Wednesday, October 9, 2013

UK 2013 - day 12: Edimburgh

Wednesday, July 31, 2013
When I got to our B&B tonight I could still hear bagpipes in my head. Yes, we spent the day in Edinburgh.

And truth be said, today could have been a complete disaster. But it wasn't.

Why? Well, nothing upsets me more than the thought that I have screwed up things. When it is something that is out of my control, I get mad, I swear , I punch, I throw things. But when it is my fault ... shoot me. I want to die. I could have done things right and I screwed it. Dig a hole and bury me alive, please.

And that is what I thought had happened at around noon today. Notice that I said "I thought!"
Really, I hadn't done anything wrong ... I mean, other than leaving the Lake District 1.5 hours past the established time of 8am. But that wasn't going to ruin anything.

 As usual I can't ever stick to established times. Dean had driven all day till past 10 last night and felt bad waking him up so early. But on this day not much could go wrong... or could it? Than I had to wash and blow dry my hair, which was a greasy mess. Our hostess was surprised to see us walking out at 9:30 AM. Oh, well...

By the way - the shower! it was a hand shower. Be careful when the website says that. A hand shower means you hold the shower in your hand... or like me, you sit on the tub and   do your own thing (of course, by "do your own thing" I mean "take your shower", but you can really do anything you want, I don't care, and it is none of my business).


Back to us on our way out - We only had to make it to the Edinburgh castle before 1pm to enjoy the 1 pm canon shooting. Even with possible delays on the road, we could still  make it by 12:30.

Just that we got to the car park and every pay&display machine was broken. Besides they only took coins and we wanted to pay for quite a few hours. I realized we could pay with a credit card using a cell phone. I called, but the phone services for the parking authority (as well as for most services we have needed here, such as Aer Lingus) stink into high heavens. There isn't such a thing as a "go back" option, or a "I don't understand - please repeat or type in your choice". it is always hang up and call again, and don't screw up this time. Well that might work if you don't happen to be running out of credit and have no idea where to top it off. We then took off towards the castle in order not to miss the canon shot, but when I asked for directions the person said the castle was about 3 miles away - which was incorrect,m it was only 1.5 miles -  less than a 25 minute walk. So that was when I figured I had screwed up and ruined everything. After all 3 mikes is quite a walk to go anywhere on a tight schedule.
I was  almost a quarter to 1 by then and we still had to figure out how to pay for the car park.
Technically a payphone would do the job, but the phone service did not understand neither mine nor my husband's voice. It kept sending us a trext message for us to reply to - which we couldn't because there was no credit left oin our phone!
That is about when I broke down and started crying.
But this time there was no one to save me and usher me into the castle. Crying would only make my husband upset, and ruin the rest of our day;  so I remember the line from Hazel and Gretel - crying is no use, you have to act.
I assumed we'd miss the canon shots, and simply decided to walk back to the car, move it to a closer car park - even if a bit more expensive.
Assuming we would  also have to cancel our scenic drive along the Aberdeenshire coast, we walked to the Castle, walked in and enjoyed it. I had printed up an intinerary from their website, but we really did much more than what was the itinerary. You can also buy the guided tour, but we didn't care for it.

We ate a quick lunch at their café before starting the tour. We tried to eat at places outside the castle, but they were all cash-only places, and we are desperetly running out of paper money. We had to use a credit card.
I had a rose lemonade soda. Here they call soda a fizzy see drink. And bottled water can be fizzy or still.

Before going inside the castle we also booked a time at Mary King's Close. It is a tour through an underground close (an alley). They are underground because the new city was built on the third floor level of the old city, simply by decapitating the old houses. Our guide was very funny and told us stories of the people that lived in those places, as if she herself was one of them. I think her name was Kara. All the stories are real. it is very entertaining and informative.
I think Mary King's Close was one of the best things we've done so far. I really enjoyed it. It something new -different than anything we had done before. Everything so far has felt a bit like a re-run, except formnthe family search and meet&greet part. But Mary King was different.
Everyone keeps telling us how lucky we have been with the weather. It usually only rains when we are in the car, or at night. Our first nights in Ireland and England respectively it rained during the night.
At Edinburgh, it started raining on our way back to the car. We made it to our new place, in New to more, at 10:30pm. Our hostess Julie, had received an email from us, as soon as I could get internet at a rest spot, letting her know we would be running late and could not call her, for lack of credit.
She waited for us.
Free WiFi internet here is  complicated - you have to be ready to enter your address and email and phone number every where that says free WiFi.
One thing that saved us today was the 6-pack generic red bull from Tesco. Its around £1.30 and it tastes almost the same as red bull. We needed it to get through the day - and through the drive.
And as we drove Dean noticed that this country really is made up of farms - we have the city and then as soon as you drive out of the city, tadahhh - farms ! There is no in-between, no transition, it is farms. Pretty interesting.

Today's expenses:
Mary King's Close - £25.90(credit)
Mary King's Close - souvenirs - £14.97(credit)
Edinburgh Castle - souvenirs - £7.90(credit)
Benugo - £18.90(credit) lunch
Edinburgh castle - souvenirs - £10.00(credit)
Princes exchange multi-storey car park - £9.00(credit)
petrol - £38.33(credit) 42.21mpg
Burger King - £8.18(credit)

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