WE’RE IN EDINBURGH! HOW 2 HUMANS, 2 CATS, AND 4 SUITCASES MADE THE JOURNEY FROM SWEDEN TO SCOTLAND
We’ve made it to Scotland! After four days of recovery (read: catching up on sleep!), I’m happy to report that we’re rested up, and settling in well to our new home! The last few days have been spent fielding deliveries, unpacking, figuring out plugs and appliances, and convincing the cats that this is their new home . Thankfully we’ve all recovered from a long and crazy journey, and today I wanted to talk a bit about how we got here!
Despite all of the difficulties we had just getting to the actual day of travel (flights and trains cancelled multiple times, covid health certificates, visas, etc.), everything went surprisingly well! We started the day at 4 am, less than two hours of sleep between us and anxious to get going. With a cat, backpack, and 2 suitcases each, we rushed to the train from Malmö to Copenhagen (with a minute to spare!).
We got to the airport about two hours early, and even though it was more empty than I’ve ever seen, it was lucky we didn’t come any later! We spent about 45 minutes at the checkin counter fielding questions about why we were going to the UK. Entry to the UK from Denmark is basically forbidden at the moment because of their covid situation, so there was a lot of time spent looking at our documents, calling managers, etc. Once they finally accepted our documents and luggage, we headed off to security where we were each ushered into a small room to take the cats out while they scanned their carriers. The was Clementine’s least favourite part of the entire journey – and lucky for me I made it through with just one scratch! Getting to our gate and the short flights to Amsterdam and Paris were pretty uneventful. Though the flight was almost fully booked (because of previous cancellations), MacKenzie and I were lucky enough to have a row to ourselves. We had a brief layover in Amsterdam, and got right on the next plane to Paris.
In Paris, MacKenzie and I parted ways for the day, and would see each other agin once we made it to Scotland. He took all the luggage, and actually had to wait in the airport for about 8 hours until his final flight to Edinburgh.
Because the UK has such strict laws about bringing animals into the country by plane, the best way to get Winston and Clementine into Scotland was through the Euro Tunnel (the tunnel that connects France and England). Just to make this even more difficult, animals aren’t allowed on the train that goes through the tunnel (Eurostar), and so we needed to take a car. Luckily my friend did this exact journey last year, and she recommended Paws Pet Transport. This transport service specialises in bringing pets and their owners into the UK, and I am so so thankful we found them! My driver picked me and the cats up from the airport and drove us 2.5 hours to Calais where we then boarded the shuttle to Folkestone, England. The car journey felt super quick, myself and the cats very were happy to be away from planes and trains for a bit. Plus it was a beautiful drive through France!
Once we got to Folkestone, the cats and I boarded the 1 hour train to London. Folkestone is near where I studied abroad, so it was really fun to see familiar landscapes along the way!
Waiting for us in London was my cousin Katie. She’s been living there for the past few years, and I’m so excited to be so close to her now! She came bearing gifts, and it was so nice to spend the 2.5 hours before my next train with her. It was dinnertime and thanksgiving, but since England obviously doesn’t celebrate – we decided to get Thai food takeaway. Because we had the time (and the cats hadn’t had a rough enough day) we walked a mile or so to the restaurant. It was nice to be out and about – even if carrying both cats was a little difficult!
Around 18:30 I said goodbye to Katie and boarded my last train to Edinburgh. Thankfully it was pretty empty, and I spent the next 5ish hours reading, knitting, listening to podcasts, and sneakily petting the cats. We finally arrived in Edinburgh around 23:30 and MacKenzie met me at the station to help bring the cats + Katie’s gifts back to our new place.
Our lovely friends had brought deliveries and cat supplies over to our flat and it was so nice not to have to worry about blankets, towels, food, litter, etc. immediately. After unboxing a few things, we all crashed and have been sort of recuperating ever since!
Now we’re in quarantine for the next two weeks – it’s a little unfortunate since we want to explore our new home but hopefully the time goes quick! Thankfully grocery and other delivery services here are great, and we’ve been very comfortable so far! However, we’re definitely counting down the days until we’re free and can walk around this beautiful city!
I’m so happy to finally be in Edinburgh! Moving countries (especially in a pandemic!) is always hard, and I’m so thankful for all the friends and people who have helped us get here – their support and generosity has meant the world!
So for now, I’m looking forward to resting a bit and getting to explore our new city shortly. If you have any tips on things to do during self-isolation, let me know!