Thursday, July 12, 2007

Scotland 11

Friday, 22nd June

It's pretty dark out; we're pretty far south here. I'm tired. It's nearly 12:30 am (4 hours until the alarm) but this was a nice day to let settle for a while before recording.

Ada did not sleep well last night, and Ellie got up at 5:30 this morning, then was a little fussy for the next several hours. Not today, but a few times this trip she's asked to go home or, failing that, to Vivi's house (a 3-year-old friend). Vacation's almost over.

Paul was irritable this morning, so I, in turn, became irritable. And it's hard to manage two very young children while getting ready and packing and loading luggage into the vans.

At one point, the girls were on the bed and Ada's voice became a little more muffled. I looked over to see Ellie sitting on her little sister! When I pulled Ellie over to her own bed and explained that we don't do that, then asked her if she understood me, she gave me "Down's face." Lots of people will let her get away with that in her life, perhaps even me sometimes. Sleepwalking, -talking, -crying, or just ignoring me?

Anyway, the trip from Stirling to Edinburgh was terribly long in stop-and-go traffic. Ewan is a ridiculously jerky driver. Eventually, concerned about time and hungry Ada, I said that I wanted to scrap Rosslyn Chapel in favor of more time on the Royal Mile. Mass chaos ensued.

To stay all together or split up? Where to meet up and when? What to do first? Where the heck are we and how do we get to where we're going from here? (In the cold rain, as I'm nursing Ada while walking.)

Eventually we found the Royal Mile and things started to look up. First off, we saw a Starbucks and got mugs for Elizabeth and Scott (good friends, Starbucks lovers, and he's currently in Iraq). I enjoyed a delicious cup of hot chocolate as we walked up.

St. Giles Cathedral. I was initially uninterested (like Paul and Ellie) but once I went inside I enjoyed it very much. At least as much, I enjoyed how much my father was enjoying himself. By the time we left, I was relaxed and happy.

Steep hike up to Edinburgh Castle, where we had lunch and the weather began to clear. We followed a tour group but didn't hear much, for chasing after Ellie. The 1:00 gun was neat (loud!) and I got to see the flash. Big. Old. Neat joining of rock and castle stone. Paul was impressed by the good traction design of the stone roads.

Back down the Royal Mile, a tiny spot of shopping, pictures in front of the Cathedral, moving on, long walk, crushing weight of backpack, trade Ellie to Paul for Ada - finally at Holyrood!

Neat audiotour of the Palace. I really enjoyed seeing a real royal residence, as it's still used today. And we saw Princess Anne leaving in a car!

I also really enjoyed seeing the actual suites of rooms that belonged to Henry, Lord Darnley, and Mary, Queen of Scots. The real places where the famous events happened! Such history.

Then another long, fast, hike, better for me now that Paul has Ellie and the diaper bag. She's up from her nap and squirmy. Ada has been fantastic all day in the Snuggli or nursing as we walk around.

We tried to find the appointed meeting place, but it's ridiculously unclear (sarcastic: Thanks, Ewan) and more mass confusion ensues. Eventually we were all found and could head for the hotel, which is on the opposite side of the city from the airport and turns out to be . . .

A Best Western, and pretty typical of its genre. On the plus side, it's clean and has the most comfortable (newest) mattress of the trip.

Off to sleep now. G'night.


Jenevieve said...

Hi, I found my way over here from Moreena's blog. My husband and I have been living in Edinburgh for a year now while I study and the uni here. Just wanted to say your trip sounds like it was wonderful!

stljoie said...

Thank you so much for sharing your trip. I really admire your moxie and stamina at having two very small children on such an extensive journey. Thank you again

Sarahlynn said...

Jenevieve, are you originaly from the States? What fun to live and study in Edinburgh!

StLJoie, thanks! It was a blast, and I'd do it again in a heartbeat . . . but maybe at a slower pace next time.

Anonymous said...

Such an amazing trip...wonderful photos.