I still went to the Tullie House Museum, which discusses Roman history in the region and had artifacts from Hadrian’s Wall so it wasn’t a wasted stopover. Even better, there was a “How to Train Your Dragon” theme going on throughout the exhibit! Like London, Carlisle must have known I was coming. The lady working was very helpful and tried to figure out a city bus route that I could take to at least see the wall, which didn’t end up working out, but I appreciated her effort.
This accent confusion continued in Glasgow. I had been warned that Glasgow accents were hard to understand, but I usually consider myself good at understanding other accents. Most of the time, I could understand them, but there were a few times when neither one of us could understand the other, despite us both being native English-speakers speaking English! Until I reached the Edinburgh airport when I was about to fly back to Iceland, I did not encounter another American, for 60 hours in an English-speaking country! I was on a train in Glasgow, talking with the elderly woman across the seat from me. She said, “Are you really American!?” She seemed very surprised. I guess in some parts of Scotland, American sightings are rarer than Loch Ness Monster sightings. Who would have thought!?
Speaking of Icelandic, I was on the bus in Reykjavik recently when a few German-speaking tourists asked me if I spoke English. I thought it was funny since I ONLY speak English (fluently at least). They asked all these follow-up questions about the culture festival that was going on and I don’t think they ever suspected that I wasn’t actually Icelandic.
I left Glasgow Sunday morning, taking an Uber to the bus station, a bus from Glasgow to Edinburgh, a flight in to Reykjavik, a bus to the Reykjavik bus terminal, and then a friend took me back to my flat, with a full three hours to spare before I started work for the day!