Okay, so when I before I went to bed I opened the window next my bed so I could hear night sounds & enjoy the wonderful cool weather, made for a good nights sleep. The next morning I woke up to the sound of a bagpiper across the street! What a great way to wake up! Getting ready for the day & listening to bagpipes, loved it! So went down for breakfast buffett, well mainly coffee. On the buffett there was black(blood) sausage(sorry but yuck), that Scottish staple haggis(again yuck, if you know how they’re made I’m sure most agree with me), scrambled eggs, toast, other different sausages, cereals, grilled tomatoes, sauteed mushrooms caps & I really want someone to explain this one to me, it seems to be a very British breakfast thing, beans, like pork & beans here. Don’t understand that one, then again I’m sure there are plenty of things about our foods & eating habits that Brits find odd, so… I got some tomatoes & mushrooms(not really a breakfast person) & orange juice & coffee & took a table next to front window & watched the early goings on at the garden across the street. Really must remember(I had forgotten) not to drink OJ within a half hour of brushing teeth! Blech! I sat & nibbled & drank my coffee & watched, love people watching!(an aside, at a later time I’ll be talking about Brits & coffee) So after finished breakfast I went to the front desk to let them know that luggage was ready to be moved to new room. The room I had spent previous night was booked that night so had to get new room, next day would be moving to sister hotel. The new room was smaller but nice, just lucky that they had another room for us.
Well , once we got to new room I needed to go through luggage & pull out things that I could do without & dirty clothes( John had suggested that I ship home any unneeded stuff to help lighten load) so I could ship home. You have no idea how freaking heavy those bags were!
So first thing on days agenda was to get to Mailboxes Etc. for shipping & then on with day. The front desk got us a cab & told me where to find shipping place; could have walked but what I was shipping weighed 45 pounds! Not that I knew that at the time but knew it was heavy & not what I wanted to be lugging around! So got to the shipping place & got everything boxed up & weighed, this is when I found how much all that stuff weighed! I was shocked! Not as shocked when told the cost though! Won’t tell you how much but let’s just say stupidly expensive! But in the long run worth it! Bags were still heavy(seemed to get heavier by the day, it wasn’t, turned out just my body getting weaker) but not as bad as they were.Well I figured we could just walk back to Princes St so we could see more of the city. I had asked how far we were from Princes St & was told it was a 10 minute walk. Okay, when a Scot tells you somethings a 10 minute walk you might want to add another 20 minutes or so to your timetable. I think they must take huge steps & walk faster than us. This was the case everytime I asked how long a walk something was. Just be warned. So after walking about 3 miles decided it was time for water & more coffee. By this time it was lunch time & we chose a busy Italian restaurant that smelled wonderful! I got me my water & coffee & ordered what I thought was a Caprese salad but through misunderstanding on either my part or waitress’s what I was served was a pasta salad, so I just picked out what I wanted & left the pasta. Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE pasta but I normally only eat once a day & had already had some grilled tomatoes & mushrooms for breakfast & just wanted a little something to keep me going for awhile. And it was the same price as what I thought I had ordered & with crazy lunch rush we would have been there even longer so I just let it go. The food was good though.
So after we finish eating it was back to walking & wandering. There are all these really great Scottish shops that sold nice souvenirs, lovely cashmires, real tartans, kilts & the accoutrements that go with them. You could even buy bagpipes! I wish I could have bought some of these things but due to unforeseen circumstances( story that will be covered in another blog), but I did by some very nice things for my family. I discovered Scots are know for their fudge & my dad love fudge so got some for him! Got some beautiful handmade silver earrings for my mom, a hand embroidered glasses case for my sister, & also got a CD of the Tattoo that had been done the year before. Mom loves bagpipe music. And no a Tattoo is not ink art on a body! It’s The Edinburgh Military Tattoo, a drum & bagpipe corp. It was originally the way pub keepers were told to send soldiers home for the night during the 17th century & they were fighting the Low countries(Belgium & the Netherlands), the drummers were sent out to start drumming at 9:30 PM until curfew at 10PM. And that is our short lesson on Scots Military Tattoos.
