Couchsurfing in Scotland: Saved by a stranger
We have all tried it. To crash at a friends couch for a night. Possibly a night out – saving us a taxi bill. And we have done the same for our friends of course. Let them borrow our couch for a night or two. But it takes something special to invite total strangers in to your home, and let them stay, simply to do a fellow traveller a favour. That’s what the well known ‘couchsurfing’ concept is all about – a concept widely used today, all around the globe.
Couchsurfing.com is the most renowned, but there are numerous websites where you can find willing hosts abroad, and where you can offer you own couch. I have had my Couchsurfing-profile for nine years, but never used it. Before now.
Stuck in the middle of nowhwere
Recently my girlfriend and I got stuck – in the middle of nowhere.We had come to the Aberdeenshire region of Scotland to volunteer at an animal charity, which proved to be everything but good for animals. So we decided to leave and our planned 6 six became a few days.
But travelling on a budget didn’t make it easy to ‘escape’, as first we needed somewhere else to go. And to find a new place to volunteer with short notice is not easy. We needed at least a few days.
Therefore we put our faith in Couchsurfing, through which I had briefly contacted people on our way up north, and a fellow couchsurfer became our savior. A nice guy from Aberdeen kindly invited us to his home for a few days, and even came to pick us up at the trainstation.
We quickly went from strangers to friends, and this proved to us how great an experience couchsurfing can be. There is something pure about opening your home to complete strangers – without getting anything in return, other than an exchange of life stories and traveltips and maybe a cooked dinner.
‘The Granite City’
Besides a new friend in the north, our couchsurfing debut have given us the opportunity to explore Scotlands third biggest city a bit. Aberdeen is known as ‘The Granite City’ due to a high amount of massive granite buildings, which gives it a heavy grey profile.
A city that might not be topping any lists of beauty in Europe, but it definitely has some great elements. Among them are the old cobblestoned university neighbourhood with the Harry Potter-like King’s College. The sandy beach along the coast, from where a ‘highway’ of oil-ships can be seen approaching or leaving the big harbour. And an interesting and free Maritime Museum.
Keep updated on Travelooney’s Facebook page!
By Brian Schæfer Dreyer