We spent most of Day 2 on the bus traveling to Edinburgh. When we first looked at this trip’s itinerary, we were most excited about visiting Edinburgh (and we loved it so much!) but the journey there was grueling. I mean, we were chilling on a bus listening to music and talking so it wasn’t awful, but it was long. The drive was still a great experience in itself, though, because we made several incredible sightseeing stops along the way including:
Hadrian’s Wall was constructed in 122 AD to defend the Roman province. Real history, y’all! That wall is nearly 2,000 years old.Thanks, Bret, for handing someone your phone to take this picture. Usually we handed mine over, but, I’m guessing you didn’t come here to read about my lost photos again, so I’ll just say I’m so glad we have some.
I took a picture that looked almost exactly like this, but I found this one here: http://news.images.itv.com/image/file/70119/article_263d7fdd69a54ca1_1343640739_9j-4aaqsk.jpeg
The England/Scotland border
We tipped this guy who was playing bag pipes and posing for pictures. Note the cold, cloudy Scotland sky… because the next day ends up being BRIGHT AND SUNNY and it was a miracle I later learned.
Sir Walter Scott’s favorite view in Scotland
There’s a sweet story that goes along with this one… his horses were so familiar with the path that they walked up here even after his death. It doesn’t sound as sweet the way I typed it… but it was sweet the way our tour guide told it.
THIS is one of the photos I managed to save because I’d sent it to a friend (thanks again Tiffany!) but, man… this is one of so, so many I took of this incredible view. At least it’s a good, artsy one. Being there was such a beautiful peaceful experience. I remember stepping away from the flowers and taking a photo of a sweet couple on a bench gazing out into this colorful horizon. And what do you know…
…Bret took the same photo! I was happy because I took one EXACTLY like this. So, consider that one photo recovered. Grateful.
After settling into our hotel, we joined everyone downstairs to embark on a walking tour. This particular walking tour was awkward because we are a big group – over 40 people – and we took up too much space on the busy city sidewalks. People constantly were having to walk around us because we were blocking entire sidewalks and steps. It was kind of unpleasant just because I felt like such a tourist, but it was good because we got to get our bearings for Edinburgh. This was important since we’d be exploring on our own the next day.
We ate at a really delicious Italian restaurant (I know, we weren’t in Italy, but the food was fantastic!) and we got to talk to our new friends and old friends. We had great conversations about phases of life and aging. Two of the women we met were in their 50’s and talking about how it feels like just yesterday that they were in their 20’s. I really enjoyed getting to know these women. First of all, hands down they were having the most fun out of anyone in our group. And they were definitely prioritizing their own happiness. When the tour was annoying, they confronted our tour guide. When the bus was boring, they played music on their phone and got half the bus singing karaoke. They didn’t hesitate to start interesting conversations and they lived in the moment. They spent this week away from their kids and their husbands to enjoy a friends weekend exploring Great Britain. And I admired them so much.
Then we sat up in the hotel bar with a couple friends. I ordered my first Great Britain Guinness beer (it really does taste better in Great Britain!) and we just hung out with some friends from our tour, and planned our next day adventures: visiting a castle! exploring the city! a Harry Potter tour! All of that’s to come in my next post!