Scotland

Blog, Scotland, November 2020

So off on the FASSSSSSSST train from London Kings Cross to Edinburgh Scotland.  Wow! Does that train go fast!! Of course, that is when I did the last blog so you already know about that.  We saw a huge nucleaer plant – still seems so odd!

Nuclear plant, from train window

We zoomed past cute little seaside villages…………

Seaside town, Scotland

 

Edinburgh was so like “home” for me.  Dunedin really is the “Edinburgh of the South”.  Street names, the harbor, people…….. all the same.  It was lovely. 

Princess Street, Edinburgh

 

Castle Hill

We went wandering on the first night – cold as it was – and found little cobbled streets, some amazing Christmas decorated buildings, and then a great Indian Restaurant.  After London, the best Indian food we’ve had anywhere! Also I bought some woolen socks – about time!!

Christmas decorated building

Christmas tree outside restaurant

The day for the rugby dawned fine even though there was a forecast for rain.  Swam in the hotel pool, had a late breakfast then over the afternoon meandered our way to the game.  Actually it was quite a long way to Murrayfield – people had said 20 minutes or so – more like 60 from where we were staying, and that was after the meander through town!

Murrayfield was a good venue – easy to navigate etc.  We had good seats and see the great photo of the haka.  At least there was no booing of the team coming on or the haka, unlike London! It was Remembrance Day here for Armistice Day and it was a very moving experience when the Lone Piper played for the remembered soldiers. The game was literally a walk over for the AB’s.  We had good neighbours and enjoyed the whole experience.

All Black haka at Murrayfield

After the game we stopped off at a pub on the way back.  An interesting experience as it was a “boutique hotel” as well, and I don’t think the hotel patrons appreciated the throngs of Kiwis celebrating ……… a lot of fun though. 

Sunday we did a bit of R&R and a tad of shop looking, although no purchases. It was very wet! Peter found a pub showing the Formula 1 race. When I got there he was in conversation with a couple living in Dublin, but of both Irish and NZ backgrounds.  She is in the field of health and safety, which is partly the field I work in too, so very interesting and we will see them in Dublin as well.  They had been to the game the night before also and their daughter is to study medicine in Dunedin from Feb next year.  Funny who you bump in to.

So a good night in the pub and then Peter and I off to the Indian restaurant again – oh dear, we thought it was really really late but it was only 5pm! It is dark here so early, like 4pm – we are not used to it.  

We were to leave Edinburgh on the Monday, for Glasgow.  It was a lovely day and we walked to see John Knox House, and a few sights including Greyfriers Bobby! The little dog that spent 14 years sleeping at night on his master’s grave.

Jo in Edinburgh - cold!

Peter in old cemetary with Edinburgh castle in the background

Jo and Greyfrier's Bobby

Royal Mile building

The train to Glasgow was only 1 hour.  Glasgow is the biggest city of Scotland at 600,000 population.    Glasgow is also a lovely city.  Very cold and grey and I am so disappointed that the amazing looking Christmas lights around the capital square are not yet turned on till after we leave. Sigh!

Peter in Glasgow town square

We spent most of the day on the “hop on hop off” bus, keeping dry – and went back to a gallery the director says was amazing.  Yawn for us – stuffed sheep, giraffes, etc! We were ready to leave within 30 minutes.  However there was a pipe organ recital we heard which was amazing.

Gallery in Glasgow

Largest terricotta fountain in UK

Squiffy Bridge

On the next day we caught the train to Loch Loman.  A very quiet train, only four of us in the information center at the other end and basically only us silly ones walking in the freezing cold wind to see the loch.  Brrrrrrrrr.  But it was very pretty.

Loch Lomond

Had lunch in the pub at the train station and then back to Glasgow – once again dark by the time we got there at 3.45. 

Oh dear - sauce line up with pub lunch!!

Peter tried “three ponies” – three types of local beer.

Peter's three ponies....

Back to our hotel and then out to try and find a pub playing the England vs French soccer game on Sky.  Sky is so expensive here not everyone has it – including hotels. Someone told us $1000 a month per Sky TV!   Oh dear – several pubs we found were playing another match.  Finally we found one –  a VERY local pub experience. We had just got ourselves a drink……… I am reading the newspaper, Peter started watching the game and we were interrupted by the barmaid to say she needed a photo of Peter and I for her wall.  So we sidled together, smiled, and voila! Got sprayed with water from the spray camera she had!  Ha ha ha.  Nothing compared to the fake jar of nuts she had for the man for the USA, which really was a jack in the box!!! Peter takes me to all the nice places…………. He thinks it is the div-iest place he has taken me………………..  The ladies’ toilet had the best examples of mould and slime dripping walls I have ever seen.

Today we sorted out stuff to send home, did a wee walking tour of the city and then went to the Art House for lunch.  Wow – amazing food. The best food I have had in ages!! The mushroom and red wine risotto had so many different varieties of mushrooms in it. Delicious! Not to mention the chocolate and orange pot served with bitter chocolate gratin. Mmmmm.

House for Art Lovers, where we had lunch

Glasgow typical city street, city centre

So now we are at the Prestwick airport ready to fly to Dublin.  Ready for another chapter, albeit a closing one, in our trip. 

Love to you all

Jo and Peter

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