Edinburgh, Here I Come!

Edinburgh Castle from Princes Park

Edinburgh Castle from Princes Park

We have been in Scotland for one week now. So far I have seen several historic castles and very old churches, vast green fields of mostly wheat and potatoes, pastures with grazing cows, thousands of freshly shorn sheep, flocks of trumpeter swans, hills rising abruptly a thousand feet above the plains, trees and gardens everywhere and more golf courses than I have ever seen. In short, the land is stunningly gorgeous.

grazing sheep in the Scottish countryside

grazing sheep in the Scottish countryside

We moved out of the Windlestrae Hotel in Kinross and took the bus forty miles south to Edinburgh. The weather has improved such that it now feels like summer. It is Saturday and the parks and pedestrian parkways are packed. I have heard half a dozen different languages as we walk along – Turkish, Spanish, Italian, German, and a few I did not recognize.

Talk about a cosmopolitan city! We passed Mexican, Italian, Chinese and other assorted restaurants plus Starbucks and McDonalds. There is some crazy cross-marketing for food here. One restaurant offered kebabs, pizza and fish and chips. Couldn’t they decide on an ethnic specialty? I guess not.

fresh wheat crop

fresh wheat crop

We found the  bus stops in the city for the sightseeing/hop-on, hop-off tour buses, and we plan to do go sightseeing in a day or two. Edinburgh Castle towers over our hostel, and it looks mighty impressive. I am fighting off a sore throat, so I am saving my energy for now. I expect we will go see the castle and the HMS Britannia, at one time the family yacht of the Royal Family. Once we get the tourist bug out of our systems we can focus on a more leisurely pace. That is not happening yet.

We think the apartment we looked at in Perth will be available to us. We hope so, because it is so centrally located and quite comfortable. It even has a second bedroom in case someone wants to come for a visit. Mostly, we will be glad to start cooking our own meals for a change.

I like seeing the sights and meeting lots of people. However, the current pace is much faster than normal for us. I miss reading to my grandson and writing stories and shopping for groceries and preparing home cooked meals. I look forward to writing about how it feels to live in Scotland. For now I am just another tourist.

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13 comments on “Edinburgh, Here I Come!

  1. It sounds like you guys have been keeping up a brisk pace, but you’ve only been there a week. Everything is exciting and new at the moment. You’ll be like locals in a few weeks. It’s nice to hear that you’ll have an extra bedroom. I’m sure that friends and family will want to visit you. I don’t think Paul and I will make it to Scotland in the next 6 months, however. But who knows, maybe we’ll visit you guys on your next 6-month stint. Sorry to hear that you’ve got a sore throat – I hope you feel better soon. Celeste 🙂 PS – Beautiful photos as usual!

  2. The pictures are gorgeous Mike, just as I envisioned. I’ve always wanted to visit Scotland, and just know it is green and beautiful. So different than where you’ve been for the past few years, yes? Not that it wasn’t beautiful before, but different beauty. Really enjoying your new adventure! Rest up and feel better… I’m out sick right now too, so I can totally empathize. Ugh.

  3. reocochran says:

    Scotland sounds great so far! Castles and churches, green pastures and abundance of wonderful foods available. I think the apartment at Perth is wonderful with an extra bedroom. Have a lovely time, cannot wait to hear more…

    • Mike Lince says:

      They do eat well here. The delicatessens have amazing assortments of cheeses plus wines and goodies from all over the continent. Fresh berries are in season now. The local fresh market has produce from Turkey, S. Africa, S. America and the tropics, so fresh items are available year-round.
      There is something here called black pudding. I asked a waitress what the ingredients were. She just wrinkled her nose and said, “You do not want to know,” although I did learn it is blackened with pig’s blood. It was served with eggs for breakfast like we eat corned beef hash. I will pass on black pudding and haggis.

  4. Mike,
    Thanks for the lovely pics. Scotland is my very favorite place in the whole world. Spent a magical day there with a bunch of French sailors I picked up at Mass on the Royal Mile (no joke–true story!). Thank you for the lovely description and mini-vacation from my computer as I remember the most beautiful spot on the planet!

  5. Hey Mike. When we lived in London, we traveled in Scotland quite a lot, and it was always fun. In fact, we took the train up, and rented a car so we could learn how to drive on the “wrong” side of the road. Summers there can be delightful, but your comparison to the Pacific NW is probably accurate. The brolly and raincoat are never totally gone. ~James

    • Mike Lince says:

      We have already made good use of our raincoats, but now we are enjoying daily high temps of 75-80° F. I don’t think I am ready to drive here. I still get confused about which side of the street I am supposed to stand on to catch a bus. Well, I think we are heading to London in a couple of weeks just so we can say we did it. I think we may take the train from Glasgow rather than a bus.
      Thank you for sharing your comments, James.

  6. Jodi says:

    What stunning landscape! I can imagine how beautiful all those golf courses were! I haven’t been to Scotland as yet, but it appears as if I need to get a move on!

    • Mike Lince says:

      If you are a golfer, Scotland is paradise! But don’t worry. They have been here a long time, and Scotland will be here, too, awaiting your arrival. They seem to greatly appreciate tourists here, and that is a good thing because there are about 1/4 million tourists showing up here every week – more during August for the Edinburgh Festival.
      Thank you for sharing your comments. – Mike

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