Thursday, June 20, 2013

EDINBURGH - UK TOUR




When we approached Edinburgh on our tour around the UK we wondered how many men we would see with a kilt instead of trousers.



The first one we saw was for tourists on a border which should "separate" Scotland from England. Of course as a real Scot he asked for money to take a picture.

When the bus stopped our guide did a walk with us through Edinburgh city center and to the castle.
It was really very beautiful, but we didn't see one man in a kilt ! Ilona  had dreamt of Scots all looking like Sean Connery and we were rather disappointed. They all looked more or less  normal  like men everywhere !



The walk through Edinburgh had shown us a little of the town, but we wanted to see more. What is the best to do when you want to visit a city you don't know ? It's taking a sightseeing bus !

And that's what we did.



We had a nice overview of Edinburgh, lots of explanations, which unfortunately I have already forgotten and should look it up again the day I write about Edinburgh.




The only thing I really do remember because I had never heard of this,  was Edinburgh's Greyfriars Kirk graveyard. There had been a lot of "Body snatchers" in the 19th century, who stole the bodies for the medical and private anatomical schools. Apparently it was a very lucrative business. To protect their dead relatives, a family member used to sit on the grave for at least 3 weeks or the graves where protected by iron bars. It was a rather eerie place and the guard didn't wear a kilt either !




What we saw "en masse" were kilts to buy. But I can't imagine Mr. G. wearing a kilt on Waterloo's market when he goes shopping. Instead of buying a kilt, I bought a scarf from a real Highland sheep !




Of course we saw a few men in kilts, but it was their working clothes for the tourists. The guy with the shield suddenly jumped on them and most of the people laughed, but not all !



Before we returned to the hotel, we had a baked potato  and pitied the guy who talked for hours about our sins and what to do to follow Jesus. Of course nobody listened. He must have lost his voice at the end of the day.



and then finally, near the station we saw a real Scot, just coming out of his office ! Not quiet Sean Connery, but still.

The next day we decided to go on our own to Edinburgh because it was a "free day".


After breakfast we started our day by taking a sightseeing bus at the station. It took us to the "new" part of Edinburgh which we hadn't seen yesterday.  The weather was wonderful, the sun was shining and we could sit on the deck of the bus.



We listened to the explanations and looked around and tried to see as much as we could.





We passed by the botanical garden, which looked beautiful



and got out of the bus to see the "Britannia" the yacht which took Queen Elizabeth II and her family around the world. Now she is permanently moored as an exhibition ship here in Edinburgh. The entrance to the yacht is via the Ocean Terminal. We didn't go on board, we had no time for that. But at least we had seen the beautiful ship from outside.

We hopped on the next bus which took us around another side of Edinburgh and then brought us back where we had started from. I think it's the best way to see the maximum of a city if you don't have a lot of time.



Then we walked along the main shopping street, where saw some interesting fancy people, a guy who talked about Jesus and our sins all alone for hours, but nobody listened to the poor man. A bagpipe player,  a woman who had her face covered with piercings so that you couldn't see her skin anymore and a fire  juggler !

We had lunch in a nice pub and Ilona ate "Fish & Chips" for the first time in her life and found it delicious.



We did some window shopping, Ilona bought 3 Scottish scarfs, and then we sat again in the sunshine and had a nice ice cream ! We were so happy that we had such a good weather for once we were in Edinburgh !

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I love painting, writing, travelling and photography. My favorit models are my four cats which I observe with fun and humor. I am German, married to an Italian and we live in Waterloo (15 km from Brussels) / Belgium since many years. Waterloo is a famous place to many tourists, because Napoleon lost his battle here against Wellington and other European countries.

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