Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The most amazing sight in Edinburgh....

...so far, was waking up to the sun! According to the locals they have a lovely climate here, except during the 12 month rainy season. HA!

Guess where I'm typing this from!? GUESS!? A coffee house called Elephant House. Yeah, you're saying to yourself. So? Well, this just happens to be very same coffee house where J K Rowling sat and looked out over the city and wrote the first Harry Potter book. Is that beyond cool or WHAT!? Here I sit writing in the same place that she did. Okay, so it's a blog, not a novel. But still. I'm jazzed.

So, let's see, last we left you, we were off to dinner and a couple of ghost tours. We were gonna take one tour, we ended up taking two of them and they were both very different and both very fun. William loved them! Especially the second one. The first one took us down into the underground of the city and focused on paranormal activity. It was a small group, just us and another couple. Our tour guide was a gothy type woman originally from St. Louis and a lot of fun. We didn't see any ghosts, but we had a couple of weird experiences. We all thought of the same name of this child spirit at the same time - spooky. And all our cameras and video cameras stopped working. They all started working again later. We know because we ended up seeing the same couple on the later tour.

The later tour was a hoot and a half. We got a sprinking of historical information and the wittiest tour guide ever. He looked like Spike (Buffy reference if you're confused) in his long, sweep the ground black coat and black clothing and boots. He took us about the town and eventually to a graveyard. I don't have enough time to tell you everything about it, but we enjoyed it so much we came back today to see the graveyard again in the daylight. Yes, I said in the daylight. By the time we got tot he graveyard, it was almost dark, full dark by the time we left. But I'll tell one story.

We all went into a crypt. They asked the tallest people to go in first. That meant William, as no one is very tall around here. Off my baby went alone into the back of the dark tomb. Then when we were all in the tour guide announced the most haunted, dangerous part of the crypt was the back lefthand corner. Everyone turned and stared at William and I standing in it.

This morning we spent a lot of the morning trying to track down the right bus route, which was frustrating, but we've had such glorious traveling luck so far I can't complain too much. William could though. Sigh. Eventually we found what we were looking for and went off to see the Roslyn Chapel. Very beautiful and compelling. It's being worked on from the outside and they have huge metal scaffolding around it. Kinda ruins the view from the outside but we did get to climb up and tour the top of the Chapel, not something the tourists ordinarily get to do. They said they number of tourists has doubled, from 60,000 to over 120,000 this year because of The Da Vinci Code.

The shops here have the most clever names. We drove past two shops while on the bus (doubledecker bus, we were on top). One one side was a health food store called Roots. On the other side of the street was a florist shop called Twigs. I thought that was funny.

Speaking of finding ones way around, the best source of info for that, or anything really, are the people on the street, in the shops and restaurants. We've just asked people, in a loud enough conversational tone that if the person we ask doesn't know the answer, someone nearby usually does and always offers help. I'd say the Scottish people are exceptionally friendly, and they most certainly are, but it seems that a lot of Edinburgh's population originates from elsewhere. Many people with a mild accent are originally from Houston, or St. Louis, or Australia, or London, or Canada..... you get the idea.

Back in town we toured the Greyfriar Graveyard again and then came to this coffee house for lunch. We bumped into a couple and their mother we had originally stayed at the same B&B with in Conwy. They're from San Diego. We all had lunch together along with a local Scottish man who was sitting at a table alone when we descended upon him. I guess the Scottish are used to that sort of thing though. The English invading. Haha.
And if that wasn't "it's a small world" enough for you, yesterday William recognized another couple who we had met at breakfast at the same B&B in Bath.

Well, I guess that's quite enough. We're off to climb Arthur's Seat tonight. So I best get a move on. Plus my time is up, busy coffee house, there might be people waiting. Although, I do have to finish my cappuccino. AND, I let William go off on his own for a walk while I typed. He's not back yet. He promised not to get lost. Not sure why I believed him. I mean, he got lost inside the museum the other day trying to find the bathroom.
Tomorrow, we're off to Hadrian's Wall, if we can find a way to get there. We might have to rent a car. And then it's York.

Oh, good, whew. Here comes William.

4 Comments:

Blogger :-D eirdre said...

Good to see you having such a nice time - hope you are taking lots of photos!

4:40 PM  
Blogger Kirsty said...

I'm so very much enjoying your travel-logue! And it's "fresh" y'know? You do it, and we all get to read about it!
Glad you're having a blast! As KC is fond of saying just now "haf fun"!!

Hugs,
Kirsty

6:33 AM  
Blogger JulieZS said...

Wow, THE spot where JK did her magic. Didja get a napkin? Isn't that what she wrote on?? Glad to hear you are having so much fun.

8:20 AM  
Blogger dragonfly said...

I haven't visited in a while so mark me amazed (read: green with envy)to read you're in Scotland! Hope you're having a wonderful time there. We went a couple of years ago and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. I didn't want to leave. The vaults tour is creepy isn't it?

Awesome that you had a chance to go to Elephant House. I missed that one (an excuse to go back!).

2:34 PM  

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