10 Modes of Transportation I Took On My Trip Around The World

10 Modes of Transportation I Took On My Trip Around The World

#1 A Camel in India

While exploring the Rajasthan region of India, I was most excited when I found out I would be taking a camel ride through the desert. I have wanted to ride a camel in a foreign land my entire life. My camel, whom I named Hump Phrey did not disappoint. I sat on him while he was lying down, and when he stood up it was a terrifying ride to the top. Camels are a lot taller than I imagined while he was on the ground.We trekked through the desert as the sun was beginning to set and he was very interested in kissing the camel next to me.  Our journey ended on a hill where we watched the beautiful desert sunset and then Hump Phrey’s human family invited my group and I in for a delicious Indian dinner.

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Hump Phrey the Camel

#2 A Snowmobile Sled in Norway

In Norway, I had the opportunity to stay in the snow hotel and take a king crab fishing excursion. In order to get to the frozen fjord where the fishing would take place, the group and I suited up and boarded the snow mobile sled. It was a trailer with four bench seats that each sat four people. The snow mobile, with the help of the man driving it, pulled us out into the center of the fjord, and surprisingly it never occurred to me that if the ice were to get one tiny crack in it, we were all doomed. However I don’t think that in -40 degree weather,  in a land in which the sun had not actually risen in 14 days, we were in any danger of this happening.

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On the Frozen Fjord

#3 The Tuk Tuk in India

Every ride I took in Tuk Tuk was a different adventure. We had to stop for cows, though that was the only thing anyone stopped for. Once our Tuk Tuk got stuck stuck in a giant traffic jam in Udaipur. People on the streets, along with dogs and goats, were climbing over the Tuk Tuks just to get through. The Tuk Tuk in front of us had somehow locked up with the one next to it, coming in the opposite direction.The side pieces were connected and there was no good way to rectify the situation. The tiny, narrow, curvy streets only made things worse. I did notice, that no one seemed to get angry. People were laughing, and carrying on as if they had nowhere to be. If this were in New York, someone would have killed another person by the time the traffic was flowing again.

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Tuk Tuk Traffic Jam

#4 The Ten Person Snorkel Boat in Pape’tee, Tahiti

When I showed up for my afternoon snorkel excursion in Tahiti, I was a bit shocked at the, um, conditions of the boat. A tiny aluminum boat, with exactly enough room for ten plus snorkel gear was waiting for me. However, when on an adventure, one must go where the adventure leads. I hoped as I boarded this boat, this particular adventure would not lead to my death. Fortunately it did not. The ten of reached our destination, in some of the bluest water I had ever seen, and the snorkel was on. I saw lovely multi-colored fish and a beautiful coral garden. The boat did exactly what it was supposed to do. It did not sink and it got us safely from point A to point B, so I’d say this mode of transportation was also a success.

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The Dive/ Snorkel Boat

#5 The Cycle Rickshaw in India

If the Tuk Tuk was an adventure, the cycle rickshaw was a feat indeed. Each one seats two on a bench, and the more luxurious ones have a small bench with a “security bar” in the back, facing the oncoming traffic. I rode in cycle rickshaws facing both directions and I am not sure which one was more entertaining/ terrifying. One of the pros is that it is much easier to come to a screeching halt when a cow stops in the middle of the road. One of the cons is that everyone in traffic, including the cows, is moving at much faster pace than you, especially if you have squeezed four people into the ride. Poor rickshaw drivers. They work all the time and some of them even sleep in their tiny rickshaws so they never miss out on a money making opportunity.

