A very calm night…. so absolute silence, the symphony orchestra did not play under the stern. Well, in a way I had fooled them by parking Poli Poli with bows into the wind…so a good night’s rest. After breakfast on the boat, showers and the usual tidy up…. Mike and Christine departed first for the bus to Edinburgh City Centre. T and M followed a little later…. catching the 43X green double decker…. journey took 45 minutes.
Funny sort of day weather wise…. very calm, almost silent…. but quite warm and close…. no blue sky or sunshine…. quite peculiar. Grey it was for most of the day…. perhaps the calm before the storm. Weather warnings in all forecasts, strong winds and rain Monday night onwards.
We alighted the bus on Princes Street next to a big Boots Chemist. This wide street with shops, cafes, eateries, hotels and the occasional tartan and kilt shop…… was thronged with thousands of people….. mostly I suspect were tourists. Very very busy.
Look blue sky! The Scottish National Gallery off Prince’s Street, Edinburgh.
We found the stop for the open top bus tour…. reasoning that in our limited time frame we would get to see the principal sights of Edinburgh. We sat upstairs…. after Margaret had persuaded the ticket man that we were “wrinklies”…. he generously reduced the ticket price from £15 each to £14. He was from Sweden …. not Scotland. Something to do with higher latitudes. Prior to boarding we had seen Mike and Christine fly past on the same sort of tour…. except they were on a red bus.
Scott Monument in Prince’s Street..grey clouds building, very close.
The tour lasted 75 minutes…. we sat in the open air and listened to a lady in yellow…. known as a ‘live guide’ describe the main details of historical import as we flashed by. When we did the same sort of tour with Margaret’s Dad a couple of years ago in Liverpool…. the guide there was quite passionate about the sights, enthused and drew you in with both knowledge and most importantly humour with a scouse accent. He was a Tranmere Rovers supporter…. not that that had anything to do with his ‘guide style’.
Margaret’s photo over a lady’s head …Edinburgh Castle in the background.
The lady in yellow spoke rapidly with no intonation whatsover… her script often broken up by telling Brian, the driver, how many folk were coming down the stairs to get off. I followed the route on a good map… but often lost what the lady in yellow was pointing out.
I recall the Burn’s Monument…. the national poet of Scotland, Arthur’s Seat, Palace of Holyrood House, the Royal Mile being absolutely packed with “tat tourist’ shops….. and the brutally modernistic architecture and design of the Scottish Parliament. As a building ….. ugly. Edinburgh Castle was much more impressive.
We finished to bus tour near the main railway station… Waverley…. and walked to a street where we had spied a good number of “better” restaurants and cafes ( away from the crowds )… from the open top bus tour…. George street.
We had a most pleasant late lunch…. three course for £15.95 ( M ) and £17.90 for myself. The restaurant we chose was “Brown’s”…. one which we had frequented in Cambridge in the early 1980’s…. then also visited the same in Oxford and then Brighton. They seem to have spread. Peaceful, beautifully clean, excellent service…. and good food.
Margaret posting a birthday card to the Chief Swab with an Italian sounding name…in the gold Chris Hoy letter box in Hanover Street, Edinburgh ( 2012 Olympics ).
We joined the 5pm rush hour crowd heading home ( strange feeling for both of us ! )….queuing for buses, then caught our green double decker home to South Queensferry…. back on the boat by 6.45pm in Port Edgar.
Within an hour of returning the winds got up. To the north west it looked as black as thunder. The lull before the storm is about to end…. we guess. Blowing hard now…. Mike and Christine have not yet returned to the boat… we last heard they were studying geology at the “Dynamic Earth”…. some sort of exhibition involving rocks on the bus tour route.
I hope Emma ….. far away in Madrid, Spain has had a lovely day on her fourteenth birthday….wonder if she came top in a Maths test…. and has read a few books today. All good wishes to you Emma.