Friday, September 4, 2009

Caution: Slippery When Wet

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Pretty much all day I've been trying to keep myself upright while walking through the streets of Edinburgh and Stirling. It's been raining nonstop all day, and the cobblestone streets and cement walkways are so slippery in the shoes that I'm wearing. Try balancing yourself while carrying a 30 pound backpack. I know, it's worse than carrying a small child! I obviously overpacked! I just about threw out my back trying to stay upright. I may or may not have had two Scottish men smirking at my efforts to stay upright.
Today we checked out of our hotel, the Cairn Hotel, in Edinburgh and caught the 11:05 bus to Stirling. We rode the bus for about an hour. For the last part, there were two old ladies sitting in the seats in front of me, and I swear they were speaking another language. Come to find out, they were just speaking with the thickest Scottish accent that I've heard yet. Seriously, it was like, "Blah blah blahbbity blah washing machine blahbbity blah blah." For the longest time I couldn't tell if they really were speaking with a thick accent or just speaking in a different language and sometimes in English. I think the farther we get into Northern Scotland, the less ability I have to understand people.

In Stirling, it was raining. Surprise, surprise. We left our bags in a locker at the bus station and walked around town a bit. I had an empanada type pastry, called a pasty, for lunch. It was nice to have something warm after being soaked. We pretty much walked all over and climbed the back of the hill to the castle. The maps we had were not to scale and just sucked. We got lost and ended up walking all over which probably would have been okay had I not been wearing slippery shoes and my leg didn't hurt so much (old injury). Basically, I felt pretty miserable all day because I was cold, wet, tired, wet, hungry, and wet. It was fantastic.

After a bit, we caught a taxi to take us to the B&B, and it's a good thing because we surely would have been lost! I asked our taxi driver what he liked to do around town and places to eat, and I couldn't understand a word of his response. I just nodded and said, "Oh. Uh huh." There's that awesome ability to understand people coming back.

For dinner, we took the recommendation of our host at the B&B, Brian, and went to a local place called The Birds & The Bees. I had fajitas for dinner. They were excellent! The we walked back to our B&B where we went to bed. Not an exciting day. I didn't even take any pictures. So, here are some of my favorites from earlier in the week. One is Edinburgh, the next is a small church in Bamburgh, England, and the last is also in England and is me in a phone booth (I was trying to look through the glass that was not tinted) with the Bamburgh Castle behind me. Dorky, I know.

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