"Seriously, I would love to go to Scotland with you!" sometime in late 2007
Wheels and plans began to turn and churn, and change and solidify. Sometimes you really do have to experience something to understand it. So the goal was set, the milestones were planned and achieved and on April 24th, 2008, a little after 8PM,
we left the earth behind and climbed high, above the US, Canada, Greenland... We were over land a lot more than I thought a trans-Atlantic flight would take us. Mom and Dad and I touched down at Heathrow, Terminal 4, and caught a bus to Gatwick,
where our Hotel was that night (much closer to our flight the following morning.
It was a great neighborhood and we found a wonderful, casual restaurant "The Ole Six Bells"
that served perfectly fire charred fare,
and rather large Fish & Chips.
We also found our first roundabout, our first graveyard,
and our first church,...
many, many of each to follow. The same path took us the next morning to Horley Towne Center, and we found the first breakfast place open and sat outside while the town began to wake up and the streets began to fill. It was Saturday morning, and shops and shoppers began their dance. The neighborhood street market filled with fresh fruit and veg stands, and plants and other swap meet type tables.
The beautiful green lined streets were backed with Bed & Breakfasts, one after another, all the way back to the hotel.
Our flight to Edinburgh was about an hour and we took a 2008 Volkswagan Golf, Deisel, for a training spin on the "correct" side of the road.
Fortunately, it comes easier than my building anxiety had led me to believe, almost natural after a couple of hours, really, and the roundabouts became easily navigatable.
Why don't we have them at home?
The traffic just flows right through.
We had three nights booked at a Travelodge
8 miles from downtown Edinburgh, and decided to drive on into the mix and see what we could see. This was the first real test of driving in the UK, as it was a pretty busy city, Capital of Scotland, and a huge tourist attraction, what with the Royal Mile and Holyrood house. Being a Saturday, the downtown parking was free on the side of the road, so I GPS marked the spot and we following the trails of people up into the center of the activity, carefully soaking in the atmosphere and excitement of the streets.
That cool mountain/hill next to our hotel:
a Dale Keith in Dalkeith:
This church is in Dalkeith:
This little rock wall is behind the hotel in the woods, these things are everywhere :
and this little fellow was scampering along the Dalkeith walkway, a gorgeous nature path that we only got a little way into before we met Lenny.
Edinburgh itself is a magical place.
running through Gatwick to get there:
This tower has been featured on TV, a freind of Lenny's converted this old water tower into a five story home, fine if you don't minde one room per floor. :
Deacon Brodies Tavern, an ancester of that Lenny guy we met in the park:
This is a map we lifted from a public domain. Hunter's Tryst is a ver nice neighborhood out on the fringes of Edinburgh suburbs. This is the furthest point that the city bus starts from and it was just about a hundred yards from our hotel. The bus was clean and easy to ride:
the roof of an old building in Edinburgh, should probably do some research on this stuff, but anyway, cool pics: