I was sick of it. I’d been having conversations with a friend for over four months now about how we both wished to go on a trip within the UK.
However one pitfall after another beset us from actually doing it. So, one day when he called me, I booked the flight and the hotel after he said he’d call me back.
He did…and was stunned to realise what I had done. But, realistically, it was the only way we would’ve ever done it. So we headed out to Bristol airport on the day and boarded the plane for his first flight.
Getting through security was a bit of a hassle, but we got there o.k. His condition prevents him for standing for long periods. I lost sight of him once.
He loved every moment of it. Soaring above the clouds captured his imagination. It wasn’t long before we broke through them after take-off. He said he was glad he had done it before he died.
When we broke out of the clouds for the first time, it was magical. It felt like we were soaring on silk. It’s a feeling that will never leave me. Not only that, but we were sat next to two lovely flight attendants on the way back.
We didn’t regret it. Getting to see the sights, hear the sounds, smell the smells…thats what travel is all about. It is an adventure unto itself and one not to be crossed unless you are ready for it.
Three stars. A cosy little place, the Dunstane Lodge. We had the usual, a T.V. and two single beds with breakfast. Also, we had a better-than-standard ride into town with the airport bus.
The vehicle was impeccably clean, the driver polite and friendly, no delays on the service and a seamless journey into the town centre.
It turned out to be a fair old walk, not to visit them from the hotel, but from each one to the other. But the best part, by far and away, was The Royal Mile. The one and only.
Striding down these streets where Scottish shortbread is in abundance brings all the clichés, unexpected experiences and sheer beauty together. These buildings include monuments, Edinburgh Castle, and many more.
We hopped from bus to bus to see the various sights and walked up various alleyways and byways to see all three of the sports stadiums in the vicinity.
This was o.k. I let him do this because it was his first holiday at the age of twenty five. A sad but true story. He hasn’t ever left the U.K. Nor had he flown before.
So there we were in the middle of February at our little lodging on West Coates Street, near to Haymarket Station.
The walk to the town centre was neither strenuous nor unpleasant and I was able to stop and get a hot chocolate from a tasty street stall selling beverages and sweet snacks.
There was a bit of construction work, though, and he found it a little hard on his ears. He has sound sensitivity. As we got into the centre, which we had seen on the way in, we were reminded of the aura of the place.
The sun shone and we began to walk up toward the Castle, from which we oversaw the entire surrounding area and drank it in quite happily.
The Glens outside the city were visible and they stretched, green in some parts, barren in others, to the horizon. As for the castle itself?
It houses the Scottish National War Museum, the Honours of Scotland and the Scottish War Memorial along with other goodies. A plethora of exhibitions, museums and gun batteries, to name a few, are on site.
Most of the castle’s were rebuilt after the Lang Siege of 1573 and were reconstructed thereafter. Human habitation of the area goes back to ninth century b.c.
It wouldn’t surprise me if Edinburgh held some of the most ancient history in the British Isles. Whether that be central to Celtic lore or world history, you’ll find it in Scotland.
It is the home of the television, the telephone and countless other items. As far as cuisine is concerned, it is top-notch. We dined in a Vietnamese restaurant where I had the most wonderful vegetable curry.
We headed for Edinburgh’s international airport, quite a clean and tidy one by anyone’s standards. A slight problem at security. I had bought a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and was denied access through to the gate.
Not a problem, I scoffed it. As for the journey home, it was a late night flight, during which we met the aforementioned flight attendants and reflected on a lovely trip. My parents picked us up at the Bristol end.
The special part about the place is its entire character. It is like no other, for it has the setting, the character, the history, the culture and just about everything else.
You may lose yourself for a lifetime where the pipes play and the tartan wave flourishes amidst Georgian architecture and the smells of bakeries combine with the sights of Scotland’s capital.
It has a spellbinding nature and will intoxicate you with its charisma. You can see the Edinburgh Festival here, where murder is in the air and African voice choirs may ease your ears.
What about the Royal Military Tattoo that takes place every year within the walls of the castle and is a magnificent spectale to behold, with pipes and drums from a host of nations, not least, of course, Scotland.
A spectre of fireworks and parade-ground marches, it really does much to impress. So does this entire city…
- Easter Road to the Royal Mile (archangeltravel.org)
- Armed man and woman holding hostages in Edinburgh’s Royal Mile (dailyrecord.co.uk)
- Royal Mile closed as police deal with armed stand-off at chemist’s (local.stv.tv)
- Royal Mile sealed off by police (bbc.co.uk)
- Armed siege at Edinburgh city centre pharmacy (itv.com)
- Man charged over Royal Mile incident (bbc.co.uk)
- Edinburgh shops cash in on cup final and marathon (scotsman.com)
- Farage is forced to flee from Royal Mile protesters – Herald Scotland (heraldscotland.com)
- Armed siege at city centre pharmacy (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)
- Capital boozer knocks back British hero Admiral Nelson just days after refusing to serve uniformed crew of HMS Edinburgh (dailyrecord.co.uk)