London to Scotland

Well this is a bit late, but there is a reason why.

We arrived at London Heathrow Airport after a rather long night of flying.  Our seats weren’t too bad (it’s always hard to say that when you see the pod seats just ahead of you – but at $1500 per person to upgrade – geez that is another trip! So our seats were good enough).  At least we had the aisle and window seat with a free middle seat to plonk our stuff as needed.   The trip had all the usual issues – they guy in front who immediately leaned his chair back to my lap, the woman behind David who liked to jab his back with whatever she was shoving forcefully in and out of the seat pocket.  Then there was the guy I like to call Slam-in-the-box.  He sat across the aisle from me and had to get up every 1/2 hour or so to get something from the overhead bin and the SLAM it shut.  So much for any sleep!  But I did get to watch 3 movies: Money Monster (enjoyed I give it 4 stars); Jungle Book (it was well done graphically, and I really liked C Walken as King Louie, but it didn’t live up to my childhood memories of the original animated – 2 stars);  13 Hours (really good, very violent/graphic,  4 stars and a recommendation to not try to sleep after watching)

Heathrow was a mile of walking to get to the immigration line.  It was busy but moved steadily.  We found it rather humid and warm waiting.  Collecting the bags was easy enough after that and we sailed through to find the way to the Underground.  img_3687Airports are always lots of walking, but it wasn’t too bad and we only had to wait shortly for the Piccadilly line train to arrive   The tube ride was uneventful as well.  Just hanging on to our luggage and waiting for our stop at Kings Cross.   At Kings Cross we couldn’t find WiFi so we schlepped across the square and street to find a McDonalds (who always have WiFi) and grab a quick if uninspiring   meal.  Turns out no usable WiFi either and nowhere to sit.  Our train was on time and we found our seats and got underway.  It was a planned 4 hour and 23 minute trip.   The train was very fast and the scenery zipped by.  Until we stopped.  And waited.  And waited some more.  It turned into a 7 hour and 15 minute trip!  Apparently a electrical line had gone down further up the tracks thus blocking the tracks from being used.  So we had to back up and go another way.  It was unfortunate for several reasons.  Firstly the young man on the train who held a very public telephone conversation with his poor mother.  Secondly, it was warm and stuffy on the train, and thirdly we didn’t get to see the coastline the daytime, which was what we had planned the trip specifically to enjoy!  img_1452Of course the spot we were stopped in had no view, but once we finally got underway again and we moved further north the dry areas started to give way to more green rolling hills, dotted with sheep and horses with hedgerows.  It was too dark to really see the coastline as we entered Scotland and reached our final destination of Edinburgh.

It was raining and dark and that is always a fun way to try to find your way about a city.  Turns out that the old city of Edinburgh is perched up on a hill.  Our walking instructions included something called the News Steps, which were of course steps.  Lots of them.  So we bypassed and went the long way around and up.  We found our rental and discovered that #3 flat is on the 3rd floor.  Which is really the 4th floor for us because the ground floor here is called zero 🙂  But our lovely host Rafael, met us at the bottom of the winding stairs and lugged up the big suitcase and my carryon bag!  And we realized we may have brought too much stuff!!

Soaking wet, a little out of breath, and over tired we greeted our hosts and then quickly changed, brushed teeth and headed out to find food.  But all the kitchens were closed so we settled for some liquid refreshments.  Cider and lager, then scotch and lager.  Live music, friendly people, lots of fun.

We got a line on some food, but we no longer cared too much about that.  After a rather enjoyable night we clambered back up the cobbled hill to our rental, up the stairs (not very quietly I think) and basically collapsed on the bed to get some much needed sleep!!

 

 

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