Thursday, November 6, 2008

Vacation in the UK-6 and NaNoWriMo Update

Sorry, I skipped a couple of days. I've been busy keeping up with NaNoWriMo. It's day six, and according to the site, my count is supposed to be around 8,333 words by midnight tonight. As of this morning's writing session, I have 12,440 words. Whew! About 60 words behind my personal goal, but still well ahead of the national average. But next week is supposed to be the killer, so please, I need all the prayers and encouragement I can get!

Now back to our time in Scotland.

Saturday we decided to stay in Edinburgh after our exploration day on Friday. Since we had Internet service at the B&B, we checked online and learned that Holyrood Palace, the Queen's official residence when in Edinburgh, opened for tours at 9:30. So we didn't rush, but we still arrived before the crowds. Which was very nice. We couldn't take pictures inside, which was usual for most of the buildings we were in—the reason I bought guidebooks everywhere we went. They are very valuable for research for historical mysteries that are "composting" in my mind right now. *smile*

The audio tour was very interesting, and with very few people around, we were able to take our time observing each room. It also made it easier to ask questions of the docents stationed throughout the viewing area. The tour included a chapel in ruins and the palace gardens that we walked through at the end. The sun shone, but the wind was fierce, and the clouds brought periodic showers (more like mist) that blew through quickly.

After we were done at the palace, we drove back into the city centre, found a car park (garage) near the Royal Mile, and went to do a little more sightseeing and shopping. Roger and I wanted to see John Knox's house and read the history connected to that, so while we did that, Kathy did some window shopping, checking out prices of things we knew we wanted to buy later. Across the street from the John Knox house was a fudge shop, offering free samples. I popped in to grab one—delicious and still warm!

We'd decided the prices were best at the mill at the top of the hill, so we worked our way up the Royal Mile, accompanied by bagpipe music, stopping in St. Giles (since it was closed Thursday evening)—and yes, St. Giles is on the Royal Mile not in Glasgow as I said earlier. Thanks, Kathy, for reminding me!—and walking a little way off the mile to see another church that played a big part in the history of Edinburgh, Greyfriars Church. They were getting ready for a luncheon to thank all their volunteers who kept the church open to visitors throughout the summer months—October is the end of tourist season all over Britain, so we picked an excellent time to visit.

After lunch at Deacon's Brodie's lunchroom, across from the pub and restaurant, we went up to the mill and did some serious shopping. I picked up some gifts for family and Hannah, Teamway's girl-Friday (the guys would get nothing done without her, but they also create a lot of extra work for her at times! She's a gem. *smile*)—sorry, you'll have to wait for Christmas!—shortbread, toffee, and more gifts. Roger and Kathy got in line to try the free samples of haggis. I passed, even though someone pointed out later it couldn't have been much different than a hot dog here in the States. However, since I eat maybe one hot dog a year, that argument didn't sway me to try haggis.

It was still early when we left the shops at the mill. Roger had been so patient with our shopping time and he'd shown a definite interest in visiting the Royal Yacht Britannia every time we passed signs for it that we decided we'd check it out after Kathy checked a couple other shops. In a little shop back in an alley off the Royal Mile, Kathy found what she was looking for, and we all headed for the car happy with our purchases.

We made our way to the docks where the Britannia is berthed, paid our admission fee, and got our audio tour handsets. What a ship! Amazing information about the sailors who had the duty of sailing her and the workings of the ship itself. Then we saw the royal living quarters, including the state dining room and salons. A totally different lifestyle than I can imagine.

I came away with the thought that although I would never, ever draw the interest or attention of any earthly king or queen, the King of Kings loved me from before the foundations of this world were laid. And He paid the blood-price of my redemption so that I could be adopted into His family and I now have the privilege of calling Him, my Abba, Father. He welcomes me into His throne room any time. Wow! God is so good!

After dinner, Roger and I went back to our room and Kathy took off for a ride and some time to herself. Then it was early to bed for an early flight back to London on Sunday.

1 comment:

cityrambler said...

Hi Margie

Glad you enjoyed Edinburgh. It's a pity you hadn't heard of walk talk tours - the downloadable audio tours of Edinburgh, London, York and Manchester. They are ideal for independent travellers like you and are packed full of the sort of information you are looking for.

Take a look at and see what you think.