Thursday, July 5, 2007

Scotland! Graduation!

Or, a long overdue post on our trip to Edinburgh.

Check out the slide show on Flickr if you want to see more photos. The funny thing about Scotland is that the weather and lighting don’t always cooperate with taking nice bright photos, but, you’ll get the idea anyway. Since this is still a pretty photo-intensive post, I'm using smaller images, but all the photos are clickable for large size.

In fact, Lisa has graduated from the University of Edinburgh with an honors MA in Archaeology. It was a very quick trip, but we got to see quite a bit of the city on foot and by bus. I love the architecture of Edinburgh, with lots of stone and Georgian buildings. Peter found it a bit gloomy at first, but I think warmed up to it by the end of the trip. So, here are a few highlights.

When you fly to Northern Europe two days after the solstice, it never quite gets dark on the overnight flight.
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Flying by Greenland

We arrived in the UK, cramped and exhausted, and made our way through either Dante’s Seventh Circle of Hell or Heathrow Airport, I’m not sure which. A tight connection to Edinburgh was made with time to spare, and Lisa met us at the airport for the ride to our hotel in the Grassmarket, just a few blocks from her flat. We were in fact delirious from lack of sleep at that point, it was pouring rain, and photos were and continued to be a little sketchy throughout the trip. Sorry.

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The view from the flat

We did a little walking around that afternoon, had a lovely lunch and A NAP! OK, I don’t want to sound like a complaining grump, but I wish I had had the presence of mind to take a photo of our first room, just so you would believe me. I had been warned to get a room in the back of the hotel where it’s quiet, so we insisted on that at check in and made a point of needing a big enough bed. OMG, the room. Aside from the oppressive mildew odor, Peter and I could not turn around without bumping into each other, the wall, the furniture, or the suitcases. There was a double bed. One. Have I mentioned Peter is 6’4” and I am 5’9”?

Long story short, the next day we changed to the room we were originally supposed to be in which had a king size and twin size bed, huge amount of space, two closets, two windows, large bath and tub. Pillows over the head are quite effective to deal with the noise of pub-goers ten feet from one’s windows, btw.

A happy moment indeed!
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Never underestimate the power of a nap

Things started looking up after that. The weather was showery, then clear, then showery, and even sunny. We had some lovely whiskeys, some truly wonderful meals (Indian, French, Nouveau Scottish, gourmet Vegetarian), and haggis.

We visited the Royal Botanic Gardens
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The Castle
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Holyrood Palace (closed for the Queen’s visit)
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Do I have the wave right?


Walked the cliff walk
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Went to the Meadows
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Where there is a whalebone arch given by the Zetland and Fair Isle Knitters at the 1886 Exhibition
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Then continued up Bruntsfield Place to find a yarn store. Good humored Husband walked for miles to find the yarn store.

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Found the yarn store

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Poo!

Graduation afternoon was lovely and sunny! A misadventure with the gown and tickets was sorted out.
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Only the parents had tickets to attend so I strolled over to the Scottish Museum to see some ancient textiles, gold and silversmithing, and the Lewis chessmen to pass the time. And knitted my sock. Whose picture I forgot to take in exotic locales. Bad blogger.

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There were many happy graduates with their families, a bagpiper in full kit, and we got to meet Kevin’s Mom and two brothers.

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The Husband went in search of a yarn shop with me. So, Wednesday we took the train up to St Andrews to see the holy place, the birthplace of golf, the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews.

We strolled around to see a little of the town and the ruins. We had gorgeous skies and very mild weather that day.

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But with the course literally yards from the sea, we could imagine why playing conditions can be so difficult when the British Open is played there every five years.

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I finally got to give Lisa her graduation present, an EZ Pi Shawl, knitted in CTH merino laceweight, with a Shetland lace edging. Very appropriate.

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Thursday saw us packed and headed home on a long but uneventful trip – fortunately well before the troubles at the London and Glasgow airports.