After hearing several friends saying that they used Couchsurfing to travel, we decided to give it a go and we started with a weekend in Scarborough.
For those who do not know, the principle of Couchsurfing is to go to sleep in someones house for free, to share good times with the hosts and host them back in exchange. This allows people to travel for low costs but also to meet natives and most importantly to communicate with others.
On the friday night, our host Daniel, warmly welcomed us into his apartment overlooking the Bay of Scarborough. After dinner, a long talk and a lot of advice on places to visit it was time to go to bed and dream about our adventure the next day.
The Yorkshire coast
On a cold morning in March, we saw between two clouds the beautiful Yorkshire coast. With its steep cliffs falling into the sea at once calm and freezing, a desire of contemplation and bliss grabs the visitor. This majestic coast of Northern England, free from any trace of civilisation and of extreme beauty brings its guest into the depths of its soul.
Robin Hood’s Bay
The first stop in the heart of this forgotten coast was in the small village of Robin Hood’s Bay. This former fishing village had nothing to do with the Sherwood forest thief but rather was the haunt of smugglers. A walk in the centre of the old town will transport the traveler back in time. The antique shops, tiny lounge tearooms hidden in the corners of the city, and the houses overlooking the sea give this ancient fishing port an atmosphere of serenity.
Celebrated in the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker, Whitby is now a great destination for families in search of the exotic. The city is bisected by the River Esk’s estuary. The promenade of the new town (west side) with its casinos and restaurants faces the medieval streets of the old town (on the east). The crowded stampede of the West is in total contrast with the beauty and tranquility of the East. You must absolutely have a walk on the eastern side of the city and visit the Abbey on the heights of the old town.
For a gourmet break, you can stop at “Sherlocks” tearoom, where you will enter into a fantasy world.
The town of Scarborough is not exceptional in itself but its castle and its panoramic view make it charming. A stroll along the harbour at the foot of the castle allows the tourist to notice the beauty of this city. Unfortunately, as the majority of English seaside towns, the beachfront is tainted by the multitude of casinos and gaming arcades. This town so peaceful in the morning becomes turbulent at sunset.
This weekend was for us the beginning of new adventures with Couchsurfing. We might as well travel around England and open our apartment to strangers who later became friends. Our Couchsurfing experience is “So far so good.”