Saturday, August 20, 2016

Edinburgh Day 2

Breakfast in Edinburgh Due to a combination of jet lag and the difficulty of getting two young adults up and moving in the morning we got a late start.  My husband and I walked to a local cheese store to pick up our morning breakfast and also stumbled onto a local open air market next door where we bought French cheese, British cheese, and a rather poor cup of coffee.  We had a pleasant chat with the Frenchman who owned the cheese truck.  These impromptu food shopping moments are one of my favorite parts of traveling in Europe.  Unfortunately traveling with three guys, I never feel like I have enough time to do the shops justice unless there is food involved.

Walking the Leith
We finally set out for a ramble and went back to the Leith walk to walk to Leith, of all places.  The day began rainy and we immediately took a detour to the Royal Botanic Garden. It is a lovely garden although we didn't spend enough time to do it full justice. We had to get back to our walk and the rain had started in earnest by the time we left. Sadly the lens I carry to travel does not work all that well with plant close ups. Sea Holly The Leith walk was quite green and peaceful with a surprising number of people on it despite the rain which occasionally reached downpour levels. As we neared the coast, the Leith broadened and we could see a number of water birds, mostly ducks, seagulls and a family of swans. The Walk to Leith
Leith itself is a quaint harbor town within the big city. Hunger and wet feet drove us to seek shelter and we wound up stopping at a large shopping mall for a quick meal and in my case, a purchase of dry socks. Fatigue took over and we gave up on the sightseeing and caught an early movie before dinner. The movie was the latest Star Trek. It definitely caught my sense of irony to be watching a movie with a character named Scotty in the capital of Scotland. I wonder what the locals thought of the accent and the stereotype of a Scotsman. Unfortunately, I didn't get to ask anyone. I did ask Google and the Straight Dope has an amusing series of comments on the Scotty character's accent. James Doohan the original Scotty was Canadian. Simon Pegg, the Scotty in the new movies, is English which to an American ear is more or less the same thing but likely not at all so to a Scotsman. Anyway, enough Star Trek trivia.

4PM in Leith Dinner was at a local restaurant. I was struck by the whisky menu (see photo) but I was certainly not up for any drinking. We ended the day late and made it home feeling well done. Whisky menu at The Shore

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Trip to Scotland

I'm going back in time here to my first day in Scotland two weeks ago.  Internet access is generally too cumbersome and I'd rather see than write so I'm working retrospectively.  As always with one of these trips, some details have already faded.
We were fortunate to be able to gather the whole family for a trip.  Since my oldest has moved out of state and my youngest started college last year, that has become difficult but so glad we managed it.  We met #1 son at the airport in Chicago and all flew together to Edinburgh.  This we barely managed as we left home late and encountered the predictable Chicago traffic arriving at bag check with quite literally two minutes to spare.  I managed to maintain composure throughout which is uncharacteristic but had planned that if we were not allowed to check our bags, three of us would fly on and one would try to take the next flight out, bags in tow.  I'm not sure how that would have worked out and very glad it didn't come to that.  Google Maps got quite a work out from the cab as we tried to estimate our arrival time at the airport.
The flight itself was uneventful with time to catch up.  It has been a while since the whole family was in one place.  We booked a flat in Edinburgh's New Town via Airbnb and check in was seamless.  We had a great apartment--three bedrooms in a fantastic location.  It was quite the luxury.

After resting a bit, food was in order.  Obtaining food seems to be a central theme of our joint travels. At times it interferes with seeing the sites but we all love to eat and traveling with two young adult guys has its requirements.  After a pub dinner that was actually quite good, fish and chips and soup among other things, one of my sons and I took a stroll while the other two went back "home" to rest.  The very long summer days are a delight while traveling.  We were out until after 10 and it was still light.  We walked along the Water of Leith, a creek that runs through town until we could walk no more.  Here are a few shots:

I was excited to see a grey heron and a fox during our ramble.  It was a pleasant ending to a long day.

Citizen M Hotel in Glasgow

I now am trying blogging from my cell phone.  It is of course even smaller than my tablet.  This will limit my literary endeavors.   My photos may possibly be artful but will in the end be taken from  a  cell phone which is limiting.  
I love the common rooms of this hotel.  They are literally stacked with books:  books with the covers removed, French pocket books arranged spines in, art books, old leather bound books.  There is also a miscellany of old electronics: typewriters, telephones, clocks, etc. 
I ran into trouble posting from my phone so I think I'll have to go back to the old fashioned way and use a computer.  

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Blogging in Glasgow

I am doing the experiment of using my new little tablet to blog by.  I can tell this will not be a favorite due to very slow typing!