Scotland - Days Four & Five


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July 2nd 2009
Published: July 2nd 2009
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Well it seems I'm due for an update.

Sorry for the delay, have been rather tired these past few days. So to recap - yesterday the family, Andrew and I headed up to Arthur's Seat for a nice hike. It took us about 3 hours and we went first along the escarpment side and then up to the very top peak. My ass is not impressed with me today, nor are my legs, but what can you do?

It was a shame the weather wasn't more cooperative for our climb. There was a good degree of Haar coming in off the Firth of Forth (this is what the Scots call sea fog) which made it difficult for us to see much of anything at the peak beyond white, white and more white. We took a bunch of pictures anyhow and it cleared up every now and then, but not by much. Despite the fog and clouds we all somehow managed to still get a sunburn so the sun must have been out somewhere hahaha

I don't think the gang had believed me when I said that people jog past you up this hill until they saw it for
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Sara and I taking a break on the way up
themselves. There was one fellow who passed us FOUR times along the escarpment. He just kept running from one end to the other and then back again. I guess if you did it every day you might be able to build up your endurance.... damn hardy Scots.

There was also this really cute old man making his way to the top. He had to be at least 75 and I believe he was from England or South Africa (it's hard to tell the difference between the accents sometimes). He was nearly there by the time we were coming back down so we gave him a bit of a pep talk and said he may as well go all the way seeing as he'd gone that far. We were definitely rooting for him so hopefully he made it.

On the way back down from Arthur's Seat we noticed there was a bit of a hullaballoo going on at the palace. Turns out the Queen was having a garden party. You've never seen to many colour coordinated outfits and large decorative hats in your life. It was quite the shin dig. I suppose our invitations got lost in the mail?
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Dad and Andrew getting ready for the climb


Anyhow, after heading back to the hotel for a nap and a shower, we headed up the Royal Mile to the Haggis Cafe to get our pictures done in the tartans. Dad was all excited about it hahaha A couple good ones came out with us posing with swords and whatnot. I'm sure they'll end up on Facebook eventually.

After that Sara and Kev headed on over to Camera Obscura and I went souveneir shopping. By the time I'd walked to the mall (after getting lost, of course) it was closed. Fan-fucking-tastic. At that point my feet were aching, my legs were not happy with me and I was utterly exhausted so I caught the first cab I found back to the hotel and went for a much needed sleep!

Today Sara and I both woke up with a nasty chest cold thanks to the damp foggy air at Arthur's Seat. Hoping this doesn't interfere too badly with my presentation in a day or so. Hmmm...

We said goodbye to Andrew and Chris and then Sara and Kev dropped off their suitcases with us and they headed on over to Paris for a nice little mini-break. Dad and I caught the 2 hr bus up to St. Andrews which was a nice scenic route for the parts I was able to stay awake for. The bed and breakfast is adorable and the owners, Jennifer and Angus, are just the sweetest pair. I'm really looking forward to breakfast in the morning 😊

Spent a good part of today sleeping and touring around St. Andrews. We're right on the coast here which is amazing. There's the smell of ocean and the sound of seagulls everywhere. It's not so bad though since there's a nice old church located directly across the street from our B&B that plays nice organ music every now and then while burning incense.

Dad and I went for some lunch at a place called Little John's and I had the most amazing swordfish steak. Mmmmm... That's one thing I can say about the food here - it's amazing! It's head and tails far above anything you'd find in England or Ireland. Every place we've gone has been delicious, especially the seafood.

After lunch we walked around St. Rule's Tower and St. Leondard's Chapel and accompanying graveyard. I got some great shots! Looking forward to posting them up! Dinner was next on the docket after all that walking so we stepped into this Thai/Asian cuisine place. One thing I can say about St. Andrews is that there's no shortage of half in the bag golfers.

First it was a table of drunk Thai men, followed shortly thereafter by a table of drunk retirees from Tennessee. I couldn't wait to get out of there. Something about that accent is like nails on a chalkboard to my ears. The know-it-all gay couple on a date at the table next to us was just as irritating with their attempts to sound edgy and cultured. At the point where one of them said that the two places he most wanted to visit in Europe were some remote city in the Greek Islands and Croatia I had to roll my eyes. There was a long pause afterward where he was waiting for his date to ask "Croatia? That's an interesting choice. Why Croatia?" At which point he divulged into a 20 minute long speech about the joys and wonders of the people and culture of a country he's never been to.

Dad and I had a
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Kev said this was really awkward to sit on. It looks that way.
good laugh about it on the way home. People watching's the one thing we both can't help, but it does provide a good deal of entertainment when needed. Wandered around the beach a bit tonight since the weather was so nice and stumbled onto a student bonfire beach party. Will be getting up early to tour around and register for the conference tomorrow.

All's well here though. Sorry for the long post.

Cheers!


Additional photos below
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DSCN5265

I really like this picture of Sara but she wasn't too keen on it
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St Anthony's

Sara posing in the only door left to St Anthony's Chapel
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St Anthonty's 2

Dad getting his pose in
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Big Ass Slug

They don't come like this in Canada
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We Made It!

The gang at the top.
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Arthur's Seat

A shot of the peak from the bottom
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Holyrood Palace

The Queen's garden party is underway
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St. Rule's Church

What's left of it...
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Archway into the cemetary

This thing was huge!


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