Blogs from Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland, United Kingdom, Europe - page 4


Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh September 20th 2017

It's not a castle, fortress, battlement, cathedral, church, abbey, tomb, cemetery, crypt or even a golf course! In fact I'd be surprised if you've ever seen anything like this. It's one of only two (pretty sure) boat lifting wheels in the world. And it is amazing! And it is big. Spectacular yet very, very effective and efficient. It consumes the equivalent amount of electricity as 8 electric kettles when lifting 250 tons! It's an engineering marvel (and possibly a work of art?) that lifts vessels almost 30 m into the air and deposits them back in the canal ready to continue up or down stream. The photos tell the story but I was particularly impressed and certainly glad we took the time to visit. Next big thing. The Antonine Wall. Well pretty big. It's the poor ... read more
The Falkirk Wheel. It lifts boats 27 m!
The Falkirk Wheel.
On the boat at The Falkirk Wheel.

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh August 17th 2017

A respite from the deep bunkers (Mike was in heaven) and some tall trees to replace,as we joined highly-regarded Professional, Alan TAIT. He oversees the operations at Deer Park, west of Edinburgh. Despite heavy rains that fell earlier in the week, the course was impeccable, with beautiful greens. This, of course, worked against me as the occasional bump in in the road would have allowed for a couple more hole-outs. Alan put on a show, birdieing the first two holes before allowing us in for one. While I was still recovering from my Muirfield high, they were quietly stuffing us up. The traditional Scottish rolls Best beer after nine provided more highlights than John and I could muster. We shook hands on the 15th as a team and on the 16th with Mike. The hospitalty, the ... read more
The A Team,
His eleme

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh August 11th 2017

My Decision to reroute my Scotland schedule was indeed a wise one! The weather in the North was none to good and Edinburgh was a blast. I can't count how many fantastic people I met over the last two days in Edinburgh but I'll share some of the highlights with ye ! I didn't arrive in Edinburgh until about 5:00 because I ran into some traffic between St. Andrews are here. However, I felt refreshed and was ready to explore and partake in all that Edinburgh offers knowing that I didn't have to jump back on the bike the next day. I grabbed a bite to eat at Footlights where to my surprise my waitress (Ally) recognized my Packer jersey. One of her co-workers is a huge Packers fan (not from the US) and has a ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh July 1st 2017

Here Comes the Sun. Good Day Sunshine. Sun sun sun. I was insane for it. Good thing I don't live in the Pacific Northwest. Ammmmi right?! I had something I could laugh about. After my lovely pastry from the grocer, I headed down Princes Street to find whatever was out there... like a Ferris wheel! A Ferris wheel right next to the botanical gardens, mate. I was giddy with the vibrant colors. My knee was wrecked from my 10 mile walk the day before so I got myself right on up to the Royal Mile to wait for the tour of the Real Mary King's Close! Haunted! Creeepy! Mary King was a widow and linen merchant in the Middle Ages and the close is named after her. A close, you remember, is an extremely tight alley. ... read more
Is this a sun festival?
What hell lies below?

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh June 30th 2017

The rain subsided but low clouds threatened the morning and I knew well enough to pack my rain pants (quick reminder- all of this is internally accented with a fine brogue). It takes some courage to get started the first few mornings of a journey. I have to brace myself for awkward misunderstanding and periodic puzzle-solving to make my way in the world. Of course, the language is a breeze here, and the culture is predictably Western. However, I tend to have the codependent problem of worrying about being polite enough, and I'm convinced that by simply being American, I'm ignorantly offensive in dozens of subtle ways. This gives me a nervous tick of uncontrollable bursts of thank-you-so-very-much and please-if-it's-not-too-much-trouble and I'm-so-sorry-to-be-a-bother. Meanwhile, I count my change like a baby who hasn't learned about numbers. It ... read more
I want to lick the picture!
Gotta get a belly fulla wine

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh June 29th 2017

Come on. This graveyard needs its own entry. Established in the mid 1600s, Greyfriar's Kirkyard, named after the friars who wore- guess what colour? This location was deemed a more fitting location further south of the Old Town, so as not to contribute to the already squalid stench of hard living. The gothic tombs feature skulls, morose angels, and elaborately poetic dedications. Many headstones are embedded in the original wall to enclose the old town. Some headstones lean against the walls of homes. In these apartments, regular folk can sip their tea and gaze out their wee kitchen windows over the deathscape like it's regular everyday life. When I first walked in, I was checking out a dog's headstone (more about that later) when this screeching toothless woman sitting in an abandoned mausoleum warned visitors to ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh June 28th 2017

The flight was fine. You do what you must on a transatlantic crossing. Movies. Gazing. Reading. Eating. I'm happy to have left in the afternoon; I was able to stay up all night until it was night in Scotland. It was much easier to acclimate this way. My abode is a sweet wee apartment in the West End, within walking distance of the castle and Old Town and New Town. The owner left me a bowl of fresh fruit, biscuits and jam, and coffee to get me started on my first day. Okay, I'm just going to have to say right now that, in my head, I'm hearing all of this in a Scottish accent. It can't be helped! I'm surrounded by brogue, farleh droonen' en eh'! My first day was so wet. I brought rain ... read more
Poor Granny

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh June 14th 2017

Arrived to freezing cold, pouring rain and a howling half, yep we are in Scotland! Picked up rental car, it's a Skoda....Stephen less than impressed, it's very skodaish....the rear wiper goes on of its own accord and there is no rubber on it, very annoying and probably not great for the back window. Find our hotel fairly easily, we have an awesome view of Edinburgh Castle and within walking distance of the tourist area, restaurants and main shopping street. By the time we get to the hotel we have time for a quick unpack and then a short hike in the driving rain to Howies restaurant for dinner. Very nice, I had their version of a lobster reminded me of a cross between a NZ cray and a Morton Bay Bug, Stephen had a beef pie, ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh May 29th 2017

Day 3 Edinburgh Tour Today our plan is to Find the Hop On Hop Off starting point and begin the race around the city. Made it down the Royal Mile to the one end at Holyrood Palace (The Queen’s residence when in Edinburgh). While having very stately rooms it also has very old artifacts dating back to Mary Queen of Scots. Part of the tour takes you thru the rooms where her son was murdered. Always a worthwhile tour. Back on the bus to another stop. Found Jamie Oliver’s Italian restaurant (Jamie’s Italian) for lunch! Wow! Highly recommend anyone to try it. One target is the Grassmarket area known for its open air flea market. On these streets are a lot of local curiosity stores. We also wanted to find the most haunted cemetery in Edinburgh, ... read more
Roxburgh Close
Edinburgh Castle
Holyrood Abbey ruins

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh May 16th 2017

We awoke on day 2 of our visit in Edinburgh to sunny skies :) Perfect for a trip to the icon of Scotland, Edinburgh Castle. Over the years, Barb and I have visited many castles all over Europe, but indeed, Castle Edinburgh, sitting on a high rock outcropping, overlooking the city was true to form. From the dungeons to the room that houses the crown jewels, the history is evident and rich. At 1pm every day, a modern gun is fired from the castle which can be heard throughout the city. This is/was done to synchronize the town's clocks , especially handy to the ships in the harbor . Another ride on the Hop On Hop Off Bus and we arrived at the Royal Botanical Gardens. A 50+ acre garden that includes many glass houses full ... read more

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