Blogs from Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland, United Kingdom, Europe

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Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh January 9th 2019

Day 39-43: Really great to be back - that's both genuine and satire. Offered 'gear' within 60 seconds of getting off the bus in london - seems to be an international pattern emerging. 15 person dorms provided a real lack of sleep mind. Higher proportion of old men also. Using trains and buses further cementing my intentions to work here in the short/mid-term future. British country side does have a distinctive aesthetic. Eye gouging costs mind you. Some great stories from my time at the grandparents. A notable stand out being one about a Ram shagging himself tired and requiring a lift back to the farm. Learning about grandads endeavours around Europe in a Fiat 500 also amused me. 5 hour discussion around the table on Christmas day. Very grateful for the progresses in heart surgery. Return ... read more
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Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh October 1st 2018

Note on a question about marrying in a blacksmith shop from yesterday: It was the law in Scotland that anyone could marry you if you stated you wanted to marry. Actually, you could even be “handfasted” by just reciting vows stating your intention. That was not the case in England. Thus the dash to the border by those who, for whatever reason such as parental disagreement, “ran for the border” to get married. The Blacksmith Shop was the first building on the border. Those to get married shared their vows from opposite sides of that anvil if the blacksmith shop was where you exchanged your vows. Another little tidbit we got was the fact that depending on where you said your vows, either outside or in a room in the house...THAT was the place you had ... read more
We are on top floor in this newer area of hotel
Back lawn view at our hotel
Front entrance to Norton House Hotel

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh September 30th 2018

We pulled out at 8:00 as per usual on a transfer/travel day. The start of our day was with 50ish degrees temperature, cloudy and a misty rain which changed to sun about the time we crossed the Scottish border! We have been very lucky in our weather so far...perfect in fact. We passed a much more industrial area on our drive on first part of day on our way through the Liverpool /Manchester area on M6 going north. We saw part of a 30 mile canal built from the Irish Sea from Liverpool to Manchester, England. We saw Manchester in the distance. We stopped at Grasmere in the Lake District National Park for a coffee/bathroom break. We bought some gifts at The Grasmere National Park Heritage Trust Store. The tallest mountain in England is in this ... read more
Stacked Stone houses.
Mountains going through Grasmere National Park
Grasmere Parish Church

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh September 11th 2018

Tom went out and got our standard Scottish fare from around the corner (bacon & egg McMuffin and a latte) while I got myself organised then we crossed the road to the major bus stop across the road for our Rabbies Outlander Adventure (and our tour guide is wearing a kilt). Outlander is a TV series based on a series of books by Diana Gabaldon. I’ve owned the books (and obtained their author’s autograph) for years. Love them and love the Tv series. Tom watches it with me, for the action, adventure and Scottish history. I watch it for the love and romance between Jamie and Claire, and the touch of family history. Leaving Edinburgh we went across the new Queensferry Bridge, the third bridge across the firth of the Forth (across the mouth of the ... read more
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Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh September 10th 2018

Wow! Early brekky today, just to be sure everything goes smoothly. We motored up the Thames as we ate, and the watched the docking procedures from our balcony. Tilbury is very significant for me, for I know that my grandparents (who I grew up with but now know are not my biological grandparents), my biological grandparents, and my great grandparents all boarded ships here at Tilbury in the 1920s to migrate to Australia. What a huge step that was for them to take. As we dock I notice that the tide is out and the mudflats of the Thames are exposed (back in the old days scavengers had ”territories” in the mudflats, areas that were theirs to see what the tide had left behind to scavenge and raise money from). Other ports had hitech buffers attached ... read more
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Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh August 27th 2018

When I found some cheap bus tickets to go to Edinburgh I was quite up for visiting Scotland for the first time. What I didn't realise was how long and boring 10 hours on a bus by myself would be. Clearly I was not prepared to go all the way back two days later on the same bus. This is when I came across Corinne's post on Couchsurfing who was looking for hitchhiking partner down to London. This sounded perfect and I decided to meet her in a charity shop she was working in. When I met Corinne I instantly liked her. She was friendly and very chatty. She told me about her recent hitchhiking experience and the plan she had getting us down to London. The next day early morning we met to start our ... read more
managed to a lift in a truck
off we go
so far have we gone

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh July 11th 2018

This won’t be a regular regurgitation of the day’s minutiae but a sporadic spewing of travel trivia and notable ‘Al’ moments. I would like to reason this is to avoid boring any readers or even due to the infrequency of reliable wifi, but more honestly it will be because I am lazy. Our flights were mercifully uneventful apart from a rude/ignorant man seated in front of me for the 12 hour flight. His chair was broken, (I’m not convinced he didn’t break it) so when he reclined the back he would bounce on it until it hit my knees. As I am only 5ft 2 that’s a hell of a recline. Once tight against my knees he would continue to apply pressure to eek out every micro millimetre of space. His seat ended up nearly double ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh June 24th 2018

Of course the sun is peeping through as we head for our last destination! It was a beautiful morning in Aberdeen and we packed up and got away smartly. Peter did some work downloading offline maps and we plotted our trip with some stops on the way to Edinburgh. I didn’t really mind where we went - just wanted to soak up the rare sunshine and our last drive through the Scottish scenery. The big shock on this trip was the good quality, dual highway that we were on for much of it. We have to say that the roads in Western and Northern Scotland are very narrow and dangerous, often with no lines, nowhere to stop and relax, no services (especially loos!) and require very active driving! The ancient town of Brechin was our first ... read more
Our last BnB, AmarAgua guesthouse, Edinburgh
Reunion with Jean - we met 42 years ago!
Stockholm Boys Choir in St Giles Cathedral

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh March 6th 2018

We believe we mentioned yesterday that there was snow on the ground in Scotland. Well this morning it's snowing cats and dogs! My god, what have we done. To digress a bit yesterday we were a bit sleepy (okay a lot) so after locating an electrical adaptor and having a very late lunch we returned to our wonderful apartment for the night. BTW for lunch HP had Bangers and Mash-very good, while Bird was equally complimentary of her Haggis, Neeps, and Totties. Of course everything is spelled correctly; how could you ask! As this is being written we are sitting, praying to the weather god to end the snow, while watching Good Morning Britain. At least it's above freezing so the snow isn't sticking. We are now reduced to one day in Edinburgh with determination not ... read more
Edinburgh Castle
St. Margaret's Chapel
Mons Meg

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh February 3rd 2018

A wine before we board ............ just for Duncan :)... read more




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