I had visions of giving you daily, perhaps even hourly updates of our trip. Not to be. Not even the “daily” part has worked out. But I’ll try to catch up to where we are now. Here’s the last of Scotland …
Thursday morning, we hopped on a double-decker bus and headed toward the heart of Edinburgh–Princes Street and the Royal Mile. As we drove through town, I saw this chimney sweep shop and immediately thought of Mary Poppins. I wonder how many times these people have heard that. (Click on any picture to enlarge)
<– Victoria Street, on the way to the Edinburgh Castle. While crossing this street, I looked back and saw a knit shop. Dave heard the tremendous sucking in of my breath, turned to look, and then glanced back at me with that pained, panicked expression he usually saves for JoAnne’s Fabrics and Michael’s Crafts. I begged for a quick peek and said he didn’t even have to come in with me. He liked that idea. When I opened the door, I found about twelve women all knitting in a circle. The strangest thing was, they were absolutely silent. I mean silent. No music, no talking … just the click, click, clicking of their needles. They glanced up at my arrival, and I half-expected someone to say in a low, scary voice, “Take a chair … we’ve been waiting for you.” But no one spoke, except a few minutes later, when one woman whispered something about her mum’s cricky knee, and someone else nodded in return. It was just a tad eerie to me, especially coming as it did on the heels of this year’s Stitch ‘n Pitch, where I sat with a whole bunch of my closest, noisiest knitting sisters watching the Mariners beat the Tampa Bay Rays.
When I turned to leave the shop, I said, “Thank you. I’ll come back when my husband isn’t pacing around outside.” They laughed at that, but then all the sound shut off immediately and it was back to click, click, click …
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Instead of eating roast pig-that-has-sat- in-the-window- for-who-knows- how-long, we ducked into a noisy little place and shared a sampler tray of egg rolls, fried chicken, sausages, and onion rings, and a plate of bangers and mash, which we both loved. How can you not love a big old pile of mashed potatoes and gravy topped with three sausages?
This was our destination. While walking, we stopped and asked a doorman what would be the best way to get up to the castle. He looked at me and said, “Ehh …’ave ye got a rrrrupe?” A long second of confusion hung between us until Dave interpreted. “Rope. Do we have a rope.” Very funny, doorman.
Here’s Dave catching his breath as we make our final ascent. This tour has been great for exercise. It seems like everyone walks everywhere in Europe. If we lived here, we’d toss that car in a second–especially if we lived in Edinburgh. We got our first parking ticket within ten minutes of arriving in town. We left the car on the street in front of the b & b, and in the time it took for us to sign in and walk back out to put coins in the meter, a man on a bike had already given us a ticket … for 60 pounds. That’s $120 American dollars. We got our second ticket the next day when we inadvertently parked along a curb with a yellow strip, but the yellow strip was buried all along the street by about a foot of orange and yellow leaves and we didn’t see it until later. A devious trick, I tell you. We’re disputing both tickets.
The view from the top of the stairs.
My most favorite memory of Edinburgh. This was the one thing I most wanted to see while in Scotland — the bagpipers. I could have stood listening all day.