Wednesday, October 10, 2001

No Need to Rush

No Need to Rush
There is no need to rush. We probably can’t get into the bathroom anyway. Breakfast is a buffet of choices and decisions. Ron brought our dirty laundry around the corner to the launder mat where the attendant will wash and dry it for us. Merlin will pick it up for us this afternoon, since he has a light day.
We decided to walk to the castle since the laundry woman told Ron a shorter route from our place. It is still uphill with a backpack on. Would you believe that I was a Boy Scout for years and the two things that I hated was camping and hiking? Nothing had changed since then.
On the way, we did come to the Museum of Edinburgh first and toured it. It was very interesting to see the history that went back to 3,000 years B.C. to the present. Across the street is a museum called The People’s Story. It is a museum that tells the condition of the ordinary people of Edinburgh from the end of the 18th century to the current time. They use a lot of mannequins and create dioramas, which really adds to the interest. This was a real sociological experience and worth the two and a half hours we spent in there. Both of the museums were free admission.
We stopped at an outdoor café across the street for a latte and cappuccino before heading off to the castle. There are Starbucks everywhere both here and in London, which is a blessing for me since I have to find a bathroom every fifteen minutes or six blocks whichever comes first. My tests came back negative for diabetes and my doctor said there was nothing to be concerned about, but this is one reason why I shy away from established tours for days at a time. I would be the blushing one that has held the group up for the entire tour. That is the one thing that I like about having Starbucks, Burger King, and McDonalds everywhere we go. They are dependable rest stops.
We trudged up the Royal Mile toward Edinburgh Castle. It was cold and blustery up on that hill, but what a view of the city. It was incredible. With the admission, you get a CD-Rom in your own language that is a self-guided tour. You can walk at your own pace, play it as many times as you want or skip over what is not interesting to you. The castle was a medieval fortress and only many hundreds of years later turned into a castle. This is where James VI was born, in a very small, unadorned room off of his mother’s (Queen Mary of Scots) bedchamber. Most of the inside of the castle was functional, not ornate. In the jewel tower, there were life size models of all of the Kings of Scotland from the 800’s through to one Queen in the 1600’s, then Kings again until Mary. Then when she was murdered, her son became King and reigned over England and Scotland. It took us over three hours to go through everything, but we were told that the entire CD-Rom has 4 ½ hours of information. There is only so much you can absorb. We had to have tea in the gift shop only to renew our energy for walking some more after all of the standing and walking.
Back down the Royal Mile, we started looking for someplace to eat. We got off the beaten track and got lost again. Finally, we decided to just head home and find something locally. We found a Chinese restaurant near the house, so we got ‘take away’ and brought it home to eat. This is another night staying in without the ½ price ticket booth to run to. We are getting more rest here since there is not all of the activity to run around for.
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