Saturday, June 13, 2009

Scotland Day One

Thoroughly enjoyed our first day together in Edinburgh. It took Andy an hour or so to relax and learn how to travel my way, which is not to plan too much. To wander up alleys and away from crowds. To check out things that catch your interest. To listen in to other people’s conversations, and to people watch…though with some subtlety. To forget about the clock unless there is something specific you need to catch. After a long day of taking things in and wearing out our feet, as we sat in a pub waiting for the local musicians to start playing, he said “I feel like I’m returning to my native land.”

Here are some of the things we discovered in Edinburgh. We found that we both enjoy the hard cider better than beer. One should not wash his jeans with his passport still in the pocket (it’s trying to dry out, pages pressed between wax paper and weighted with heavy books to try to cancel out the curling). Young engaged men and women in Scotland are paraded around in attention getting garb (men in women’s dresses, heels and makeup, women in fishnet tights, sleazy dresses and sashes) by their friends and wedding parties, taken from pub to pub and all about town, said friends dressed in matching T-shirts or sashes, etc., so as to be fully recognized and embarrassed by their impending nuptials. You have to remember to look up, behind and to the sides as every view seems to offer something interesting to see. There is less likelihood that couples will be making love on the ground outside your windows when there has been rain. That means that rain isn’t all that bad.

Edinburgh definitely does not have a Design Commission as old and contemporary architecture are crammed in side by side without a thought as to how they look together. There are huge rock outcroppings right slam next to and in the town. Edinburgh Castle is built on the top of what looks to be the highest of them, the old part of town running right up to it. The Royal Mile is the street that leads to it. Our flat is right off the Royal Mile in Chessels Court, about 12 blocks from the castle. It is very comfortable and well equipped.

We had a wonderful dinner in the Grass Market area (about a fifteen minute walk from our place). The first few places we wandered into had long waits. But we stumbled upon a lovely little Italian restaurant and shared mussels (Cozzi) steeped in garlic broth, a pizza carciofo (sp?) which was topped with light tomato sauce, mozzarella, artichoke leaves and capers, and a half carafe of the house red wine. Then we walked another ten minutes to the Two Bells pub that was recommended by the landlord for folk music and neighborhood atmosphere. We got home around midnight and haven’t figured out yet what we’ll do today. On our list to do before we leave are the Scotch Whiskey education centre, a dungeon tour, a town bus tour, a tour of Edinburgh castle and finding more local pubs with music and fish and chips. We’ve booked a day tour (about 12 hours) around the country side for Wednesday. Tuesday is our trip to Liverpool.

These are some of the pictures of Edinburgh plus one of an old man that I took at SeaTac waiting for the plane to London. Could you look more British than this? And as for the picture of me with the castle in the background: don’t you think that Andy could have told me I had my coat buttoned crooked?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing. Each day has brought a good chuckle. I do like your style of travel, just take it as it comes. I'm glad Andy has adapted to it. He'll have such an adventure that way. Looking forward to seeing you soon! sis