"It is in the wild places, where the edge of the earth meets the corners of the sky, the human spirit is fed." Art Wolf

Friday, October 4, 2019

First Leg of the Journey: Edinburgh

I arrived in Edinburgh on Wednesday morning, October 2, after successfully catching my connecting flight out of Philadelphia.  At the time it felt like no small feat after several delays getting off the ground in Cincinnati.   

I took the Tram into City Center and walked down Princes Street to drop my luggage at my hotel for a small fee until after check in was allowed.  As you will see later this hotel has no frills, no TV or WIFI without extra cost.  When you are spending all day walking around the city that doesn't seem important.  Getting one of the rooms with a view did cost a little extra but I will gladly give up TV for that.

Many views of the castle.

The rest of the day began with a search for the Hop on Hop Off buses.   I had a 2 day pass for three of them.  The stops were not as well marked as the ones in Dublin but by following one of the buses for a block you can learn at least one stop.  I then began to collect the maps of the city and the routes which came in handy the next two days a I picked which bus got me to which attraction/s the most interesting way. As I mentioned to someone on Messenger, after you ride around the city enough different directions, you get a sense of where most of the important/historical sights are and can better plan the rest of your explorations. My one tourist stop on Tuesday was for the Royal Yacht Britannia. 

The World's End Close is along the Royal Mile. It is so named because in the early days of old Edinburgh many inhabitants never had the means to leave the city and or pay the toll to return and lived their entire lives within the walls.  For them it was the "end of the world" as they knew it.

The Britannia was interesting. It is beautiful and is younger than I am, being commissioned in the 1950's.  It reflects a the history of a different time.  The names and places associated with it being back moments in our lifetimes.

I liked the wooden storage areas for the china.  The shelving appears capable of protecting the Queen's china from the vagrancy  of the high seas.

This picture of her silver storage is for Sarah from the Women's RV forum.

Though the Britannia no longer goes to sea with the royal family, if you are a corporation with deep pockets you can arrange to use her state room for a very very fancy sit down.

Yes, there are the interesting bedrooms and offices. They definitely gave off the feeling of the times without being over the top. The chairs and love seat in the Admiral's cabin had been used in a previous Royal Yacht.  Those royals know how to make things last.  I liked the size of the laundry show below.  It not only handled the Royal Family's laundry but, on separate days mind you, it also handled the laundry of all the officers and attendants on board.  Several times it was mentioned the frequency that many of the seaman had to change uniforms in one day.  Must look proper for the Queen and important guests.

The engine room.   The ship was built in the early 1950's and over the years you could see where early computers had been added in the offices, etc.  Apparently the engines never required an upgrade but keep producing their horsepower as required until it was decommissioned.

Now back on land and look, I still get to enjoy Thrift shopping in foreign countries.   This was one of the stores in the mall connected to the mooring for the Britannia.  Yes, I went inside to see but was not tempted by anything.  The trip is still young. 

Outside the mall faithful Border Collie waits for his owner to return.  I watched as they walked up. The gentleman looped the leash a couple of times and left a tug toy with the dog.  He returned shortly and they continued their walk.

Riding the bus back I got to go past the Palace again and managed to catch the tops of the gate.  The Lion of England on the left and the Unicorn of Scotland on the right.   Something about both Scottish humor and pride and the Unicorn being one of the few predators of a lion.

There are many old buildings in this city and others that just got built to fit in.

Balmoral Hotel

The Princes Garden along Princes Street

The memorial for Sir Walter Scott

And just some of the many creatures that live there.

As I turned the corner back to the hotel after dinner.

The last of the sunset on the castle seen from my window.

Remember the reference to spaces found more likely in small RVs?  The shower is about the size of the one in my rig.  Did I mention that the price was very nice for "location, location, location."   I had read through the reviews and what I found is what I expected.  I did spurge, but not much, but only for the view. Many of the rooms don't have windows. You will understand later when you see the tall narrow building that is the Hotel.   If I remember to take a picture of the fire escape plan that would do it, also.

Goodnight Castle. Goodnight Edinburgh.

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