Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Finally I’m back from my cycling trip, pheew, this took longer than I expected... (OK, I was back a few weeks ago, it only took a week, but I’m pretty lazy and therefore didn’t write anything earlier.) As has been noted before, Scotland is a hilly place. Therefore, on day 2 of our trip, my friend Valur decided we would never make it to London on our bikes, although going all the way there was his idea in the first place. He didn’t tell me about his decision at first, but it should have been obvious as he didn’t cycle up any hills or slopes, but stepped off his bike and walked. This delayed our plans somewhat. He was also a bit afraid of going downhill as fast as he could, slowing us down a bit more. On the other hand, I could rest quite a lot throughout the day while waiting for him.
The first night we stayed in Dalkeith. Some might argue that Dalkeith is really a part of Edinburgh but we would not agree as it took us quite some time to get there. In the next week we managed to get to York. The weather was good most of the time, it never rained, but sometimes we had to cycle against the wind. That iss not as easy as it sounds.
I had two accidents on the way, when I cycled over some pointy objects puncturing my tires. Valur on the other hand, being quite heavy, managed to bend his back wheel and break it, only by sitting on the bike. So we had to find a bike shop and buy a new one. Other than this there were no great accidents. We stayed at B&B’s and hostels, and usually we didn’t have any problems finding a place to stay. Except of course in the biggest city we came to, Newcastle, where we were on a Saturday, along with everybody from Northern England. So, after looking for a place to stay in Newcastle for a few hours we went back to Whitley Bay (which is pretty close, actually) and stayed at a B&B there. Newcastle is a strange place, it is quite big, but according to the woman in the tourist information center there is not a single internet café there, except for the one in Virgin Megastore, but that one has been closed for a while because they are cleaning the windows or something like that. Strange people indeed.
Finally, we made it to York. According to the guy doing the ghost walk, York is the most haunted city in the world, meaning they have the most ghosts per square meter. They also have the oldest ghosts in the world, a few roman soldiers walking about in some rich man’s cellar. We stayed in York for two days, waiting to see ghosts. The city is pretty nice and plenty of things to see if you have two days, but for some reason, no ghosts.
Finally we took the train to London where we stayed for one night. In London we went to a place called The Comedy Club. There were four people there telling jokes. I thought one of the jokes was pretty funny, because it described all the pubs we came to during our trip. It went like this: “I was in Dublin and I went to the pub. They had just closed the kitchen and the beer was flat. Later I found out it was an English theme pub.” And this is where you laugh.
And yes, we made it to Stansted on time, although it was close. After buying our tickets on Liverpool street station and when we were boarding the train we were told that bicycles are not allowed on Stansted Express. So if anyone of you was planning to take their bikes aboard that train, plan again. We therefore had to take a train to some godforsaken place close to the airport and cycle on the motorway for 30 minutes to get there on time. It was not as fun as it might seem at first, but we made it.
Now I have been in Iceland for almost three weeks, this place is cold and wet actually. I don’t think I have seen so much rain for ... well, since the last time I was here.
I haven’t found a real job yet, but I got a temporary job translating some thing. I’ll finish that in a couple of weeks and then it’s back to doing nothing for a while, hopefully.

Well, good luck to you all, hope I hear from you soon.
Steini

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