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Hello again,

Thought I would take advantage of the access to email while I can! The B&B folks here have been most accommodating.

I’ve given up trying to read the weather for the day! It changes every 10 minutes, or so it seems. Charli says it is very moody. Quite literally you can be shrugging off your jacket one moment because you are too hot and then scuttling for shelter in the next because the rain is pelting down. Most people here seem resigned to the fickle mercy of the Weather Fates.

Charli's Haggis taste treat

I’ve since learned that most of the buildings are made of sandstone. It starts out a fairly pale beige color but over time and pollution becomes a dirty gray/black.

The bus system continues to amaze us and we can see why they are on time. The drivers will not stop even to wait 2 seconds for some poor sod (English/Scottish vernacular sneaking in) who is making a mad dash to catch the bus. And, if you press that buzzer for a stop you better make sure you are near the door ready to get off or else you’ve just elected to get off at the next stop. For that reason I don’t like to ride at the top of the double-decker. I haven’t managed to lurch down the stairs fast enough yet. Oh well, walking is good!

Portobello

Grassmarket Street - The Last Drop

Just last night, I was almost taken out by a bus when crossing the street late at night (well 10PM is late for me!). It came so close that Charli asked if I was wearing clean underwear in case a trip to the hospital had been necessary. I can see that my scampering technique needs to be augmented with fleeing skills.

The Underbelly

We’ve explored downtown Edinburgh quite a bit and have been on half of the Royal Mile about 3 times.

Edinburgh - Royal Mile - Charli

Still haven’t been to Edinburgh Castle, but maybe tomorrow. The Fringe Festival is happening now, and we’ve enjoyed several of the street performer shows.

Edinburgh Castle

Fringe posters

There are also a lot of small plays taking place. We heard one person say that if you went to every one it would take you 2 years to see them all. A LOT of people around. Not generally my favorite thing to do – dodging around folks or snailing along behind masses of people – but it is part of the experience. Which I have had enough of now. 🙂

Fringe Festival - Street performers - The Flag

We’ve taken a couple of tours. Mary King’s Close (mainly underground) is worth seeing – gives you an idea of what it was like in the 1600’s. Yesterday, we went on a bus tour to see the Highlands

Highlands

and Loch Ness. A long day, 12 hours, but gave a really good overview of some of the Highlands area. Tell you the truth – except for being more treeless and having stone manors and castles dotted here and there – a person could believe that they are still in British Columbia.

Hamish

We also took a boat tour on Loch Ness – alas no beastie was seen – it was probably hiding from the rain!

Search for Nessie

Loch Ness

Today, we are going to head out to see Roslyn Chapel. For those of you that have read “The Da Vinci Code” – this Chapel figures significantly in the book. And, sometime during the day, we’ve got to get some laundry done – need clean underwear – just in case. 😀

That’s it! I don’t know when we can get on the internet again – probably at the hotel in Oberammergau.

Roslyn Chapel

We are heading to Düsseldorf tomorrow, and will likely spend a few days with assorted relatives until our Oberammergau date on the 21st.

Till then!

Anita and Charli

Edinburgh - view of new town

Hello everyone,

Well, after 21 hours of travel we finally made it to Scotland! The glitch at the start of the trip has already become a dim memory in the excitement of exploring a new place!

Our flight was delayed in Kelowna because of an instrument failure in Vancouver which left only one runway operational over there. Consequently, we missed our international connection but were lucky enough to get shifted to a later flight. In the end we arrived in Edinburgh only 4 hours later than expected.

So far so good. Jet lag not a big issue as I managed to catch some sleep on the plane. Charli said I didn’t even snore. She didn’t sleep as much, and being a sleep sucking teenager, has been more tired than I have been.

Edinburgh castle - view from Princes Street

Yesterday, Charli and I got a handle on the bus system (excellent one with buses every 10 min) and explored a couple of the major touristy streets in Edinburgh. Today, although we are having a very leisurely morning, we are hoping to do a couple of tours and revisit a couple of shops. Charli needs a cardigan. We didn’t bring that much in the way of sweaters/jackets as it is supposed to be summer!

Edinburgh - Princes Square

At the moment it is raining even though it started out nice and sunny this morning. The weather is very changeable here so far this month. Like April weather we are told. Yesterday, I don’t know how many times I put my jacket on and then took it off, put the sunglasses on and off, and opened and closed my umbrella. It got downright annoying!

We are in a nice B&B in Corstorphine, about 15 min out of downtown Edinburgh by bus. I constantly mangle the pronunciation of Corstorphine so that it comes out sounding like a Mafia family name. Charli patiently corrects me, although I thought I caught the beginnings of some eye rolling.

The B&B is in a 1904 Edwardian house – 1/2 of the building. Since everything is stone you wouldn’t even know there are neighbours attached. Pretty much all the buildings here are gray stone or brick. No color either unless it is muted creams, beige, or white. Edinburgh does not appear to have any buildings that are over 6-7 floors. Of course, everything is old, old, old. Love it!

The bus system is great here, and most buses are the double deckers. Charli and I both noticed that the bus drivers appear to be pretty aggressive. Pedestrians step lively, even if they are on the crosswalk, when a bus heads their way.

Bicycles, taxis and buses all use the bus lanes. Not a problem for taxis, but cyclists are at a disadvantage. It would appear that to be a cyclist here you need lightning fast reflexes. When that double decker is hovering behind, seemingly about 2 cm away from the bike’s rear tire, those cyclists boot it as soon as the light changes. They peddle like hell to keep in front of the bus hoping the bus gets to its next stop before they get mowed over – or so it seems. Kind of a game, I think.

We were warned by our airport taxi driver to make sure we looked to the right before we crossed the street. He informed us that a lot of North Americans and Europeans get hit because we are used to looking to the left first before crossing. Good advice! A couple of times we nearly got caught. We are honing our scampering technique.

Anyway, that’s it for now. It is 11:25am and I guess we better get our day going! Raining – so no open top bus tour today – at least not right at this hour.

Edinburgh - I-Pod advertisement

Cheers!

Anita and Charli

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