Wow, those two weeks went fast. I suppose that's a sign of just how much fun we had. This is also post three hundred, and I can't believe how fast that went, either. It feels like I should do something special to celebrate, but if I wait to post until I think of something, I'll never get started, and there's a lot to tell (and show). In fact, there's so much that I'll break it up into a series of posts. Two weeks of travel can generate a lot of photographs, especially since we took along Rick's new camera and had a lot of fun with it. I have a whole series of doorway/window photos, not to mention what I think of as lacework photos (the stonework in some of the buildings we saw was fabulous). I'll share those separately.
We flew into Edinburgh, and arrived in time to take a nice long walk around the city before finding somewhere for dinner. As hard as jet-lag can be for me when travelling east (I always do better going west), that kind of arrival timing works out well, since all we had to do was keep moving until it was time to go to bed. Even the girls managed to stay awake and cheerful (I was impressed). Rick dove straight in and had haggis for dinner. I had a nice Strongbow from the tap.
I won't do a day-by-day description, but whilst in Edinburgh, we went on a tour of Mary King's Close (absolutely fabulous, although no pictures, since it was really dark down there under the city)(the ghost bit sort of freaked Older Daughter out for a night, but she recovered), saw Greyfriar's Bobby,
and lots of fabulous architectural details.
(I love the eye in the middle of that swirl; see it?)
We also went to Edinburgh Castle. The girls' one request prior to the trip was to see castles (California having a dearth of real castles), and we attempted to meet that demand right away. The view of the city was gorgeous, grey weather notwithstanding (I love grey weather). (Rick was getting artsy here.)
My stay in Edinburgh was capped off by an absolutely delightful visit with Helen, who has spent the last several months sending all sorts of fabulous recommendations for places for us to visit during our trip. It always feels a bit odd to meet someone in person with whom one has a correspondence, I don't know why, but this turned out to be like meeting an old friend. We settled down for coffee and talked and talked until Rick came and found me and reminded me that it was time to rejoin the family; I only wished we could have visited longer! Helen also presented me with some gorgeous Scottish yarn, which I can't wait to knit up. I may make this my Sock Summit knitting, so I can show it off.
Old Maiden Aunt, and isn't it gorgeous? It's like chocolate and coffee, mmm... Rick already has his eye on it for socks for himself; I may oblige him, we'll see.
The next day we left Edinburgh, too soon; I loved that city and will definitely go back someday, there was so much more to see than we managed. Of course, we didn't leave without trouble. We'd reserved (and paid for) a rental car which was (according to the rental car company) supposed to be able to seat seven plus five pieces of large luggage, five pieces of small luggage and two golf bags. We figured, therefore, that we'd be able to fit six people and their concomitant gear (we pack light). The car we got, though, was a glorified station wagon. It was a Vauxhall Zafira, which can either be a station wagon, with plenty of trunk space and room to seat five, or one can pull two extra seats out of the trunk space, thus having room to seat seven, plus room for two small backpacks in the trunk. No joke. The rental car folks told us that it was the largest car they rented and what we'd agreed to (we later found out that, in fact, that wasn't the case at all, and that they'd screwed up badly and didn't want to admit it; we paid for a far larger car than we got, but we're working on that now). It could have been tragic, but we squeezed everyone in, luggage on laps and under feet, and went to a local sporting-goods store, where we bought a box for the roof rack, Rick installed it, and we were on our way in a matter of hours. We weren't going to let anything stop us. (We later found out that since the rental company made such a big mistake -- and since we left them with the roof box, because there was no realistic way to get it on the plane -- we should be fully reimbursed.) So we were off to Stirling Castle en route to Inverness.
We all agreed that it was a proper castle with a nice imposing entrance.
(Obligatory tourist shot.)
The girls think they'd like being royalty.
They're being "prim and proper" there. (It didn't last long.)
Rick wanted to know why we couldn't have a roof like this in our house. (Look, ma, no nails! It's a hammerbeam roof, made with no nails; this is a restoration, but is based on the way the original would have been constructed.)
I told him it's because we're not royalty.
I think I'll leave off here, with us on our way to Inverness and from there to Orkney. In the interests of keeping some knitting in what is ostensibly a knitting blog, I'll end each of these posts with some knitting. I worked on this while travelling and just finished it yesterday.
That's Hillflowers, which I knit as a sample for the Knitspot/Briar Rose booth, out of Briar Rose Harmony. Aren't those colors gorgeous?
This pattern really shows off the colors in a hand-dyed yarn. I'll definitely be knitting one for myself sometime sooner rather than later.
OK, more soon, but meanwhile, it's good to be back.