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Cycle Rickshaws

#6 The Radiance of The Seas, Cruise Ship

I had never been on a cruise before. I had no idea what to expect, and I was not disappointed. I had never even been to a resort, so when people compared being on a cruise to being on a floating resort, I had no reference point. This ship had 13 decks, 10 restaurants/ eating areas, 8 bars, shopping for days, a spa, a salon, two pools, a rock climbing wall, a casino, and so many other nooks and crannies. I was overwhelmed at the places to go and the mile long activity list. However, between themed dance parties, bingo and basketball, I managed to make incredible friends. I also managed to make friends with one of the bartenders, which is always good advice, and eat some of the most delicious food. I’m not sure I can afford the Cruise lifestyle very often, but those 18 nights at sea from Sydney to Honolulu, stopping in New Zealand and French Polynesia were certainly incredible.

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The Radiance of the Seas

#7 The Overnight First Class Sleeper Train from Jodhpur to Jaipur in India

If we were in first class, then I would be very interested to see what the lowest class car looked like on this train. That being said, I do love a good jaunt in an new vehicle. There were actually “beds” in the form of bunk beds, but each one had three numbers on it. If you didn’t have the foresight to purchase all three tickets, then you were likely to be cuddling with whomever also had a ticket for your bed. Our group had an entire cubby to ourselves, and two of them had the privilege of getting an entire bed to themselves. I was so amazed at the goings on of the trains in India. People would run across the tracks, climb on the train and board through an open window. People in the stations would stand near the train windows and sell you a variety of items while the train was in the station. Other people would get on with a cardboard box of various food and sell it while walking up and down the corridor of the train. The trains passed through remote villages and vibrant towns. They were over crowded. It is almost impossible to use the bathroom on a moving train while squating over a hole in the ground and looking at the tracks passing beneath you. However, without the details, adventures would be so boring.

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The Train Platform

#8 A Wooden Paddle Boat in Vietnam

I had always wanted to visit the Vietnamese Mekong Delta. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to ride in one of these hand-crafted wooded paddle boats. We floated peacefully down the tiny channel, our boat being controlled by a woman, in one of those iconic Vietnamese hats, rowing us down the river with her oars. I saw people leaving their housing structures, climb down bamboo poles and get into their own boats, heading to work or the market, or I can imagine, any number of places. What an interesting way of life it must be to go to the market every day in your paddle boat?

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Wooden Paddle Boat

 

#9 An Elephant in India

Another mode of transportation I was excited to cross off my bucket list was riding an Elephant. This is another animal I have always wanted to ride in a foreign county. However, I wanted to make sure, as with the camels, that I was riding an elephant who has a good life and is treated like a member of the family that owns it. My tour guide took me to a place that he assured me was humane and the elephants get treated very well. My tour mate and I sat on the elephant in a little cushioned basket. Ernie, the elephant, took us up the hill to the top of Agra Fort. The views were spectacular and the rhythm of the elephant was different from anything, even the camel.

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Riding Along

#10 The Evolution, Cairns’ Number 1 Dive Boat (Australia)

Down Under Cruise and Dive, in Cairns, Australia has one of the best dive boats on the water. I was so impressed with the crew and my initial baby dive, that I signed up to get my Open Water License while on board this amazing boat. It has three levels, bean bags for lounging, air conditioned rooms, a kitchen, underwater cameras you can rent for the day, and state of the art dive and snorkel equipment. I spent three full days on this boat and while actually being a non swimmer trying to get her dive license was extremely challenging, I enjoyed every second of this adventure.

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The Great Barrier Reef

 

 

 

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My First Time…. traveling that is

When did you catch the travel bug? I remember exactly when I caught it. I was 14 years old and I had just entered theatre class on a Wednesday afternoon. My teacher, by far the coolest teacher I had ever had, announced that the theatre trip for the year would be to London and Paris. I grabbed the flier and went home and I’m not even sure I gave my parents a choice. I was going. Thank the Lord they paid for it, because I had no idea how I was going, but by God I was going.  Somehow my amazing parents came up with the money. A few months later I was on my way to my first traveling adventure. My parents and everyone else’s came with us to the gate and even boarded the plane to take pictures. (Oh the days before 9/11) and then we were on our way.

