Pack y' sporran, we're headin' North
Edinburgh Travel Blog› entry 36 of 37 › view all entries
Time was running out to see the country so Darryn and I were trying desperately to cover as much as we could in the final few weekends before I had to return to NZ.
I had already had a letter from the NZ Police asking me to confirm my return date, so they could confirm where I was to be posted. It was all becoming far too real when you're forced to think on such things.
Darryn swung by the pub in time for me to finish my day. We shot down to the coach terminal and jumped our bus to Scotland.
The trip was long, and I mean l-o-n-g after we'd both done a reasonable days work.
We hit Glasgow in the early evening and had to hang there for a couple of hours before our connection to Edinburgh.
It was a good decision as the weather at this time of the year, this far up-country, was bitterly cold!
We were all set for our coach to Edinburgh when it finally arrived and were well pleased to hit the hay when we at last arrived and secured lodgings at the YHA.
Next morning (did we eat porridge??) we headed out into the streets of Edinburgh to cover as much as we could before we had to be back for work in Bristol in about 24 hours time.
The sun was out but it was more "light" than "heat". I felt a creeping dampness invade my body whenever we stepped outside. I quickly found an excellent woolen hat in the window of one of the shops. It was a black Mujaheddin styled thing and was just the ticket to keep my nut toasty!
Darryn thought it was just the sort of freaky thing I would choose to be seen in. I still have it, and wear it regularly, so it's been a great garment for sure.
The other clothing item I was hoping to score in Scotland was a pair of tartan trousers. How can any 80's teen call himself a serious punk without a pair to go with his Docs?
I searched several tartan stockists but I was somewhat taken aback by the price of the things so had to think again. I did however find a range of scarves and as luck would have it, I found my families own tartan.
Now I know those of you that know my proper 'back name' will be saying 'Goezi' is the most un-Scottish name you've ever come across, and yes, it's Swiss, but I grew up in Tokoroa -a NZ mill town designed by a Scotsman. My first house, from birth to 14 years was in Cairngorm Place and I just had to get me a scarf of the Cairngorm Clan's tartan to call my own.
I still feel like I'm coming home whenever I thrown that groovy scarf about my scrawny neck.
After I felt suitably reinforced against the elements we hit an open-topped bus giving us the all-in-one taste of the place. Once again too many years of loud rock music combined with my very cool (but warm) new Mujaheddin hat, pulled low over my ears, and I struggled to hear a word of the descriptive passages emanating from the dodgy speaker system of the old bus.
One thing I did catch was a comment about the Oldest Public House in Edinburgh, "The White Hart". Some may say it was selective hearing but at that time of the morning the fine establishment was still closed, so want to or not, there was to be no stopping to warm oneself beside the fire there.
The tour took about an hour all told and we marked a few spots that we wanted to spend more time exploring.
We wandered back through town checking a few things out, like an abode of Robbie Burns and the Edinburgh Camera Obscura, the idea of which still fascinated me even though Clifton Camera is less than 2 mins walk from the Mall.
I still can't get my head around the view projected onto the concrete bowl! V.Cool!!
After lunch we took the rest of the afternoon to dig deep into the history of Edinburgh through the excellent displays at the castle.
When we came out of there it was time to think about dinner. We headed back into the city and decided we'd eat then head to the flics. I was desparate to get warm and thought a nice cinema would be just the thing to help with that.
We went to see "Of Mice and Men". Both of us had studied the book at school so were well versed with the story but it was a very well acted classic and a fine choice to kill a couple of hours before we had to grab our bus back South.
At Glasgow there was no chance to kill time at the pub, it was early in the morning and everything but the station was closed. I marked time by scribbling poetry and snapping the other passengers as they periodically swooped on the vending machines.
Footfalls echoed on the marble floor and the whole scene had a surreal feeling due to the green/gold hue of the tungsten flood lights.
We hit the outskirts of Bristol as the sun rose. It had been another flying visit but I'd learned a little something and could at least say I'd been in case I was never lucky enough to return. Hopefully that won't be the case!