Tuesday Apr. 4th, 2000 York to Edinburgh

Days temp - high 7C/44F low -1C Cloudy and gloomy in York, sunny in Edinburgh

Kel (in distant retrospect - mostly written on the bus home from Inverness)

Today we head to Scotland. So we're up nice and early for the big breakfast and then back to the room to pack up and check out.

As the weather is not cooperating we haven't done as much shopping as usual. York has coffee cups and tea towels and bookmarks, but there's not a shot glass to be found anywhere. This means the luggage hasn't gotten much worse since we arrived, 'specially when compared to carrying those cards!

York Rail Station Checked out a little before 10am (We had to wait for Bewitched to end. Darren parents were staying at an English Castle and catch Samantha trying to rid it of a ghost.. It's 10pm in the haunted castle when they see her, and then call home to California and it's about 8pm.)

The front desk called us a taxi cab to take us to the station. We get there about a 1/2 hour before our train is due to leave, so bought a bit more ticky-tacky and hit an ATM for the first time this trip. We'll need to have cash to pay the B&B in Edinburgh.

The train pulls out of York at 10:33 and pulls into Waverly Sta. at 13:06. The ride up is really pretty. We cut over to the coast before Berwick and the land begins to rise. The coastline looks quite a bit like Northern California. Green rocky crags falling sharply away to the sea, larger breakers smashing on the rocks (of course the large storm might have helped - it was still showering us with snow flurries when we left York, and quite gusty.) At least the farther north we got the fewer clouds we see, but there's still a good dusting of snow on the hilltops.

Man, what a lot of sheep though. Many more than Cal. It's just past lambing season, so there are cute little baby lambkins everywhere.

Scott Monument Waverly Station is undergoing a rehab, but eventually we find our way to the Taxi stand. The ride to Gilmore Place takes about 10 mins and gives us a few sights. One of the first things we saw was the Scott Monument. Of course we didn't know that at the time, and just kept referring to it as the black pointy thing. It's not all black, just mostly. They haven't finished cleaning Edinburgh yet (at least I hope it's not finished) and more of it it sooty black than not. The buildings that aren't tend to be the newer ones. It's impossible to describe the way the castle LOOMS over the whole city perched on that rock. Our rooms still had the painters in to touch up the exterior trim so we decided to leave the bags and explore the town on foot for an hour or so. One the way back towards the city centre we came across an internet cafe, so we killed an hour there with lattes and email, then headed to Grassmarket for postcards and a bit of the Royal Mile and Princes Street. Got back to The Townhouse about 4pm (just as a nearby school got out, so we had to fight the throngs of 10-16 yr olds all going the other way to get back up the street)

Shuffled Luggage and bags, grabbed mittens, etc. and headed back out the door in search of food. In York we had to hustle to find a place for dinner before 8pm, here "food served all day" seems to mean 11am - 3pm. Finally found a good place, part of a chain, but Len had nearly a pound of Cumberland sausage with his dinner and my Chicken and Ham pie was really nummy.

The castle at night is really beautiful. It's all floodlit in different colours and you can see it from everywhere (including our bedroom window. I guess there are advantages to always being on the top floor sometimes). We got back to The Townhouse about 9:30 pm, cold, tired and ready to hit the bed early.

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