I was so excited that I know I didn’t sleep a wink. I was surrounded by practical strangers and we were going on an adventure. We spent six hours in Chicago before actually arriving in London. We went on a bus tour which took us past the home of the RedSox and to my first experience at The Rain Forest Café. We went through China Town and then back to the airport and then to London. I have no idea what time we landed and it doesn’t matter. We were ushered right away to our amazing hotel, The Hotel Britannia. It was beautiful. I took a picture in the driver’s seat of a taxi, we put our stuff down and we were on our way. We saw the Tower of London, London Bridge, stopped at the Doc Martin Store, saw Covenant Garden, Piccadilly Circus and Harrods. And this was only day one. That night we went to our very own Mid-Evil dinner. It was incredible. There was a king and a seven course dinner, court jesters and at the end they even passed around a snuff jar. It was disgusting!

The next day we went on a bus tour to Windsor Castle. It was my first time in a palace and I began to think I might have been switched at birth. I knew I was royalty. (That has yet to be proven)

After the beautiful castle experience we went to my favorite spot in London to date. The Globe Theatre. It was amazing. This was were every Shakespeare play ever happened. This was where he had his first actors and first audiences. This was where it all happened.

Also in London, I tasted my first sip of wine and my first cigarette.

Then we said farewell to London and took the six-hour ride through the Chunnel to Gay Paris. There was nothing to see since we enslaved under a body of water so I finally slept. Then suddenly we were in Paris. We checked into our not-as-fabulous-as-our-London-hotel-but-still-amazing-hotel. It was dirty and dingy and we had to put our luggage in the elevator and run up the stairs to meet it. It was perfect. At ten pm every night every single one of the three channels switched to almost visible porn… luckily by then we were all too tired to try and watch TV.

In Paris I witnessed the sunset behind the Sacre Cour, which is the most amazing church I have ever seen. I had my portrait drawn on the banks of the Seine River. I went to the top of the Eiffel Tower and then walked down all of the steps. I went on a sunset boat ride down  the river. We went to Versailles and everything glittered in a way that I didn’t even know was possible. We saw Notre Dame and the amazing design and gothic architecture. We walked under the L’arc De Triumph.

Every single thing about my first time was perfect. It was emotional, and beautiful, and sad when it was over. It also left me craving more. The need to travel is inherent  in me. It always has been, I just had to have it realized. It may be inherent in all of us, but we have to take a leap and buy a ticket. Anywhere. Just go somewhere. Have a first time and I know it will be nothing like mine, but it will be just the way it should be for you.

A few days in Dresden, Germany

My friend and I were in Prague and after a free ride to Vienna, in a van with five Polish men fell through, we were unsure of where to go next. So we did what any adventurous travelers would do. We packed up, headed to the train station and boarded the next train out. This one happened to be going to Dresden Germany. We arrived in Dresden where the train station is isolated at one end of this beautiful city. We booked a hostel at the train station and proceeded to walk from one end of town to the other in order to find it. Along the way we passed many beautiful places that we made note of to stop at after we had secured our things in the hostel.

We secured our things in the lockers provided and headed out into town. We headed down to the banks of the Danube which was a beautiful bank where people were flying kites, taking pictures, drinking and enjoying the unseasonable warm Germany weather. After a few moments, we decided it was time to make a friend. I had picked our friends in Prague, so it was time for my friend to make a choice. We looked and looked and suddenly there he was. An average, not scary looking at all, German man about our age. He was sitting shirtless in the sun with his camera on a tripod next to him. We approached and my friend said, “excuse me, are you shooting some sort of time-lapse?” His response was “yes, I was, but now I stopped. Do you like wine?” And suddenly we had a friend.

