I just arrived in Edinburgh after a few hours journey on the bus from my home town of Aberdeen. I had been here before many years ago, but only a few memories had stuck of where things were, so it was all new to me once again…
Within two minutes of walking off my bus at St Andrews Sq, not far off Princes Street, with the help of my iPhone’s GPS and my mapping skills, I end up walking in the wrong direction. Some so-called-traveller I am! You’d think with a state of the art device in my hand that tells me to the exact point where I am that this would be a walk in the park (no pun intended) – but nope – not me!
And so, after realising I was going the wrong way, and feeling like a prize idiot, I turned and headed in the right direction. Thankfully my hostel – Haggis Hostel – was very close to the Square and I was soon approaching a sing displaying my hostels logo – Yay!
So, off I headed up the stairs… many steps followed as well as some lovely art work on the walls informing me how many steps were left and some rather entertaining cartoons! And so I approached a door on the top level… in I walked and I informed the receptionist of my name. No record of me. Oh bugger.
He then asked me which hostel I was booked in to… at the time I was flustered after the many steps I had just taken and confused why I was being asked this! Once I had told him of the hostel – with a puzzled look on my face – he very kindly told me I had gone too far… my hostel was actually down stairs. Somehow I had walked clean past my hostel door. Nice one!
And so, after backtracking down the stairs to the level below… hey presto here was my hostel! I was soon checked in and freshened up and ready to explore the city while the sun was still gloriously beaming!
You’d think I’d of learnt my lesson after taking the wrong route twice within a matter of minutes, wouldn’t you? Umm… no.
This time, with my iPhone GPS and a conventional paper map in hand, I planned to explore all the city had to offer me. I had food on my mind first though, so I wanted to find some nibbles to enjoy in Princes Gardens… not too far from my hostel door.
But, of course, instead of heading for a shop for food then the gardens, I ended up heading in the opposite direction. Yes, you read that right. I ended up at the entrance to Calton Hill… a place with stunning views across the city that I most definitely wouldn’t of come across if it weren’t for my terrible mapping skills!
Thankfully for the rest of the day I managed… slowly but surely… to get around the city with ease and most importantly find my way back to my bed!
And so it just goes to show… even if your map reading isn’t quite up to scratch or worse – like mine – it’s not such a terrible thing. You never know what you might find on your lost track and the images you might capture. Go on – go get lost!