Edinburgh, Scotland

Hard to believe
today was the last port before we get to London and fly home to the states. It
seems like the last half of the cruise just flew by like that. I mean I’ll be
happy to get home to wifi, and Skype with my husband and kitties, and seeing my
friends and everything, but I’ll miss seeing new places and our crazy waiters
at dinner, and things like that. I have a cruise in mid July, but it’s to the
Caribbean, which is nice, but it’s not Iceland.

We went to
Edinburgh today. Our ship docked in Dundee, Scotland, but for our excursion, we
took the one and a half hour drive to Edinburgh because it’s a place I’ve
always wanted to see. And while it was a really awesome city, four hours wasn’t
nearly enough time to explore it all. The weather today was lovely, it was
gray, rainy, and cold, which my parents tell me is typical Edinburgh weather.
Unfortunately the grayness and the rain didn’t make for the best picture taking
opportunities, but I did manage to get some decent ones.

The first place
we saw was the Palace of Holyroodhouse, which is the official Scottish resident
for Queen Elizabeth II. But we really didn’t get to SEE it. We basically got to
peek through a wrought iron gate and take pictures that way. Then we basically
just drove around through old town, only the roads in Edinburgh are so fucking
crazy, that they make San Francisco roads look tame… so I didn’t really get
clear pictures while we were whipping around turns… Oh and they drive on the
opposite side of the road that we do in the United States, and that’s just
strange, and I don’t know if I ever could get used to it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We eventually
got to The Royal Mile and half the group when to Edinburgh castle and the rest
of us just split up and explored the area. I chose not to go to the castle
because I didn’t feel like dealing with lots of tourists and I didn’t want to
be separated from my mother in a foreign country.  So instead my mother and I wound up at a
Scottish pub that only served drinks and sandwiches. I had a ham sandwich with
cheddar cheese, and it was really good.
The bread was homemade, and it was just a delicious sandwich. After we
ate, we wandered into a few of the tourist trap stores. I got a mini Highland
Cow [a rare cow that’s only found in Scotland basically], postcards, that I’ll
be mailing to people once I get back to the states [at least I bought them in
foreign countries? I would’ve mailed them on the ship, but I had no wifi
access, and couldn’t get into my address collection online], magnets for Justin
and my magnet collection [we buy them at every place we travel to… so why not
continue the tradition when I’m traveling alone?], and some Scottish Cotton
Scarves, one for me and one for Justin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After shopping,
we went to this coffee shop called The Hub, which is where we were supposed to
meet our tour group, but it was still early, so we decided to order drinks. I
had a macchiato with caramel, and it was real espresso, not Starbucks coffee
[though for the record, I tried so hard to find a Starbucks in Edinburgh to get
a mug for my collection, but they were all too far away, and mom and I couldn’t
get a taxi, even after waiting for thirty minutes].  It came in this teeny tiny little cup, and was
literal espresso. It was good too, and strong. Europeans don’t drink coffee
like Americans. My mother had apple juice. I also got an iced coffee to “take
away” [which is what they call take out in Europe], and that was more similar
to American coffee.  This couple on our
tour came in and sat with us and they ordered gin and tonics to “take away” for
the bus ride back.

I was also happy
to find some 3G for my kindle, so I bought four more books for my kindle, which
will hopefully last me for tomorrow and/or the plane ride from Heathrow to the
United States. I’ve read through all my other books, and I was down to rereads
and classics. I also brought my 3ds with me, and throughout the Royal Mile, I
still didn’t get any foreign streetpass, even though it’s TOTALLY a tourist
trap… Oh well, there’s always Heathrow, airports are really good for
streetpass.

 

 

 

 

 

Once we got back
to the ship, at around 5:30, I basically only had time to resize my few photos
from Edinburgh, and then it was time for dinner.  Dinner was good tonight. For an appetizer I
had a fruit plate [I will miss my platters of melon when I get home], and for
the meal itself, I had gnocchi in this creamed asparagus sauce, which was
really good. But dessert was the best. It was a ménage a trois, and it had a raspberry
panna cotta, which is sort like raspberry mousse flavored jello?  An apple crumble, which I was happy, did not
have nuts on it, and a chocolate mousse, and it was so delicious. Pierre and
Martine were there too, and as usual, we were one of the last tables to leave
the dining room.  It was sort of sad, at
the end of the meal though, when Nelson came over to us, and we gave him our
orders for tomorrow [since I have a nut allergy, I always have to order the
night before so they can make sure that my meal is tree-nut free], and I was
like “this is the last time I get to order with you, I’m sad” and he replied
with “I don’t think of last times, I think this is an until next time.” Nelson,
Martin, and Vesko are just so much fun at meals; I don’t think I’ll ever have
waiters like them if I ever go on another cruise.

Tomorrow is our
last day of the cruise; it’s our last at sea day. We have to pack all our
luggage, and get ready to arrive at Dover, so we can catch our plane at
Heathrow.  Sea days to me mean late wake
up, reading, 3ds, and relaxing. This cruise has been a lot of fun, and I’m
getting sad that it’s over. It’s been day after day of new adventures… but I
guess our adventures are finally coming to an end… But I mean, holy shit, I
crossed the Atlantic, I crossed the Arctic Circle, I had 24 hours of sunlight,
I got to go to Iceland, and it’s just been awesome. I’m glad I’ve been blogging
so I can remember this cruise.

What a fun and
crazy trip this has been J
and that ends Day 14.

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