It turns out he had been shooting a time-lapse of the river and had picked up a bottle of wine and a six-pack, and had taken two sips of the wine and decided it was too sweet for him. He offered it to us and we gladly accepted. We sat with our new friend on the banks of the river. He was a wanderer like ourselves, though born and raised in Dresden. He was a lot of things, among them, photographer, skate boarder, and tour guide. He helped us take pictures of the Hoffirche during sunset and showed us how to use our fancy new cameras. We then took pictures on his tripod of the Frauenkirche during the blue hour. He then took us on our very own, private walking tour of the streets of Dresden.

He explained that the reason all of the buildings were still so beautiful was because, even though Dresden had been almost completely flattened during the war, Dresden had rebuilt everything to look almost exactly as it had before. The materials were different and more modern, but they were so proud of their history that they couldn’t let Dresden be rebuilt to look any different than it had.

We had the streets practically to ourselves as we saw the beauty of this city. At the Dresden wall of kings (Furstenzug) a man played his violin as we heard the history of the wall.

We agreed to meet our new friend the next afternoon for a taste of Currywurst and then headed back to our hostel for a few hours of sleep.

The next morning we explored the entire city. We went to the top of the Frauenkirche and looked down over the entire city. We saw the new town hall and the royal place and then met our new friend for currywurst. It is exactly what it sounds like and it is delicious. Bratwurst smothered in a mango curry sauce. mmmmm! Then he took us to a spot in a mall for the perfect photo of the dome. He ran off, but not before he agreed to meet us later to take us to a dance club.

We explored the neighborhood of our hostel and found the most adorable little shops. Back at our hostel we made new friends (two wild and crazy Australian girls who were moving to Scotland via a back packing trip through Europe.) We joined them at a beer garden and invited them to the dance club with us. We arrived at the dance club which looked as if it was in an old trailer park. There was even an old bus that had been turned into a lounge in the parking lot. We went inside and quickly began dancing the night away to American Rock and Roll. It was packed and hot and AMAZING. The five of us agreed to check in every 45 minutes in the same spot. We drank, we smoked cigarettes, we made even more new friends. One of us (it wasn’t me) even danced on a bar with five German men to a Green Day song. It was amazing, and we didn’t get back to the hostel until the sun was high in the sky.

In the morning light, Dresden glow had faded a bit and we decided it was time to move on. We packed up, stopped for one more sampling of CurryWurst, and bought train tickets to Berlin. Off on another adventure.

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23 hours in The Netherlands

What can you possibly do when you have exactly 23 hours to spend in the Netherlands? A lot more than you’d think.

My friend and I were training it to Amsterdam from Berlin. We  added Amsterdam to our journey because she had a friend attending school at the Utrecht University in the smaller town of Utrecht, outside of Amsterdam. A free place to stay is never too far out of the way. Man, was it worth it. We arrived in the Amsterdam Train station. We met her friend and my new friend and then we were on our way:

We squeezed both of our bags into a train station locker and headed out for the walking tour. We walked through a farmers market where we sampled delicious cheeses such as fresh smoked gouda and goat cheese and breads. Then I had a stroopwafle and since my life has been forever more fulfilled. Okay… I ate an entire package of stroopwafles, and I enjoyed every single bite. If you have never had a stroopwafle, please do a Google search and find one near you if you can. I know that certain Trader Joe’s sell them occasionally, but even in NYC they are fairly hard to find if not in The Netherlands.

So, we ate our stroopwafles and then we went to the craft flower market where they sell everything from shot glasses and wooden shoes, to handmade clothes, flower bulbs, art, trinkets, crafts, and anything you can imagine. We picked up a few souvenirs and continued our tour. We walked along the beautiful canals and almost got killed a few times as fast cyclers whizzed past us.

This stroll led us to the I AM STERDAM sign which we climbed on like we were children and took pictures in almost every letter. This sign is in a beautiful plaza/ park with fountains and lush green grass perfect for an afternoon read/ nap/ or cuddle. We had a light lunch of fresh produce and more cheese and bread, and then continued our stroll past the Oude Kerk (The Old Church) and through the museum district, pausing long enough to take a few photos of the beautiful examples of architecture.

