Ruins and Rollercoasters

Monday 16 July, Edinburgh to York

To the folks who got back to our hostel at 2.30am and ran up and down the corridors singing for over two hours, may your sleeping sheets be forever greasy, and your flip-flops unexplainably infested with tinea.

We were up at 6.45am to catch the bus, which took us to Jedburgh Abbey for breakfast. (If ever you're offered Irn-Bru, be warned - it is to Fanta what Chinotto is to Coke.) I'm not sure the poor waitress was expecting anyone as weird as a sleep-deprived me. The next stop was the England-Scotland border, where I chose not to join in the themed group photo, and we began part of the long drive down the east coast of England.

It was on the hilly, narrow, winding roller-coaster roads that we discovered that Jimbo's childhood dream was to be a fighter pilot, and he had decided to live out these fantasies while driving our 20-seater bus - he actually got it completely airborne more than once. Given the large cooked breakfast and the hangovers most of us were nursing, I was delighted that only one person puked.

We went past Hadrian's Wall and a small Roman village that's been dug up next to the wall, at Corbridge, which gave me the same feelings as the Roman house under Canterbury - here we were, walking down the same street that people built and walked down more than a thousand years ago.

Next stop was Newcastle, and the Angel of the North - a big steel statue. It was kinda interesting, and we took some silly photos with it. And after that was Durham, which apparently has a lovely cathedral, but we didn't go in - we'd seen lots of cathedrals by then, most of which didn't charge admission. We wandered the market and the town instead, getting thoroughly rained upon but having a good time. I, of course, had yet another ham and cheese toastie for lunch.

The overnight stop was in York, in a large but nice hostel, with a pub in the basement (gotta be a good thing). A bunch of us wandered the town for a while in search of an ATM and some food, eventually finding both. The food was pizza, which was very yummy, although difficult to order due to the hundred-decibel radio in the pizza shop. We opted not to eat it on the muddy banks of the 'river', but went back to the hostel instead. Some went pubbing, we (being old farts of 27) went to sleep instead.