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Published: September 21st 2009
Wednesday 26 August
No wake up call! Breaky and bags 7:15am Leave 8am
We headed off toward Durham this morning. It was a wettish morning and around 14 degrees. Breakfast was nice and I had a tiney taste of black pudding. Meh.. .just tasted like salt.
On the way we pasted Newcastle and John told us this is where the saying “Taking coals to Newcastle” came from… meaning.. there’s no point. Newcastle was a major coal exporter.
We drove through the countryside of Wuthering Heights, where the Bronte sisters lived. We arrived at Durham at 9:30am and walked up to the Cathedral. What a wonderful town (saying that a lot, aren’t I??) they all are!
The cathedral was simply beautiful especially since it was built in just 40 years. I really loved walking around the cloisters. It was so Harry Potter. There was a lovely Pieta carved out of a tree. Very different. As I was leaving the cathedral, the pipe organs were playing. I sat down to listen to the music and was joined by a reverend. We had a nice talk. It was a very peaceful experience. I left and had a walk through Durham town before
catching the bus again at 11:15am.
As we drove off towards Scotland the rain started coming down heavy. We drove through green fields with sheep, after green field. The stone fences were great. I expected Lassie to come out any minute. As we approached the border, John played a lovely bagpipe CD. Unfortunately the mist was too thick and heavy and we didn’t stop at the border. It’s a big rock with England on one side and Scotland on the other. Usually there is a piper there. Not on this wet day. It was very emotional driving through the hills of Scotland, knowing that this is a “family” place for me.
We stopped at Jedburgh for lunch. I bought some souvenirs from the gift shop and had a lovely bowl of soup.. tomato and basil and a big bread roll. Back on the road by 2:10pm to Edinburgh.
We stopped for a look at Hadrian’s Wall.. which was really just rubble. I loved all the Fireweed everywhere. Very pretty. The drive into Edinburgh was fantastic with Arthur’s seat in the background and the river on the side.
I adored Edinburgh from the first time I saw him. There’s something about
the character and charm of all the dirty, smokey buildings. So much heritage in the old town. Our hotel was the Royal Terrace and very nice! Our room was lovely… VERY high ceilings and finally a nice view of a garden courtyard. I headed off on my own for a walk through the city and it was wonderful. The atmosphere was buzzing. The Edinburgh Festival was on and there were street performers and people handing out leaflets everywhere. All sorts of characters. I made way all the way to the castle. Very exciting. It was so high up and I had no idea it was right on the edge of town! The number of people was fantastic. Such a busy place! Every turn was a glorious old building. Back to the hotel to get ready for dinner and have a pre dinner drink at the bar.
We got on the bus and headed off to Prestonfield House for our Scottish Cabaret set in the old horse stables. Such a great venue! We were greeted by a piper and a Scotsman. We all sat at a long table and were quickly served. I had the soup for entrée (pf course) roast
beef for dinner (of course) and a brandy snap with whikey cream for dessert. The wine was free flowing. The show was a bit cheesy but entertaining. Didn’t take too much wine for me to have fun. Good spirits. Halfway through the haggis was piped in and the ritual performed. Then they served up a circle slice on a bed of turnip. I had a taste and it really wasn’t that bad. A bit mince like and pepperish. No way could I eat more than a taste though. The thought of it is too horrid.
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