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The traveler: An expected journey This time it's the Scandinavian countries of Denmark, Sweden & Norway before England again for several weeks and on to Croatia.

Around Edinburgh

UNITED KINGDOM | Saturday, 18 July 2015 | Views [465] | Comments [5]

Between there being so much to see and the fact that it stays light here until 10 pm I have run out of time in the day to update my travels and still get some sleep. So here's a bit of catch up. I thought it might be easier to summariz my experiences a few days on, but by the length of this I guess not!

Edinburgh is a city of ancient skyscrapers. What was most striking was first driving beneath the six story stone edifices built hundreds of years ago. Most of the stone shows some sign of the coal that used to be burned there on their outer faces. Though the main streets are wide there are narrow passages between buildings to the streets behind called "closes". Walking through them feels like stepping back in time. In Edinburgh road work can only be done in the summertime so they take full advantage of it, hence several detours around the ancient streets to get where we were going. 

I stayed with a very active older lady in Edinburgh through a hosting program called Women Welcoming Women World  Wide. We began in the Royal Botanic Gardens, wondering along the paths among trees, hedges and flower gardens until we were shoed out 6 pm. Most places, except for restaurants and grocery stores close at 5:30 or 6 pm. Quite strange after spending several nights at REI until 9 pm! Another odd things is that things are exactly they price they are labeled at checkout. If something says 2 pounds than that's what you pay before leaving the store: no extra pence for sales tax.

After the gardens we drove up to Arthur's Seat, a hill overlooking Edinburgh and my host told me of a recent tragedy that would make a good crime novel with some additions. Later she took me to an old farm hidden in the forest behind the city. People still live in the farm house, and workers cottages, two of which are some of the only thatched cottages in Britain.

The following morning we ventured out to Rosslyn Chapel which featured in "The Da Vinci Code". Like St. George's Chapel it's stone work is amazing, though perhaps more complex to understand. The most recent discussion has centered on the 3 dimensional rectangles in one part of the high alter. The seem to depict the vibrations of sounds, each one being a note in a tune. Like so many churches Rosslyn was partially destroyed and abandoned during the Reformation. I do wonder what the original stained glass and statues looked like!

My lovely host showed me 2 of the oldest buildings in Edinburgh after walking past the square where hangings once took place. These two old houses each had windows and ledges for pigeons to roost, which the owners would eat in the winter when other meat was not available. As a volunteer for the National Trust she (my host) left me with free entry into two historic buildings. The first preserved a section of life from the days when your bedroom was not just that, but also your entertaining space, with a small drawing room added on later (1700 or 1800s). The second was the much improved house for the well to do during the Victorian times with parlor, drawing room, dinning room, bedroom, and of course a large kitchen where two servants slaved away all day to cook and clean. This was an undesirable job and the pay increased dramaticly in an effort to attract more people.

After all this history I went for a stroll in Princess Street Gardens directly below the castle where I befriended a pigeon with my dried apple crumbs.

After dinner at an Indian restaurant it was time to make my way home. I am now very good at reading bus schedules, and can say I have ridden in several of Britain's famous double decker buses.

We went for a beautiful walk the next morning with great views over Edinburgh, and farther on beneath trees creating a tunnel of green over the small road.

My last stop was the Museum of Childhood showcasing the changes in toys, dress, and general care over the centuries from wax dolls, to child sized model cars to wooden walkers, for lack of a better word, which prevented children from crawling like animals on the floor. How our ideas have changed, but the essence of play has not!

 

Comments

1

Yeah! I'm so glad you finally got that problem of being timed out while writing resolved. I'm sorry we'll not be able to read all that has been previously lost. Wonderful update on Edinburgh!
Thanks :-)

  Yvonne Jul 19, 2015 2:30 AM

2

Very cool Teagen!! Suggestion: type everything into word processing program first and then copy and paste into this travel journal so you don't get timed out ;). Cheers!

  brandon Jul 20, 2015 9:55 AM

3

TEAGEN! Your travels are very interesting, but of course we all really want to know the "real life" detective story that she told you! :) I hope you are taking lots of photos. We certainly miss you here, but so glad that you are on an adventure that was a dream of mine when I was your age. xoxoxo

  lori janssen Jul 22, 2015 4:27 AM

4

Hi Teagen, When you say older woman. . . you mean like 80, right? So glad to have you as an ambassador for the U.S. spreading peace through your smiles and charm. Still much raind and many wildflowers here in the mountains. Peace out . Virginia

  Virginia Jul 22, 2015 1:06 PM

5

Firstly, yes I have decided to type everything on Pages first, and now that I've figured out how to cut and paste I will be doing so.
The murder that happened on Aurther's seat was aparently fairly recently. A young couple went up to the top perhaps on their honeymoon and the groom pushed his bride off the top. It seems so unreal it must be just a story.
Most of the women I've stayed with are at least 70. One of them asked me via email when I said I was a young woman, exactly how old was I reffering to? I've heard a lot of slightly surprised people sharing their thoughts about Americans in general. It's what I expected and I'm very glad to be a model for the other people in this country.
I miss you all too!

  shire_girl Jul 23, 2015 8:47 AM

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