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The evening sun is shining over Arthur's Seat and Anders and the kids have set out to climb it while the sun is still up, so I'm grabbing the opportunity to post an entry at the internet café around the corner from our lodgings. We're staying in a sterile dormitory apartment that is quite roomy for the 4 of us as it has a long corridor with 4 separate dorm rooms opening off it, a kitchen, and a bathroom. No other amenities, really, it's barebones for students here. The hostel we stayed at the first night in Glasgow was much nicer, being a very old and obviously once posh hotel high on a hill with lots of lovely woodcarvings and high ceilings.

We've been busy as bees in Edinburgh, up early every morning and out exploring. A decent mix between activities that will keep the kids happy plus still seeing the things that help us realize that we're really in Scotland is an exercise in fine-line walking. Add to that the prohibitive expense of everything here and we still feel we've managed to pack a lot in so far. We've seen the Camera Obscura museum (fun and the C.O. itself was very cool), The People's Story Museum and the 3D Loch Ness Experience (waste of money) and taken the train over the Firth of Forth to Fife (dare you to say THAT five times fast!) to visit the Deep Sea World Aquarium which has the longest underwater viewing tunnel in the world. It's 120 meters long, the length of a football field, and quite nifty to walk along while sharks and manta rays and tons of silvery fish go gliding by over your head.

We've walked up and down the Royal Mile and explored several of the dark Closes that branch off it, and gotten sucked in to several souvenir shops that sell anything and everything in plaid. :) On Croila's recommendation we spent a great deal of one day riding around the entire city in an open-air tourist bus with a live guide, which was great. Really informative and a fun way to learn a lot about the city and its history. We had a bit of excitement on one of the stretches, when Martin's ladybug baseball cap went flying off and landed in the middle of the very busy main avenue behind us, right in front of the Scott Monument. If you click on that picture link, the cap blew down and landed on the median right by the red traffic lights. But by the time we could stop the bus and get off, we were over 2 blocks away. With Karin and I in the lead, we sprinted back along the sidewalk, dodging tourists and commuters. As we neared the monument, I got a glimpse of something red in the middle of the street, so I grabbed Karin and we ran across the road to the median. Then Karin zoomed up the middle of the road on the median and nabbed the cap! Ta-Dah! Martin was very happy and Karin was very proud of herself for having rescued the ladybug hat.

My calves are really feeling all the hills of Edinburgh and each morning as we set out, they protest violently at the first downhill slope. We've done a ton of walking and EVERYTHING is on a hill here. We've seen bagpipers and kilts galore (Martin is keeping a Kilt Count, helped greatly today by all the graduates of the university and law school in full regalia) and tomorrow, which is Karin's 7th birthday, we'll be heading uphill to Edinburgh Castle and later in the day we'll go underground for one of the many vault tours that explore the catacombs and underground streets that date back to medieval times. Most of the underground tours are about scary stuff, ghosts and witches and such, and have warnings about suitability for children, but this one is apparently tame enough for the kids (and me).

Next stop: Inverness, monster hunting in Loch Ness, and the Highlands!

Bountiful Birthday Wishes, Some Belated, Some in Advance to natooke, geeklibrarian, sithhappens, sandykins57 and lotta!
mood: happy
music: a creaky door, traffic, clickity keyboards all around me


Gee, thanks!

Sounds like you are having a blast!

(no subject) - (Anonymous)

LOL! You're funny :) Karin says thank you, she's sitting here beside me in the internet cafe (we came over to check an address for a postcard). Undercurrents are SO fun, are they not? :P

It sounds glorious, happy travelling!

Your icon is really great, and I love hearing about those travelin' adventures. I like hearing about hotels/hostels. And traveling with kids is a whole other experience, isn't it. But aren't you glad you're doing it???

Glad you are there having fun! Have a little extra fun for those of us who haven't made it to Scotland yet.

I just heard a joke yesterday about those Scottish men and their kilts.
A man got terribly drunk and passed out on his walk home, at the side of the road.
There were two young women walking home together late that night. They saw the man, and wondering, but never having looked, they lifted his kilt to see what they could see. It didn't rouse him, he was out cold.
When he got home the next morning and slipped into bed with his wife she looked at him and said, " I don't know where you've been, but I see you won first prize."
The girls had tied a blue hair ribbon onto him....

Thanks for the run down on the attractions of Edinburgh - I'm hoping to visit there in a year or two (I'm third generation New Zealander of thoroughly Scottish descent).

oh oh oh sounds so wonderful!

what a holiday-- sounds fantastic, if calf-achey.

my mind is still puzzling over the fact that everyone always says Sweden is so expensive but if a woman living in Sweden says Scotland is prhohibitively expensive! yikes-- maybe I'll never get to the bonny hills afterall

Re: oh oh oh sounds so wonderful!

Sweden IS expensive, to LIVE in, at least, because taxes are so high. But, I don't know that VISITING it is so bad. The exchange rate from SEK to GB wasn't horrible, but I keep figuring by US dollars, and the pound is worth TWICE that, so it makes me gulp every time I pay for something.

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lizardek's obiter photos
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I can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.

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