Tag Archives: poor

Gatwick & Airport Fun (Leaving the UK)

Well, after about a month in Scotland, it was time to head to Gatwick and take off for Italy!!  After giving my many thanks to Anna for her hospitality, I left Glasgow via train and headed straight down to Gatwick.  I had booked a little B&B for the night (it took almost all day to get from Glasgow to Gatwick so it was a good thing I left the day before my flight!!) called Da Vinci Gatwick Guest House.  For 40 pounds (yea I know it was pricey but I got my own room/bathroom, breakfast and after traveling all day I enjoyed a little pamper:)) I reserved a single room only about 10 minutes from the airport.

Though a little pricey, I really enjoyed the Da Vinci Guest House!!  I found it comfortable, quaint, warming, welcoming and over all just had a great vibe!  The people who owned, or at least who took care of it are Latin American (I could hear them speaking Spanish) and the woman at least was very accommodating, polite and welcoming!  I didn’t get any actual chat time with the man, that’s why I only mention the woman:)  Though when I made my reservation over the phone, I spoke with a man (maybe the same one??) and he was very polite and accommodating too.  They even provided me with a number of a taxi service that they use that costs half what other taxis cost (according to them) and they picked you up right from the train station.

Quick note here though about taxis… CARRY CASH!!!  AT ALL TIMES CARRY CASH TO PAY THE TAXIS!!!!  Otherwise they will charge you a fee of 7 pounds to use a credit card!!!!!!  Yup, it happened to me… I was fuming!!  Though of course that was on the way to the airport, so what could I do??  The fee almost cost as much as the fare!!!  Consider yourselves warned!!

In any event, the night at the B&B was spent picking off ticks from my forearms (only 4 of them and they were babies, so it didn’t take that long!) and going out for a bite to eat at the local (potentially only) pub and restaurant just walking distance down the road.  The food was great (surprisingly very international!!) and the beers were splendid as always.  Needless to say that night was a quiet one as I prepped to take off the next day.

Because my flight was in the afternoon (6pm) but I had to be out of the B&B by 11am, I opted to just go to the airport and wait until my time to board.  Unfortunately, Vueling Airlines only allows people to check-in 2 hours before their flight, so I had to sit and wait (with my very heavy bag since I was carrying gifts) from basically 11am to 4pm before being able to get rid of my bag and go through security… I finally got checked in and through security, then the cutest thing happened…

As anyone who has ever been to the airport knows, past security there are a ton of shops and stores, and restaurants.  The larger the airport, the more there are!  Gatwick was quite busy and had a ton of places to shop and eat!  I stopped by one place to grab a slice of pizza (easy, cheap and I hadn’t eaten all day!!) then wandered around to find a quiet spot to play a game on my tablet…

I was there all of a few minutes when all of a sudden an elderly woman came by and asked “con permiso, habla Espanol?”  Translation: Excuse me, do you speak Spanish?  To which I responded “Yes, a little” (in spanish of course) and that’s all it took!  She was off!!  Thankfully I actually did understand what she was saying despite her speaking a mile a second!!  She was on her way to Orlando but her flight in Gatwick was delayed and she had no way to contact her family because for some reason she couldn’t get her phone to work and no one in the Gatwick airport spoke Spanish and she couldn’t find anyone to help her because she doesn’t speak and English…

I kinda had to chuckle, because she was just too cute!!  In any event, I explained that her phone didn’t work because she did not have a SIM card for the UK (she was from Spain btw) and I offered her to call her family with my Skype account on my tablet.  She was very thankful, made her phone call to let her family know about her situation, thanked me profusely and went on her way.

