Last Leg

Seems very normal to be sitting at an airport, waiting for our flight. But it’s the last flight of the summer and we are not off to a new location, but going home.
Such a nice phrase, going home. We are almost tearful.

Meredith was a star and dropped us at Clapham.
Easy train to Gatwick, though it was a few minutes late.
We are all checked in, bags checked for the first time all summer. (Baggage carousel broke, fo4 a minute I was afraid it was all my shopping!)
Now I feel light as air with only one small carryon.
We’ve picked up water and snacks for the plane. (11 hours is long flight.)
We have coffee and a sandwich.

The only thing left is to wait for our gate to be assigned.

Then – HOME.

Last Day

Our week in London with friends is coming to an end. One last birthday party and then tomorrow we go home. Some sadness, but mostly, happy to have survived the summer with no major accidents, incidents or disasters.

Jacob is still speaking to me, though we have agreed it might be quite nice to not see or speak to speak to each other for a whole day when we get back.

It will be nice to be home. No traveling. Time to sort photos and write down the details of the story of our crazy gypsy summer so we don’t forget it in the distraction of picking up everyday life.

At some point I must pack, as my one small backpack has now morphed into two large bags with all the bits we shipped back to London. Plus, a little shopping in London.

Off to Covent Garden for a bit and then back to set up the party.

Edinburgh Final Thoughts

In retrospect, there is no way that the second  city after London would be wildly successful. We had such a wonderful time and my friend and her family is just wonderful. Also, her house on the Thames is spectacular. The contrast could not have been greater!

We arrived on Sunday night just before midnight, due to delays with the Ryanair flight.  Luckily it was very easy at the airport to  find our bus, because we were so tired. Decent service though Express must be a brand name as it stopped five times before Waverly Station. I treated us to a taxi to avoid stumbling around Edinburgh at midnight in the rain. Lovely driver who found Guthrie Street and our hostel and kept up a charming banter for the ten  minute drive. We did the walk on the way back and it was about a half hour, so glad we grabbed the taxi.

The hostel was about what I had expected, but their photos are clearly older than Jacob. Jacob on the other hand was horrified and angry that I had made him stay in such a place. I have to admit, it was a little scary as the floors creaked ominously with every step. We were on the fourth floor (fifth floor to Amercans) and the thought kept ocurring about what would happen if it collapsed.

On the other hand it was a quick walk around and up to the Royal Mile. It was  clean and there was never a wait for the toilet or the shower, which I had been expecting. We both slept well and found the beds surprisingly comfortable.

We got out early on Monday and found a Starbucks. After a bacon buttie and a large Americano, we were both ready to head to St. Giles. We took a bus, which turned out to be relaxing and restful as we got on going the wrong direction and it took an hour to go around which  we both appreciated. St Giles is  beautiful and  we arrived during the practice  for a lunchtime concert and got to enjoy the New  York  pianist while  we  wondered among the tombs  and admired the ceilings and  stained glass windows.

After the cathedral, we hiked up to the Castle and got lunch and waited for the daily horiwitzer shot at 1pm. Then we went right up to the top and the royal chambers, saw the Scottish Crown Jewels and the Stone of Scone. In one of the banqueting halls an acapelo(sp?) group was performing and I stopped to listen to their concert, which ended with Auld Lang Syne and me in tears.

After that, I lost Jacob when I went to the loo and then we left, both of us in a bit of a huff because  we were so tired. Found our  Starbucks again and charged our phones in case of future separations and our caffiene levels before heading out to find dinner. We had bangers and mash and a fry up which was fun, filling and cheap. 

Next morning was a quick visit to Sir Walter and the museum before heading to Dublin.

Pictures of Edinburgh

It is amazing how fast I get behind on posting. Have to wait for downtime and internet connection.
Plus, problems with my phone so very few pictures. Jacob got about a zillion but we are having no luck uploading from camera so far.

Looking up Castle view

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Excellent pointillist painting

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The Scottish National Museum model

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Waiting outside

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Van Gogh from the asylum

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Breakfast in Princes St garden sitting on the steps of the museum ( we were two hours early so got a rest and caught up with Free!)

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Sir Walter Scott memorial

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Did not notice the bird until now!

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AirBnB

Our first airbnb experience has been great. We have a one room flat in Dublin all to ourselves with shower and kitchen and even a washer/dryer. It is right on the bus line and quick minutes to College Green and Trinity College. We have been very comfortable. Even Jacob’s fold out sofa was okay, though a bit firm compared to American mattresses.
We shopped and made breakfast and dinner which saves a lot and is more relaxing than going out for every meal.
The flat cost $60 a night which was less than the hostel in Edinburgh and much nicer.