Some of the things in the distance remained mysterious to me. My camera can see all sorts of things that I can't.
I was happy not to have fallen flat on my face in the mud anywhere.
And then it was back to looking at whatever odd things I came across.
Dawn this morning was lovely, just like the other dawns, in spite of the gale blowing.
The tempest during the night had completely rearranged my terrace. Believe me, it is very hard to sleep when iron furniture is spending the night scraping all over the place back and forth. I kept wondering if I should open the door and bring the items into my room around 2 a.m. but I had images of 1) being sucked out of the room by the wind or 2) getting a chair thrown into my teeth or 3) losing control of the folding glass panels and having them smash. As it turned out, when I finally did open the glass door in the morning, the drapes were nearly ripped loose and I had to pull with all my might to get the door closed again. I really must commend the designer/manufacturer, though. In spite of hearing the wind all night as well as rain lashing against the windows which sounded like shovelsful of gravel being thrown against the panes, the glass seemed extremely solid and I was never worried that it would break because of the wind, unlike other windows in storms. So this sort of storm must be relatively common in Scotland, and they have designed things to withstand the elements.
I left the furniture for the employees to put back in place.
And then it was time to go to the airport.
One last look at the sign over my toilet.
And one last look at the decoration across from the lifts.
I walked to the tram stop and noticed that my hotel had been next door to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.
I also saw that a 1970's shopping mall was being demolished. Wise decision.
I got on the tram.
35 minutes later I arrived at the airport, and my Scottish adventure had come to an end.
It was lovely to spend this last hour before breakfast scrolling through a thoroughly fabulous report! I was fascinated by dozens of different aspects of the city. One of the very first photos you showed us was a shot of The Royal Mile which is the only part of Edinburgh I know having driven down it, large road map on my lap with Mr.Tod driving our trusty motorhome. The one thing that struck me at the time were the dark buildings. We drove in one end of Edinburgh and out the other heading towards the coast. The Firth of Forth bridge was in the distance. It took a very long time to find our way back on the road to our next destination - Rosslin Chapel.
The Ibis really did give you a superb room. Pity the elements tried to ruin it for you. I think you got close enough to that mountain top to say you made it. When I see the pathway I know for sure I would have broken a hip for sure. I wonder how many people have had the ambulance services up there.....
I just bought plane tickets to Edinburgh for the end of March-beginning of April. I'm looking forward to buying some good Polish sausage and German herb tea.
There is definitely a huge Polish population there. Just about every worker that I saw in the streets appeared to be Polish. I wonder who will be doing all of that work if Scotland does not manage to stay in the EU.
Are you flying out of Toulouse? I paid 110 euros round trip out of Orly, outbound on Vueling and back on Transavia. The Transavia flight was 80% empty.
Actually, I think there are several "generations" of Poles in Scotland. Those who ended up there during/after WW2, and the recent arrivals. When we stopped in Edinburgh during our honeymoon, at breakfast I could hear the people running the b&b speaking Polish. I don't know what will happen. My son also tells me that the foreigners (researchers) he works with are all worried too about what will happen. They are mostly from southern European countries who can't afford to pay scientists/researchers a living wage.
There are no cheap flights out of Toulouse to Scotland -- only KLM or Brussels Airways or Air France, all with stopovers and all at nearly 200€ per person. We are going on Ryanair to and from Bordeaux and the total for two is 110€. Of course, we will have to drive to Bordeaux and park, or else take the train, which will cost as much as the airfare.
I don't think I would be drawn to visit there however, as it appears to have a darkness about it that I can't describe and the dampness is a real turn off. (and this is coming from someone who has resided in damp locales all her life).
I don't know why people worry about the Poles, there is no way they will be thrown out when we finally get out of the corrupt EU, politicians of all sides have said that. What a lot of people object to are the Middle Easterners who refuse to abide by our normal way of life and try and impose their sharia law on us. Also the people who visit simply to take advantage of our health service, and any other handouts they can get hold of.
Having said that Edinburgh is not far off the North Pole,roughly equal to Alaska, so it is little wonder that it is dark and dreary.
Man is not lost, only temporarily uncertain of his position
When I was interpreting at the European Social Forum in Paris, my Polish partner was from Glasgow, and about my age (postwar baby-boom). Indeed his parents settled there right after the war - remember that Warsaw was flattened.
Really enjoyed this thread thank you K2 - it has made me consider a trip there too. Interesting to compare it to Mich's thread when everything was greener. She also photographed the "lyre" shaped "road" on the hill that Bixa questioned. Mich thought it was a dry ski slope which was my thought too. not sure.
I noticed the sign for the "Witchery" which I had heard of as my daughter stayed there a couple of years ago and loved - it was a one night splash out as the rest of her time in the area was in budget accommodation. I think I have a photo or two of the inside which I will search out later. She also climbed St Arthurs seat - in flip flops -which made me shudder when she told me - even more so now after seeing your photos.
Iain, I would have loved to finally meet you on a longer trip, but when I am just jumping in and out of a city, I have no idea how I should ration the time I spend doing things. So the wild card of an actual human being becomes a dilemma. If it's any consolation, I would love to return to Scotland during the "nice" season, whenever that is. I was already thrilled to discover that Edinburgh is only £100 away from Paris for a return ticket.
This is a marvelous report, Kerouac. It also looks like you were able to do and see many things despite the short days and cold weather. I’d really like to visit Scotland, but during a warmer time of year when the days are longer. My only hesitation would be in dealing with the throngs of others who have the same idea. I suppose it would be a trade off.
I remember when I first read your report feeling resigned that I would never be able to make the Arthur's Seat journey but now I feel I would attempt it, even knowing that realistically I might succeed a quarter of the way. But, I never would have thought a year ago I would even think of actually attempting it. My balance is still a huge issue where this is elevation changes and uneven surfaces, but my stamina has improved greatly due to my daily fit bit challenges that I would now want to try it!
We are hoping to be able to take a holiday in April, my husband wants to return to Northern Ireland/Ireland but reading this again makes me want to return to Scotland!
Mich, April can be iffy with weather. We went to Edinburgh in early April 2017 and the weather was okay. Spring was definitely on its way, lots of flowers everywhere. It wasn't warm but probably warmer than where you live.
We then returned in April 2018, about a week later and spring was late, nothing was in bloom, it was cold and windy. If you can push your vacation to the end of April/beginning of May, I'm sure it would be more pleasant.
Arthur's Seat is not a difficult climb, but try to choose a day when it's not too windy and raining. There is a wide path.