Good morning, all. (Or evening, or … ) I’m up early. It’s well before breakfast here at Bank Ground Farm, so perhaps a bit of a catch up is in order.
My flight over to Edinburgh was highly uneventful. I watched movies, watched people and marveled at how my faculties diminished in their power with a lack of sleep. By the time I got to Edinburgh I was in a fog – figuratively, though literal fog did come into the picture a few days down the road. I was able to navigate my way into Edinburgh’s center via tram, then trudged myself up Princes Street to the hotel. As I think I mentioned before, everything was the same here. There was the big train station, the Walter Scott memorial, the line of buildings that marks the Royal Mile. The same, yes, but it felt newly unfamiliar at the same time. I had to go find some food before my room was ready. That and a pint and a quick walk up to the top of nearby Calton Hill was all I could do before my desire for BED took over.
The next morning, with a day all to myself, I ventured out into the city. First, some time at the National Gallery to view their collection of impressionist painters. It was lovely to see works by Pisarro, Gaugin, Monet, Seurat and even one small, homely Van Gogh. (NOT a painting you would want to experience in an immersive extravaganza.) Then I was off to the botanical garden. Early spring isn’t the best time for that kind of visit, but here’s some of what I enjoyed.
Goodness, this was just the walk to the gardens. I’d better get to the gardens themselves!
Oh, I could go on and on… A visit at the Edinburgh Botanical Gardens was the perfect antidote to a day spent in airplanes, airports and then exhausted sleep. Monty would be proud! A quick dinner on the way home and a bit of knitting in the lobby with a wee dram (Talisker, I think. From the western islands but not to my liking) and my day was done.
By the next morning, I was up at 7 and out the door to meet my first tour group at the airport. Bleary-eyed and dragging luggage, they arrived. I counted my chicks to make sure all had arrived, allowed time for getting coffee, pounds from the ATM machine and any necessary snacks and potty stops and we were off! The Wool & Whisky tour is jam-packed with amazing stuff, so just a few highlights to share…
It’s been a long, long, long and stressful two years in Pandemia. I really didn’t know what it would be like to lead a group tour. I’m out of practice, things in general continue to be uncertain and changed (companies out of business, staffing levels uncertain, restrictions changing all the time). This group of ladies and the magic of Scotland’s beauty put my mind at rest. There were a few bumps, yes. But the camaraderie was so wonderful, landscape so renewing and I so enjoyed facilitating this experience for people. It’s almost as if the pandemic had never happened. Or perhaps that it happened, but our lives can bridge the gap between the present and The Before Times well enough. We go on. I can go on. And I’m happy to do so.
Once I waived goodbye to this fantastic group of ladies, it was just me and Heather left. We set out in our car (dubbed Jett, in the tradition of naming them — remember Trixie and then Herbie? Well this is a Juke. So… juke box… put another dime in the… by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, etc)
And there you have it. I believe I might be all caught up! I leave you with my very favorite Scottish road sign. I’m collecting silly signage photos. Someday soon I’ll devote an entire post to them. But it’s early days in this spring travel-o-rama. Who knows what silly Danish road signs might be out there? Or Faroese? And will write when I’m able. Cheers!