We then strolled through the red light district (at roughly 2 in the afternoon) and there was not a lot happening. We did see one man stumble drunkenly into an open door, but most of the girls were sitting in their windows, in tank tops and small shorts, either waving, dreaming out their windows, or texting. From the red light district we found ourselves a nice cozy “coffee shop” where we settled in with some fresh blueberries for the afternoon. Then we spent the next three hours on the edge of a canal, smoking cigarettes until one of us (me) was calm enough to move around again. Then we saw the most beautiful sunset. We were standing in the center of a bridge and the sun began to set behind the most amazing building. It was breath-taking.

As the sun set, we headed to the train station, grabbed our bags, and took the bus to our friends apartment in Utrecht. In the field directly behind her building lives a flock of sheep so loud, that I can’t see how any one ever sleeps… I thought it was amazing.

The next morning we set out through the Dutch countryside on borrowed bikes, with packs full of snack, water, our cameras, etc. We rode for miles and miles through the countryside. Wind in our hair and sun on our backs. We stumbled upon an old bunker from the war (though I’m not sure which war because there was no sign), we frolicked in fields, and acted like children on those bikes. Then we reached our destination. A Dutch Pancake house in the middle of absolute nowhere. It was set on a quaint farm complete with two very friendly Donkeys. We all ordered something different though my favorite example of Dutch pancakes were the half apple cinnamon, half bacon pancakes I had ordered. Everything about this setting was perfect. The food, the view, the company, and even the farm animals.

We paid our check, rode our bikes back to Utrecht, packed and headed back to Amsterdam to catch our train: the 14 hour night train from Amsterdam to Prague, but that is whole different story for another day. It was a whirlwind, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. 1291 1348 Amsterdam sunset SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC

Another blizzard, another trip

It is yet again dumping more snow on us here in NYC, I am in the mood for a bit more retro travel. I will retro travel until it stops snowing or until I can afford to travel again, whichever comes first.

Today we are headed to Rocky Point, Mexico. Come on, it will be a blast.

It is 85 degrees when we land in Phoenix. We pick up the rental car and drive immediately to Chino Banditos, a local Food Network hotspot; a blend of savory Mexican cuisine and rich Chinese take-out. I think I will have an order of Orange Chicken tacos and a margarita. What about you? This food is so delicious that I know you are thinking that we could just stay here. Nope. Don’t get too comfortable. This is only the beginning of our journey. We are headed to Rocky Point, Mexico for the main event. A weekend of relaxation, booze, vacation, all leading up to the Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers concert.

Now you’re probably thinking, did she just bring me to Mexico for some concert. Well, you signed up for this trip and this isn’t just some concert.

Imagine if you will, a beautiful drive through the Arizona desert. There is cacti on either side of you, blurring past as we make our way to warm, sunny Mexico. After a few hours of road trip games and car snacks, we suddenly see it. The border. We have arrived, which is made apparent when there is no one present to check our passports upon entering and just like that we are in Mexico. Trust me, it is not that easy to get out.

Our car meanders slowly through the streets filled with venders and the intoxicating scent of food carts mixing with the salty ocean air. Soon we arrive at our home for the next four days. A most luxurious condo with two balconies over-looking the majestic Pacific Ocean. Within minutes we have changed into our swim wear and have rushed down to the beach with our new matching beach towels. Yes we’re that kind of friends. Before you know it we are drinking frozen margaritas at the swim up bar, and breathing in the best possible air. The sun is high in the sky and all is right with the world.

After a few hours indulging in this piece of heaven, it is time to clean up and head into town. Hurry up, I’ll meet you in the car.

So we filled up on delicious faire at The Real Perico Marinero and now we park the car and wander through the vendor filled streets. There are about six blocks worth of streets that resemble a giant flea market and everyone wants to bargain with us. There are marionettes, shot glasses, clothes, fresh produce, fish bottle openers made out of shell and anything else you can imagine. Remember, no price is ever final so brush up on those bargaining skills.

