svanderslice (svanderslice) wrote,

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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
Tags: doctor who, pics, real life, uk vacation 2008

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