I got back last night from my whirlwind tour. The tour exceeded all my expectations. It was fabulous! I can't believe I actually got to go. (Thank you Janet for getting us in!)
I would love to tell you everything right now but there is just too much so I will take it day by day. Then you can take this tour with me vicariously.
I left on a Monday afternoon worried about everything! Silly me, everything was fine and I handled it. There were three flights to get to Edinburgh. The first was the easy 25 minute flight to Detroit. The difficult flight was the 8 hours overnight to Amsterdam (I waved to Edinburgh as we flew over it!) where we arrived at five in the morning.
I've never been in a foreign country airport and it was set up a bit differently than I am used to. Luckily many people speak English and I was able to find my gate and the correct waiting room. Reminder to self: never eat on a plane. The food sat in my stomach like a rock. I'm not good at changing my bio-clock but this time I was determined to try. I dozed off a couple of times on the plane but didn't really sleep. I was a bit loopy when I arrived in Edinburgh which was an industrial looking building. I changed my money at the first booth I came to. Then I waited for a lady (Sharon) who had emailed me and wanted to share a taxi to our hotel. I was hoping she would recognize me since I didn't know her. We met up without any problem and got a taxi. I could never drive in Edinburgh. The streets are convoluted and I could never get used to driving on the other side of the road. I would be lost in two minutes anyway.
Our hotel (Apex International) is very nice and the people at the front desk were wonderfully helpful even though we are way early (9 a.m.) to check in. They let us store our luggage there and were going to notify us when our rooms were ready. Sharon and I went exploring around Edinburgh. We went up to the Royal Mile. We were looking for the Writer's Museum. We couldn't find it. Turns out it was down and alley.
There are many alleys in Edinburgh. It was in a very old house. Many houses have names over there. I think this one was "Lady Stairs". It had the most treacherous dangerous uneven stairs I've ever seen. But we managed. It has displays on Sir Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson and Robert Burns. You could see from the photos that Robert Louis Stevenson was brought up in a wealthy household and was well cared for. The house was very interesting in itself. It was quite old and had uneven stairs to trick any nighttime intruders. There was a woven tapestry of the three authors heads.
I probably would have enjoyed it more if I hadn't been so tired. I was so pooped that I wanted to go back to the hotel and take a nap. After a 2 hour nap, I felt much better. I was ready to go in search of fish and chips. Across from our hotel were a bunch of restaurants.
Sharon and I picked a pub and ate there. I didn't know what to drink since I don't like beer or alcohol. So I chose "Victorian Lemonade".
This area gets many visitors. There were lots of people and tour groups walking around.
I stayed up as late as I could. The tour officially starts tomorrow and my roommate will be here in the morning. I'm terribly excited!