Okay are you done because we have somewhere to be? Great. It is now officially the beginning of the main event. The charity hot dog dinner, A Hot Dog and A Smile at JJ’s Cantina with all proceeds going to support the orphanage, Esperanza Para Los Ninos. P H Naffah, the drummer of RCPM is in my humble opinion, the best drummer in rock and roll. This event is not only for a good cause, but it is the opening event of the weekend. This is where the fans begin their family reunion so go and grab a Tecate, take a shot of Mexican Moonshine Tequila, find a seat and listen to the music under the Mexican moonlight. Tomorrow is a big day so make sure you get plenty of shut eye before tomorrow’s activities commence.

Hey. Hey… wake up. Grab a hair of the dog, brush that hangover away and come on.

We drive about thirty minutes to what looks like the middle of nowhere… Actually it might be the middle of nowhere. Then we rent ATVs for the morning. We are given a brief lesson and then we are on our own. I don’t know what your experience was like so here is mine… I am flying through the Sonoran Desert with the wind in my hair and the sun is beating down on me in a friendly, welcoming kind of way. I can see tumbleweeds rolling past and many varieties of cacti: tall thin ones, short fat ones, stubby bush like ones, and many others. I feel that the desert must go on forever and suddenly it stops and I find myself at the edge of the earth where the Sonoran Desert meets the Pacific Ocean and for a moment everything stops. When we all arrive at this spot we stop and take a picture, or a thousand pictures, but we all know that when we show them to the people back home, they will never experience this moment the way we just did.

The sun tells us that it is now high noon, which means that it is now time to head back to paradise, have lunch on the white sandy beach and take in some S & M (sunshine and margaritas, duh!) before the concert that I just dragged you 3000 miles to see.

This is it. Are you ready? Get excited.

We pick up our tickets at will call for the empty lot next to JJ’s Cantina and go and grab the prime spot, right up front and center so that Roger might grab one of our hands during Wanted. After endless openers and a team effort to keep our spot what with the bathrooms and more drinks, we finally see that trusty, sequined sombrero peer from behind the curtain and finally there they are, Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers (Roger Clyne, the lead singer, PH Naffah on drums, Nick Scropos on bass and Jim Dalton on lead guitar.)

They play every song in their catalogue. They pass around a giant flask made from an animal horn that is filled to the brim with Roger’s own tequila, Mexican Moonshine. Everyone sings every word to every song and knows every inside joke and trick. The fans link arms and sway during “Green and Dumb”, everyone does the “eye thing” during “Banditos” (“like I was a super model, huh uh” and everyone knows the back-up vocals for “Mexico.” There are five thousand people all speaking the same language: tequila, rock and roll and friendship.

Four hours later with the end of “Una Soda” still ringing in our ears and the adrenaline still pulsing through our veins, we head back and take a very late night stroll on the perfect moonlit beach before hitting the hay so that we can make it to the hangover brunch tomorrow morning.

Aww… did you have too much tequila? Get up, we’ve got a meet and greet to get to and bloody Marys to drink.

We head to the hangover brunch and talk with the other fans, make some new friends, drink some drinks and tell the band one more time how great they are and much their music has done for us. Then when the band has once again retreated  we head back to our hotel, take naps on floats in the poll, just close enough to the swim up bar so that we can wake up, order another drink and chug it down before returning to our slumber. We soak up all the sunshine we can before it sinks into the Pacific Ocean for the last time of our journey. Then we put our hoodies on and cheers the moon, still not quite ready to say goodbye. Finally we all fall asleep on the balcony couches, knowing that tomorrow we will once again cross the border between the time of our lives and life.

Well, we got eight inches of snow today and by the weekend they are predicting another foot or two. Man, I wish I were there, in Rocky Point, but hey, we’ll always have Mexico.

