Despite a rather terrifying turbulent-filled flight, my traveling buddy (mom) and I arrived safely on a chilly morning to Heathrow Terminal 5 in London. The moment we stepped off the aircraft, we could feel the drastic change in temperature; which was a welcome change to the sweltering heat that we experience everyday in sunny Singapore.
While we were eager to begin our trip, we still had to clear the UK Borders. About an hour later, we were on our way to our first destination – Edinburgh, Scotland. To get to King’s Cross Station (where the train would be departing from), two options are available: One, taking the Piccadilly line straight to King’s Cross or, two, board the Heathrow Express to Paddington Station and taking the Hammersmith Line to King’s Cross. As we had already booked our tickets for the train to Edinburgh, we had given enough buffer time which led us to picking option 2.
We arrived at King’s Cross with about more than an hour to spare. So, we had lunch and proceeded to wait around for our train to be called. This was a rather eye-opening experience as I had imagined it’d be a smooth process. To our surprise, it was a race to the trains with the fastest getting luggage space as their prize.
When the Virgin train service to Edinburgh was called and announced (through the PA system and the big neon board hanging above the entrance), a gigantic migration occurred. Almost everyone who had been hanging around started to make their way toward the entrance. My mom and I maneuvered as best as we could, with our 2 big luggage, through the turnstiles before picking up the pace to the platform.
Unfortunately for us, we got to our cabin a little behind and the small luggage area was already packed full. We had no choice but to leave our luggage out near the train doors.
Needless to say, it was a stressful 4-hour journey toward Edinburgh especially when one of our luggage was brought off the train at one of the stops by another traveller. My sharp-eyed mom managed to go to the rescue when she noticed one of the missing duo. Once we were reunited with our luggage, I decided to stand guard over them for the rest of the journey.
The train pulled into Edinburgh Waverley Station at around 5.30pm and we disembarked. As soon as we did, the cold wind hit us at top speed, making both of us shiver. We were definitely not prepared for the weather. It was apparent that we get to the hotel quickly to put on our thicker coats before heading out to grab dinner and explore a little.
Thankfully, our hotel was just across the road from the station and was quick to get to. We hurriedly made our way toward Motel One (Edinburgh-Princes), our accommodation for 2 nights. The check-in process was quick and we got into the warmth of our room in under 5 minutes.
Once we freshened up, we headed out in our thick coats, ready to brave the weather. As we stepped out, it was clear to us that the coats were not going to be of much help. The plan then changed to just getting dinner and heading back.
Unfortunately, my mom encountered a minor mishap where she tripped over an inconsiderate person’s luggage and fell over. Though cushioned slightly by her clothes and the luggage, my mom still hit the ground face first. The leg of her glasses broke clean off and, she suffered a pretty deep cut on her cheek due to the protruding lenses of her glasses. I’d have to admit I was in full-on panic mode because I definitely never expected to be in a situation like this. The inconsiderate duo tried to assist us but in all honesty, I really didn’t want their help. If they had been more responsible with their luggage, this wouldn’t have happened.
As my priority was getting my mom’s wounds cleaned up, I helped her off the ground and brought her back to the hotel. The staff at the check-in counter provided A+ service as they helped my mom clean her bleeding wound. They were empathetic and attentive; which was what we really needed after a shocking first hour in Edinburgh.
Well, that was surely a memorable welcome to the Highlands.