Another transit day. At home while planning the trip, 150-200 miles felt like three hour car trips. The reality is in England, that’s more like 4-4.5 hour car trips. Mostly this is due to slow going to get to the faster roadways but also a little to do with the fairly strict speed limits. I say this because maybe, just maybe four cities in 9 days is starting to feel like a little much. A lesson for next time.
Browner and me spent a quick hour back at the Liverpool museum where we learned all about their early trade with China (biggest Chinatown in the UK), the bustling shopping industry that was quickly crushed when cargo containers revolutionized shipping and Liverpool wasn’t prepared for that change and the evils of the sugar trade which Liverpool was a prime player in both the terrible human/slave trade and the beginnings of the sugar mafia. Leave it to the English to smack you in the face with the realities of their history. No sugar coating here. Yep, I went there.
From the museum, we swung by the car park to get the car, then the Airbnb to get Cindy and Stewart and then we hit the road for Edinburgh. The drive was stunningly beautiful. Grassy mountains, hilly farmland, stone walls, small rivers with cute bridges. The best part of the drive was easily the last twenty five miles where we drove on the two lane winding Scottish country road (A702). Sheep littered the countryside. Tiny new baby lambs stuck close to their mums. Super cute.
Once in Edinburgh we quickly checked into the Airbnb. Of course using the instructions for our next Airbnb in York may have delayed our entry to this building in Edinburgh a bit. We are finding that gaining access to Airbnb’s needs some improvement. Limited access to data and fear of large data charges doesn’t help this problem either. We are also noticing that since our last major trip, Airbnbs seems to be owned less and less by some cute couple named Lisa and Paul and more so by a company with a grumpy guy named Mitch who answers the phone when your code to the lock box for the York rental doesn’t work on the Edinburgh rental. Slightly less charming than the “hold on and I’ll come meet you” response we got at the one in Paris.
Edinburgh. Wow. Just wow. Such a wonderful city with tons of history. Today we walked in the super cool Princes Park which sat just below the Edinburgh Castle. Then climbed the hill to the The Royal Mile a cobblestone street that stretches from the castle, past parliament to one of the older churches in town (pictures at the top of this post). We also visited The Elephant Room tea and coffee shop where JK Rowling wrote her first two Harry Potter books. Just behind this coffee shop you’ll find a graveyard with tombstones incribed with some of the names of the characters in her books. Just beyond that Victoria street, the street she supposedly modeled Diagon Alley from. Very cool.
After a nice walkabout and an Italian dinner near the theatre district and our apartment, we retired for the evening where we watched the second Back to the Future movie. During movie time Cindy sleuthed our that Will was only two miles away and thirty minutes from curfew so off we went. We got there at 9:21 leaving us with exactly 9 minutes to say hello. Worth it though – we missed that boy. He was watching the Man City game which they won over Tottenham but somehow fell out of the Champions League championship. Something about not winning by enough goals and a tiebreaker that went Tottenham’s way because they scored more away goals?!? Makes complete sense so long as my ten year old keeps explaining it to me.
Upon returning to the hotel we parked in a Just Park Parking lot that had the narrowest entrance road I’ve ever driven on. Both mirrors had to be pulled in and the car’s sensors were going nutso. Oh and we found out we aren’t actually driving a Skoda but something called a Vauxhall Grandland X. Who knew?