After I had made my purchases & was waiting on traveling companion to finish up I went outside to have a cigarette & call John. There was a bus stop just outside with what passes for a bench(more on lack of benches later) in it. Now I say what passes for a bench these things are only 6 inches, maybe deep enough for a childs butt but not for mine or most grown people! Anyway, as I was smoking a lovely little old woman sat down beside & as I was putting cigarette out she said she hoped she wasn’t the reason I had put it out. I told that I was done anyway & then we started this conversation about things that happen in life, she, I & my mom all being cancer survivors & things like that. Mostly I just loved listening to her talk! She was such a lovely old lady, I just wanted to bring her home with me. So by this time companion came out of shop & we then hit some of the more tourist type of shops to get t shirts & stuff like that. Well decided to take purchases back to hotel & then go check out the Gardens. First went & checked out the Scott Monument up close, it’s just amazing in it’s architecture! It’s of Gothic design & made from Binny stone, this is a oily stone that attracts dirt, they this was chosen because with all the soot from all the chimneys & from the Edinburgh Waverly train station right by the gardens that it would quickly get that pantina that old structures get. It was built between 1841 to 1845 so it’s old now. There are 287 steps that lead up to the top of the spire & you can get a full 360 degree view, which I imagine is just beautiful BUT I don’t do heights & by this time I wasn’t doing stairs either, legs just wouldn’t to them. Then we wandered down to the National Gallery, they had just unloaded a new exhibit that was going to be put around the city, life sized tigers, alligators, orangutans &elephants, done in different colors & designs on them. One of the tigers was covered in pennies. They really were so neat looking & were brought in to put around in the gardens & I even saw a couple the day on the other side of the old city. Then we decided to wandering the gardens, by winding foot trail NOT by steps. So funny watching these seagulls wandering around & watching people themselves. The gardens were still lovely even though it was late in season for most flowering plants. There were also these trees that I was told are just called Plain trees(Yeah, I know) that the bark looked like taffeta. After the wandering in park we headed back to hotel, companion said she was tired & done for the day! It was only 4:30 PM! Well I went down to bar to relax & take care of getting some postcards written & ready to post. Also decided to have a cup of tea while I did another part of blog & did some thinking. This is all I’ll say of this until later, day before when talking to my husband John he told me that my companion was not welcome back at house when we came back due to some things she had done or not done as the case maybe(don’t judge on this until you know more). So I had some thinking to do about how to tell her, I didn’t want to tell her then & spoil(at least what I thought) the rest of Edinburgh stay so I decide to wait until Oxford to tell her. In the mean time I’ve got this roiling & eating at my stomach. So sat & thought & blogged. Then decided it was time to do some more wandering so gathered up my things, posted my postcards & set again. Headed out down Princes St. just basically window shopping & looking at buildings. Most of the building are just as they have been for hundreds of years, the streets look so wonderful. Not anything I’m used to. Most everything in Atlanta is new(new ish, less than 50 years old), there are some old building but not many & nothing like in Edinburgh!
Well after a couple of hours of just wandering & looking I decided to head back to hotel bar & grab a bite to eat. I chose soup & a Caesar salad, the soup I really don’t remember so that says something, but the salad was EXACTLY my favorite salad that I get here at home at Shorty’s! Down to the white anchovies! It was so good & I was so surprised! By the time I was finished I saw it was close to 8:30PM & decide to head up to room. Well when I got up there & saw companion already for bed & watching yet another episode of Top Gear(don’t get me wrong, I love Top Gear, but after the kajillionth episode in 5 days) & small room seemed to close in on me with what I had on my mind I decided bar & a pint or two was in order. So head back down to bar & sat at the bar & got to talking to this couple from Philadelphia, they were telling me about some of the sites they had seen & then started talking about Greyfriars Bobby’s statue, I had totally forgotten that this was where that was! I can not tell the story of Greyfriars Bobby, it will make me cry. It involves a very faithful dog & you should google to get the story. It is a wonderful story but just one those that makes me cry if I try to tell it. Sorry. Well then they were telling me about Rose St. that runs parallel to Princes where I was, Rose St. is known for all the pubs on it & I had been wanting to a proper pub crawl since I got to UK! So both of these went on my list of what to do the next day, our last full day in Edinburgh! by this time it was close to 11:30 PM & I decided it probably was time to get some sleep.
Well it looks like we’re going to have another part or so before we’re done with Edinburgh. Part 4 coming soon.