I simply went back to my game playing when all of a sudden, about 5 minutes later she snuck back around one again asking for help, lol!!  Poor thing!!!  My heart broke for her and loved her all at once!!  Anyway, she handed me two slips of paper and asked if I could tell her what it was all about.  The first was her boarding ticket for the plane.  But there was no gate assigned to the ticket, only the flight number and seat number.  So I explained that because the flight was delayed, they didn’t know what gate the plane would actually be at and that we would have to simply watch the monitors for departures to see what gate it would be once it was announced.  She got a good handle on that, then I looked at the second slip.  It was a voucher for 5 pounds from British Airways to redeem for food or a beverage at any of the food shops to make up for the delay in the flight.  I explained this to her, then asked if she was hungry.  She said yes, and I offered that if she was interested in pizza, I just happened to know of a place that sold a large slice for 5 pounds… She agreed, so I took her to the food shop, ordered her the pizza to go, paid the shop with the food voucher and gave her the slice.

At this point, as chance would have it I checked the monitor to see if my flight was announced yet, and in fact both mine AND her flight were announced, lol!!  So I told her that the gate for her flight was ready, walked her to her gate (mine was on the way anyway!) then went on to mine:)  She was very thankful, but honestly the whole experience just warmed my heart to be able to help her, so really I thank her!!

On to Italy

On to Europe

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The Real Mary King’s Close

The second guided tour I took in Edinburgh was for the Real Mary King’s Close.  The tour office was located on the street level just off the Royal Mile, not far from the Castle.  But the tour itself went through homes, found not terribly long ago, beneath the current streets and homes….

Of course way back then the homes we walked through were at ground level.  But as people started to build more, instead of scraping old places and starting new, they simply lopped off the roofs of the old homes, built a new “ground floor” and simply built new homes or buildings on top of the old ones.  But this practice of building homes was forgotten about until some workers of the City came along and rediscovered all the homes (now underground) and turned them into a tourist attraction!

The tour was quite fun but for those who have any claustrophobic tendencies, they may want to skip it… The way down was a bit tight, but once in the rooms I didn’t think it was too bad.  But then again, E said she really didn’t enjoy the tour because she felt claustrophobic.  So be warned people!!

Anyway, our guide from start to finish played the part of a young man who lived way back when and sadly died at 23 from some horrid plague.  He told great stories of how the people lived (Gardy Loo!!) and the various plagues that afflited that age.  He was humerous and witty and played his role well!  We went through spaces that looked like a single room but were told it was a whole house for several families!!  Other areas were for animals and others still for the rich.  Each room was recreated to reflect the kind of people that would have lived in each room… But perhaps the most interesting of all the rooms… That of a little girl ghost…

When the spaces along Mary King’s Close were rediscovered, several measures were taken to make sure the spaces would be safe for tourists to travel through.  During projects of reinforcement, some workers would describe strange things or sightings of a little girl quite often in one area of the rooms… So one day, a psychic was invited to go through the rooms.  She didn’t pick anything up of note…  Had no strange feelings or pulls of any sort… She couldn’t find a single odd feeling anywhere… At this point she was in the room most known for sightings but still, nothing.

She was getting ready to leave when all of a sudden she turned around and saw a little girl in the corner of the room.  Now, mind you, at this point of the story we are all in the room itself and the “corner” where the girl was spotted standing was RIGHT BESIDE ME!!!  Yea, I got a little chill for sure when he pointed only a few inches from me!!  Anyway- the little girl was crying so the psychic asked her what was wrong.  The little girl said that she was sad because her parents had died and that she was also sad because she could not find her favorite toy to keep her company and comfort her!  The psychic was so moved by this that she left the rooms, went shopping for a doll, returned to the room where the young girl was crying and left the doll in there.  From then on, none of the workers ever reported any further sightings or disturbances.

Even now, people from all over having heard of and knowing of this story in advance bring the little girl gifts and toys to play with!  In the room today there is a stack of hundreds and hundreds of little toys and trinkets!  So many are brought in fact that the staff has to sometimes clear toys out to make room for others!!  The original is still there though:)

Needless to say, I would recommend this tour for sure!  Though it was a little on the pricey side for the one hour, it’s definitely worth the fun!!  Oh and sorry for the lack of pictures here… I can’t recall if they weren’t allowed at all, or if I was just too engrossed in the tour to care to take picts…

On to Aberdeen

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