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Debbie does...round the world
22nd Sep 2011 - Scotland
Journey to Edinburgh, Scotland

Had decided the evening before so as not to travel with a suitcase in rush hour traffic that I would catch a minicab out to Heathrow and detour to pick up Lynda and Dorothy on the way as it would cost them the same as the Paddington Express, be more convenient and not cost me any more than a direct minicab.

So as to introduce my travelling companions. Lynda my cousin from Detroit USA and Dorothy her best friend who is with us for 3 days - being a music teacher she could only get leave for one week during term time.

Anyways back to the minicab - they are usually ten minutes early so i dutifully set myself up 10minutes early at the agreed pickup point at 0900 - no cab no cab no cab - get a phone call at 0915 to say its on its way as stuck in traffic - no problems as I have 45minutes of contingency time. It finally arrives at 0930 with the driver not knowing we are going to the Paddington area first and apparent he doesn't know how to get there - good old GPS. Anyway more time stuck in traffic and we take 45minutes to get to Lynda and Dorothy - remind him we need to be at the airport at 1100 at latest and takes off inside the hotel - to use the bathroom  presume but costs us another 8 minutes. Stuck in traffic down by Kensington and I am starting to regret my decision at 0945 not to ring the others and tell them to catch the Express and for me to head straight out there. However once we are on the motorway I know we will probably make it ok only an hour before our flight is due to take off and as it is a domestic flight hoping that it will all be ok.

So we do arrive really only with just enough time. I line up with BMI and others check with United as to where they go as code share with BMI - same line as me in the end. Last minute slight hassle at counter as my boarding pass sent to my mobile phone but no bar code present so she has to print it out for me. My suitcase is already 23kgs - way too much stuff and I regret it and will continue to regret it.

Amazingly I am sitting next to Lynda - near the back and she is in a middle seat so fortunately a spare aisle seat behind which I grab and she shifts to my aisle seat. Good flight with BMI - nice aircraft and reasonable service.

Very excited to arrive in Edinburgh as my first time on Scottish soil and it has been long awaited. probably would have come up during summer if this holiday wasn't anticipated. Decide when we look at all options that with 3 of us just as cheap to share a taxi to Fountain Court Apartments (Grove St) - £17 for taxi, £6.50 each return on airport bus but still have to find our way to apartments, £4 on train but have to walk 10-15mins with luggage - fairly easy choice.

Fountain Court Apartments - 2 bedroom apartment with twin beds, full kitchen, lounge and washing machine - £125 per night shared between 3 - clean and good value and about 20minutes walk to city centre.

Tonights destination was Mary Kings Close - caught the local bus £1.60 single £3.60 day pass.Took us a while to find where we wanted to go as initially went the wrong direction (never helps). Think the tickets were £12 to get in.

Anyway Mary Kings Close dates back to the 17th century - now a warren of hidden streets underneath Edinburgh's city centre that has over the centuries been built over. Lots of steps and dark narrow streets and rooms - amazing how it has been kept and preserved. Had a guided one hour tour (the only way) which was fascinating. Again the divide between rich and poor at the time apparent and I could only imagine the empty so called streets with thousands of people and animals galore - the smell must have been disgusting, sewerage poured out into the streets, quite steep in places and I could only think of it all getting iced up and sliding in everything. Definitely well worth going to.

Dorothy chose Garfunkel's for dinner - she has a lot of food allergies so easiest to let her choose where to eat - Lynda and I shared an appetizer platter - every good. Then admired Edinburgh at night before catching a bus (every 30mins) and having just missed one back to where we were staying and picking up stuff at the Tesco Express for snacks and breakfasts. Then to bed....

Next: day trip to Loch Ness, The Great Glen and the Cairngorms
Previous: Isle of Wight - the last day

Diary Photos

Edinburgh - High Kirk of St Giles

Edinburgh - High Kirk of St Giles

Edinburgh - High Kirk of St Giles


Edinburgh - High Kirk of St Giles

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