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12 October 2008 @ 06:16 pm
UK Vacation Days 1 & 2 - Edinburgh, Scotland  
On the evening of this past Friday (Oct. 10,2008) my husband, Bill and I flew from Philadelphia International Airport, to Heathrow London Airport. It was supposed to take seven and a half hours, but due to an incredible tail wind, it was closer to five and half or six. Was a bit of a bumpy ride though.

On Saturday morning we took a fifty minute minute flight from Heathrow to Edinburgh, Scotland. The man sitting next to us was very nice and personable. We spoke for about twenty minutes about politics and culture and stuff (light, fun conversation, nothing heavy) before I asked him what he did for a living. Turns out the man was Alistair Carmichael, MP for Orkney and Shetland in Scotland. What are the odds of that? Honestly, he's a very sweet man who loves his family and seems very well informed. I don't know anything about his policies, but if first (and most likely only) impressions are anything to go by, Shetland and Orkney are lucky places.

This is the first picture Bill took of me in Scotland. We'd been awake for almost 24 hours, so I was exhausted and am a bit of a mess, but I just HAD to have this picture.
phone box

Today (Sun) we worshiped in a lovely Baptist church on "Holy Corner" (no pictures of that just now, sorry) before walking around to do some sight seeing. The weather has been amazing, crisp, but not too cold and no rain. Below are two different views of Edinburgh Castle. From the ground it looks spectacular, but Bill and I will be visiting it up close tomorrow!
edinburgh castle 2
edinburgh castle 1

This is the back of St. Cuthberts Church. It sits below the Castle.

This is the monument for Sir Walter Scott.

Billy walked all the way up (284 steps) but I only made it to the first landing. As a person perfectly willing to admit to a fear of heights, I was rather proud I made it that far.
Sarah on Scot monument

The first thing I noticed about this shop, actually wasn't the door, it was the HUGE selection of Doctor Who toys in the window. I'd never seen them sold in an actual store before and I felt like a kid at Christmas. It was Billy who pointed out the door. The owner was actually pretty excited to meet an American Whoovian. When I told him we are almost like a secret club (you know, few and far between) he said that was how it used to be in the UK before the new series came out.
TARDIS shop door

Look, I found a real police box!!!
Police box
There are actually quite a few of them all around Edinburgh. It doesn't look exactly like the TARDIS, but it's a real police box, so I was happy just the same. :)

After getting a quick lunch of soup and sandwiches (Carrot soup = YUM! Who knew?) Billy and I hiked up to the Royal Botanical Gardens. The place is HUGE and has greenhouses full of rain forests and deserts and stuff like that. Billy's favorite things to photograph are plants and flowers, so he was ecstatic the whole time we were there. I can't post his gorgeous pictures on my page, but I'll give you guys a link to them once he puts them up if you're interested. Below are shots of us standing in front of some incredibly large leaves. The plant comes from Argentina, but I'm not sure what they were. The plaques only said the scientific names of the plants.
Billy big leaves
Sarah Big leaves

After the gardens we had dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe in Edinburgh. The food was really tasty, but disappointingly American. They even had ketchup for the fries (which they did NOT call chips). Oh well.

Anyway, we walked somewhere between five and eight miles today, so my feet hurt, I'm exhausted, and my comfy hotel bed beckons. Stay tuned over the next few days, because I might have time to post again. :)

next day
Current Mood: exhaustedexhausted
(Deleted comment)
svanderslice: DW - 10 hello (animated)svanderslice on October 12th, 2008 11:27 pm (UTC)
I know! I was so excited. :) Too bad this one doesn't have David Tennant inside isn't bigger on the inside.

And thanks, any landing you can walk away from...
(Anonymous) on October 13th, 2008 05:40 am (UTC)
I'm jealous! Sounds like you guys had a great start to your travels. Can't wait to hear all about it when you guys get back. Till then Wren and I will be stalkers and keep tabs via web. :)
Happy travels!

togetheragain21 on October 13th, 2008 07:30 am (UTC)
Hi,glad you arrived safely in the UK and are enjoying your stay so far.You couldn't have chosen a better city than Edinburgh for views and cluture and the like to visit.

Glad to hear you found a old fashioned police box.I noticed the picture of the old telephone boxes aswel,there becoming more and more of a rarity now.Have you seen any old fashioned red post boxes yet?

I was quite surprised that you don't get Doctor who merchandise sold widely instores back in America.Once you get to London you will seea lot more shops with the merchandise in like Woolworths.Its a lot more commercial sold here.

Catch up soon
Enjoy the restof your stay.
svanderslice: DW - Rose gorgeous smile (UD)svanderslice on October 13th, 2008 10:19 pm (UTC)
I didn't know that was YOU! I've seen your username around but I never knew it was you. I feel kind of dumb now, lol.

Anyway, I'd love to see you on the Friday I'm in London if you can make it. I won't have a phone, so if you are coming, we need to have a solid place and time to meet. If there is a place in London you really want to see, let me know and I'll wait to see it until you get there. Otherwise, we can pick a restaurant or something and have lunch or dinner together. Let me know. :)
togetheragain21 on October 14th, 2008 07:04 pm (UTC)
Yea,that should be fine.Seeing as you don't have a phone it would be more sensible to meet at a landmark say the London Eye? As I don't know many of the eating places around London.I will check where I will have to get off the train later,it will most probably be London Victoria.(Could always meet me there and go from there?)Whatever is easier for you really?
togetheragain21 on October 14th, 2008 09:02 pm (UTC)
Just rechecked things and it will be Waterloo station I will be getting off at.From there it's only a 15 minute walk to the London eye.

Is this ok with you? Will sort out times nearer the day.Which is the best way to contact you at the moment? By email? Through here?
Vincelia Valentinevinceliav on October 13th, 2008 09:16 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad your having a great time, it's gorgeous over there and I'm totally jealous that it's you and not me! (I should've hidden myself in your suitcase)

Thank you for the booK! I've seen them a ton of times and just never picked them up but I knew exactly what they were when I opened it up! I read the backs and I'm really excited to start reading them (though their behind a bunch because I spent $80 of my b-day money on even more books while in alabama, on top of the like 10 or 15 I had brought with me that I hadn't yet read)

I hope to hear more from you and see more pictures (though I'm missing you already and selfishly wishing you were back ;) )
svanderslice: DW - 10 soft smilesvanderslice on October 13th, 2008 10:25 pm (UTC)
I miss you too, and I wish you were here to, well....most of the time anyway. *wink*

The books I sent you are the first part of the series you promised to read because I read One For the Money for you. I should be mad at you for not keeping your end of the deal. I shouldbe mad, but I'm not one to hold a grudge. Maybe, because you love me so much and I did fulfill my half of a bargain you decided to ignore and all, you might push those books up on the list a tad. It's just a suggestion... :)

Oh, and today Billy and I visited the most haunted section of Edinburgh. It is a portion of the city that was buried under new buildings over one hundred years ago. There is a four hundred year old house where a little girl who died of the plague is said to live. A psychic a while back saw her or something. Apparently, she lost her doll after her mother abandoned her because she was sick. The psychic asked why she was crying and all she would say is she missed her mum and her doll. The psychic was so moved she went up to the surface and bought her a doll. Afterward she claimed the negative energy left the area. Since then visitors have brought her so many toys there's a HUGE pile of them from floor to almost ceiling.

I'll be honest with you though, I didn't see, hear, or feel anything out of the ordinary, except for perhaps the tacky strobe lighting.

Edited at 2008-10-13 10:33 pm (UTC)