Salud! And “if your bottle’s empty, help yourself to mine.”

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It was one of those nights…

Since it is still below the freezing mark here in NYC, it is time for more retro travel.

Let me take you to Edinburgh, February 2010, where the unexpected happened and we had one of those nights that will be talked about forever, but that no one will ever really believe…

Three of my friends and I met up in Scotland to follow our favorite band, Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers, on their first UK tour. When we travel as a group it is to some destination, near or far to hear this band play. They are kind of the reason we all became friends… but that’s another story.

This story begins just after the Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers’ concert ended. We were four American women ranging in age from 26 to almost 50 ( that will come in handy later) running on post show adrenaline and were in need of a watering hole.  So we did what any group of adventurous travelers would do… We turned right and then left and then went into the first pub we saw. This pub, The White Horse Cellar Bar, was only entered because there was once a local hangout by the same name, back in the day in NYC.

THE BAR

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We walk into a brightly lit space and are greeted by stares from the crowd, which I would guess averages at least twenty years older than our oldest group member. There are groups of… well… let’s just say it… fairly old people , enjoying what I would call old people drinks. Cordials, brandy, scotch on the rocks, etc. We all make a silent decision to have one drink, because we are already inside and then get the heck out of dodge. We all order a beverage and take the last available table, right next to the evening’s entertainment. The “entertainment” is a 65-plus-year-old-man with a karaoke machine. It is not karaoke night, he simply sings songs with his karaoke machine. I whisper to my friend, “I wonder if he knows Lady Gaga?”… and suddenly something magical happened. Something that will go down in the records of The White Horse Cellar Bar.

BEFORE

before edi

He suddenly bursts out with “Rah Rah ohh lala” and then proceeds to sing the entire song. We pass him a note that says it is our friend’s birthday and she is from NYC. After Lady Gaga he goes right into “Coming to America.” The crowd is still a bit uneasy but they are beginning to at least relax and the karaoke singer begins to sing “New York New York.” The four of us get up and begin to dance, which I am certain hasn’t happened in this bar in at least 40 years. About halfway through we are joined by the oldest member of the crowd, a darling little old lady named Isabella. She links arms with us and joins our kick line. I’m not really sure what happened next, but the next time I noticed the place was packed, the bar tender was frazzled and everyone was on their feet. There was barely standing room only at the bar. People were coming in off the street to see what all the commotion was about. A hen party in its entirely came in, wasted already, and began to dance and sing. The music had shifted from Sinatra to Bowie, more Gaga, Britney, Justin, Christina and all of the other loud obnoxious popular music. There were no seats, there was nowhere to stand, but the crowd kept getting bigger. Three young guys around 19 walked in and those women in that hen party had a field day. They were dancing and trying to pull the boys shirts off, trying to kiss them , and nobody cared. The old men were dancing with us and twirling us all over the floor. The old ladies were dancing with the young guys. Drinks were flowing and my friends and I were having the time of our lives. Everyone was.

AFTER

after edi

I am pretty sure the bar ran out of everything. They probably hadn’t sold that many drinks in the last ten years. Eventually Isabella, sat down and began to put on her coat. We knew that it was now time to head back to our hotel, but not before the entire bar sang happy birthday to my friend, and the staff signed a post card for her and everyone had a giant group hug. Edinburgh, though “Something unpredictable that in the end is right,” will go down in history as the city that surprised me the most.

The customers at The White Horse Cellar Bar may have gone back to their old ways the very next day, I’ll never know, but I have a feeling that every now and then they smile and fondly remember the American girls who changed everything in one night.

“Is it true its always happy hour here? Well if it is, I’d like to stay awhile. And as cliché as it may sound, I’d like to raise another round, and if your bottle’s empty, help yourself to mine. Thank you for your time and here’s to life.”                        ~~ Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers, Mekong

Me, in Edinburgh

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