It's foggy and cold, very much like every other time I have visited this gothic city. My family is happy to be back in an English speaking country... If you can call it that. Aye, you can, but a wave of guilt washes over me every time I say "sorry?" Or "again please?" Normally, it takes me a few hours to get an ear for the language/dialect/accent and then I find even my blog post word choice and lyricism in my head begin sounding like the locals. You'd think I'd be better a learning foreign languages. Anyways, my German "ja's" are now Scottish "yeh's".
I am very thankful that I choose to stay out at the airport Marriott, not only did it give my kids Starbucks in the lobby, (what? a taste of home?) it also was only a few minutes cab ride when we arrived at 3am. Sleep usually alludes me the first night of a long haul and then I slowly make-up for over the next few days, and today was no different. I try to tiptoe around the hotel room, write my blog and catch up with John via text while I give my children extra sleep. Nonetheless, the Castle awaits.
Edinburgh is steeped in rich history and because Glasglow was the trade port and center of banking during WWII, Edinburgh mercifully was saved. My impression is Edinburgh weather seems cold, foggy, humid and dreary; but perhaps that's just my bad luck. I see postcards of lovey, clear days and even as we taxi'd back to the hotel, the kids managed a final look at the Castle on the volcanic hill. But, the weather sets the mood for learning about medieval struggles, Roman times, highlanders, Jocobites, Mary Queen of Scots and Bonny Prince Charlie and all the more.
We tour the Castle and learn mostly of the sea-faring military history of this area, we see the Crown Jewels, swords and the Stone of Destiny. After, my middle child asks to go to the Edinburgh Dungeon, a comic-character funhouse filled with actors interacting with you as you are guided through a period set and includes a few mini-amusement rides. They take you through a history of Edinburgh's dark past. The plague, torture, ghosts, men who kill to sell the bodies for medical research, even cannibalism and incest. The one little gem I found interesting was that graverobbing was so common that the wealthy began cementing the coffins and a watch tower was stationed at graveyards to protect the dead from thieves.
We then do a Griswold check-out of St. Giles and had a lovely meal near the Hub (an impressive gothic theater) and grab a taxi home. I tried the Edinburgh Erdberry Gin and it was lovely... (ideas!) I feel perfectly comfortable paying for the cab because rooms were twice that in the city compared to the airport and mass transport of my brood is made simple. It's just a nibble off a the huge country of Scotland, but nonetheless, sustainance. The kids would like to come back, in a July or August would be better, I think.
Now I get the thrill and titillation of driving on the left side of the road, or is it right-hand drive?... Probably manual, too, I'm left-handed so I shouldn't have any problems, right? John is pretty much at a point where he needs a break from home and business and lonilessness and I quite honestly would love his companionship, so he changed his ticket and will join us in a week's time.