North of the Border.

20170816_211657_Richtone(HDR)Photo taken by me. Please do not copy without permission.

So, last Tuesday, I went up to Scotland for only the second time in my 32-year-old history (I’d previously done Berwick-upon-Tweed in my childhood but, as it’s right on the border, I’m not sure it actually counts) and, this time, I did Scotland’s capital city, the great and wonderful Edinburgh. I only spent two nights there but, what I did see of it, it was absolutely amazing… albeit slightly cold.

(More on that later.)

Tuesday was spent travelling up by train, though I didn’t get chance to start my book, Trainspotting, as I spent nearly three hours travelling backwards and feeling ever-so-slightly icky. When we got there, we got lost getting out of the station (seriously, why are there about eight exits at Waverley?!) before finding our hotel and plonking our things in the room, wandering around town and looking for places to eat and drink. We eventually settled on a lovely little place named Omni, where we found a local Wetherspoons (standard procedure: go to a new city, find a ‘Spoons!) and had a bite to eat before making the trip back up Princes Street and up towards the castle, where we watched a few of the fireworks from the Military Tattoo, which were about the only fireworks we did see over the two nights we stayed, but they were still awesome and spectacular.

Two photos I took on Tuesday evening. One side of the castle is lit up with projected images during the Military Tattoo. You can find the rest over at my Flickr or at my Instagram accounts (links in bio).

Wednesday was spent doing a recce of Edinburgh Castle’s esplanade before the main show in the evening. (If you’ve ever seen the Military Tattoo on the telly, don’t be fooled into thinking it’s big – the esplanade is actually rather diddy compared to what you see on the screen!) During the day, it started to rain a little and, by the evening, it came in cold so I ended up buying a hat from the nearest Primark for a couple of quid and a nice standard Scottish tartan scarf from another shop for the rest of the evening.

By the evening, I changed into my tartan dress (the theme for the Military Tattoo was Splash Of Tartan, so I decided to take it with me for the occasion), met a friend who had a book for me, and made sure I had everything I needed for the event, including a cushion, as I injured my coccyx a few years ago and it starts to hurt at the first sight of anything cold and hard on my arse, and a bright pink poncho as the rain was still hurtling down a little and I was taking NO CHANCES. Also, it was quite cold, so the hat and scarf I’d bought earlier in the day came in useful.

(Welcome to summer in Britain, folks…)

As for the Military Tattoo itself… well, let’s just say I enjoyed every minute of it, and I hope to do it all again soon. Sadly, we never got any of the fireworks on the night I went, due to really high winds (trust me, I’m still suffering as I’ve come down with a bit of a cold and still have some of those Scottish winds in me), but the rest of it was still spectactular.

Oh… there is just one complaint about Edinburgh I have to make, and that’s to do with the pedestrian crossings. There are two of them about half way up Princes Street that seem to take about a week to change. Is this really necessary and, if so, WHY is it necessary?!

Coming back home to the south of the border on Thursday made me a bit icky too as, yet again, I was going backwards for the best part of two and a half hours. When we changed at York to get back to Leeds, I eventually did get a forward-facing seat… for all of half and hour. Grrrr!

(You may have guessed by now that I can’t stand going backwards on public transport. I like to read books on the train. I can’t read when I’m facing the wrong direction. Yuk!)

Anyway, that’s about it for now. I will try and blog again ASAP but, for now, that’s yer lot!