Another day and the one thing that you could be assured of is more rain. However, at least today it was minimal and didn’t disrupt our day at all. We learnt from our experience of Saturday morning and gave Chris sufficient time to put on his make-up and therefore agreed breakfast at 9:30am. That still really isn’t late enough for all the eateries in the area who seem to only serve breakfast from 10am. We did find a place up the Royal Mile called the Filling Station. After being ignored for about 5 minutes I wondered if it was a self-service place and the name was illustrative of the fact (as all petrol stations here are self-service). Maybe we had to cook our own breakfast in the kitchen and pay on the way out? And then I eventually got the attention of the waitress was obviously wasn’t coping with the other 2 people in the restaurant that she was serving. Go back to ‘After being …’ and repeat again about 5 times and that seemed to be the way breakfast went in that we had to get her attention to order, get her attention to get milk for the coffee, get her attention to point out that she hadn’t brought the juice, get her attention to bring the bill etc. Fortunately we weren’t in a hurry and so we used the time to talk and enjoy each other’s companies (the only other thing to do was try to get the waitresses attention).
After breakfast we headed further up the Royal Mile to visit Edinburgh Castle while the Nels went for another walk. We agreed to meet one last time for coffee and parting farewells. Unfortunately the rest of Scotland (and some of Asia and Spain) had also decided that today was the day to visit the Castle and so we spent about 25 minutes in the queue for tickets. Stephen (of course) pointed out when we were about 5 minutes from the front of line that we should have just booked on the Internet using my mobile phone. Pity he didn’t think of that 20 minutes earlier! I had forgotten that we now have a teenager in the house and I should have asked him for advice on the situation at the beginning so it really was my fault. I learn by my mistakes though so the next time we visit the Castle I will make sure to book online before arriving. Fortunately it wasn’t raining and in fact the sun was out.
We did get into the Castle eventually and walked about the various walls and museums including queuing for 25 minutes to see the Scottish Crown Jewels (which weren’t that impressive). The chapel in the Castle was built in 1100 – apparently the oldest standing building in Scotland. It really does put things into perspective when the building you’re in was around 900 years ago! We visited the dungeons and prisoner of war exhibitions as well. When we finished visiting the last exhibition, as we exited back outside the wind was suddenly howling and then it started to drizzle again. We had finished seeing what we wanted to see so we headed back to the hotel and met up with the Nels again.
Alison was very happy because she had found a handbag for her outfit for her son’s upcoming wedding. I was ‘horrified’ that she had shopped on a Sunday and Chris immediately replied ‘It twas the woman’ – I stayed outside. He then proceeded to say that he stayed outside the shop. All he needed to be doing was eating an apple at that point and I could have mistaken him for Adam. We enjoyed our parting ice creams and then Chris and Alison headed back home to the Yorkshire dales. It was good to see them again and catch up and I did pass on everyone’s good wishes that sent them to me!
We came back to the hotel room so that I could watch the golf for the afternoon. There is no better way to spend a Sunday afternoon in July than in watching the British Open and it was all the better for actually being in Scotland while it was happening. It is a pity that Watson at 59 didn’t win but it was enjoyable to watch anyway. Helen went out shopping while I was watching (Twas the woman) and came back with less money and more books. We had dinner this evening at an Italian restaurant (again) which made it 3 evenings in a row eating Italian. This was probably the best of the 3 restaurants we visited (sorry Chris & Alison) except for the fact that Helen found a spider in her pasta. Fortunately when she noticed it, it still had seven legs so she hadn’t eaten most of it. They were very gracious & apologetic in replacing it but Helen never quite recovered. Stephen (our all-knowing teenager) did inform us all of an interesting fact about spiders though. For those of you who didn’t know, in our lifetimes we (on average) swallow 8 spiders during the night while we are sleeping. So Helen has probably increased her intake to 8 1/8ths.
This is the end of holiday for me as I am back to work tomorrow (someone has to pay for holiday). Sleep well.