My good luck/bad luck 20-hour trek to Edinburgh in a nutshell…
The travel gods giveth: With no word of volcanic ash threatening my flight and sunny skies in Toronto, things seem set for a problem free trek across the pond!
The travel gods taketh away: My somewhat loopy cab driver rear ends someone on the way to the airport. No one’s injured, but I have to wait to give a statement to the cops, and a second cab eventually takes me to the airport just in time to miss my flight.
The travel gods giveth: My airline – a tiny boutique airline called “Canadian Affair” that I’d never heard of a month ago – has another flight to Europe leaving a few hours later.
The travel gods taketh away: Except its to Frankfurt, and it’s full, and if I get on it, I’m on my own to find a way to Edinburgh.
The travel gods giveth: I get on standby, and make the flight. I even get a window seat, next to a lovely lesbian couple who see I’m researching Canadian LGBTT history while on the flight and decide to share their sweet story of how they met.
The travel gods taketh away: “On tonight’s flight, we’ll be showing ‘Valentine’s Day,” followed by ‘Invictus,’ followed by ‘The Spy Next Door.'”
The travel gods taketh away again: Arrive in Frankfurt… there are no flights to Edinburgh from Frankfurt that are direct and/or cost under $500.
The travel gods giveth: There is however, a cheap flight to Manchester, which is not too, too far from Edinburgh.
The travel gods taketh away: Woman sitting next to me on flight to Manchester smells of rotten milk, is drunk, and keeps calling me “Charlie.”
The travel gods giveth: There’s a train from Manchester Airport directly to Edinburgh that only costs $50! And a sweet woman at the information desk at Manchester Airport arranges it all for me.
The travel gods giveth again: A very hot dude that smells nothing like rotten milk sits beside me on the train. We share a copy of The Guardian and I successfully find my way through a conversation about the World Cup.
The travel gods taketh away: Train has mechanical issues, stops on track for nearly an hour (and hot dude had gotten off at the previous stop).
The travel gods giveth: I make it to Edinburgh, 14 hours after originally planned, but with my luggage in tow despite various opportunities for it to get lost. A pint at a pub later, I pass out at my hotel.