bedbugs. Maybe the mice ate them.