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Published: October 1st 2014
Hello from Leith in Edinburgh.
We flew in from Northern Ireland Sunday afternoon. The weather once again has been perfect, real Indian summer weather. You could almost go without a jumper at night.
For our stay in Edinburgh we booked a room in a B&B in a converted stone warehouse in Leith. We had an awful lot of trouble finding the right place last night because the complex is like a rabbit warren. Eventually we found the place after ringing several wrong doorbells. .
I need to go back a step and explain something about our stay. We received an email last week from Janet the B&B owner that she had to go to Dublin for a funeral and that we were still welcome to stay. Imagine letting people who you don’t know stay in your house for several days. I know I wouldn’t have done it. I did assure her that we wouldn’t steal the family silver.
We were astonished by the place. Janet is an artist and has dozens of paintings and arty things around her house. She also has two Bengal cats who kept us company once they figured out that we weren’t crazed
axe murders. One of the cats tried to jump in the shower with me! The fact that we haven fraternizing with foreign cats must be kept a secret from Cleo! She wouldn’t approve.
Being at Janet’s has been a real Alice in Wonderland, Through the Looking Glass experience I wouldn’t be surprised to see a white rabbit lurking about the house somewhere!
We are staying slap bang in the middle of Leith which is dubiously famous as being the setting for the movie Trainspotting. The movie revolves around four friends in Scotland who are drug addicts. It focuses on a young man deeply immersed in the Edinburgh drug scene who tries to clean up and get out, despite the allure of the drugs and influence of friends. The most memorable scene was Scotland’s worst toilet in the world into which the main character falls down! Things have improved a lot since the movie came out in 1996.
While Leith has tidied itself up a bit it still has a slightly scruffy, edgy feel. It’s not as “white bread” as other places we’ve visited around the world. For example, we walked into a pub last night and everyone
stopped talking and stared at us. We did wear deodorant yesterday so it wasn’t that! We decided to scarper for our own well being. Not really, it was quite funny.
On Monday we visited the Glenkinchie whisky distillery. Imagine that, going to a distillery in Scotland! Luckily (for me) there was a place for non-whisky drinking people to sit while the distillery tour was on. I’d give this distillery 8/10 for visitor comfort. A coffee shop and access to Wi-Fi would have made it almost perfect!
Yesterday we did a “route march” around Leith and Edinburgh. We did the Leith Walk which is the longest street in Edinburgh and dates back to 1763. It slopes upwards from "the Foot of the Walk" near where we were staying and goes on and on and on… We walked 5 miles and my legs almost gave out on the way home.
After the march, we met up with our friends Viv, Paul and Ryan from our last cruise. We spent 5 hours at the pub chatting and drinking way too much and having a wonderful time. We really hope to get back to celebrate New Year with them some time.
Royal Yacht Britannia
We decided not to pay the $20 entrance fee and checked it out from the outside
It’s a big deal in Scotland.
Today (after 3 nights staying her house) we finally met our illusive landlady, Janet. We finally found out her story, she is an avid art collector and an actor. She was in Slumdog Millionaire and regaled us with tales about filming the movie. Fancy that…our brush with fame! Janet turned out to be a lovely lady and we all went out for fish and chips before we left for the airport.
We are currently at Heathrow waiting for our flight to Hong Kong. Thankfully we are in Terminal five (the new one) so it’s not too bad. The old one was disgusting. Some poor buggers are no doubt stuck over there. We are very grateful it’s not us.
We can hardly wait (not) for the next flight which is 12.5 hours. At least I have a window seat this time!
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