Thursday, June 09, 2005

Edinburgh – sum up

When we (the whole family) visit a city we like to be sure to see the those places that others don't see. We get off the beaten path and get the "real" experience, meeting "real people" and experiencing life in the city as those who live there experience it.

Okay, all of the above is a load of hooey, but it's the kind of thing I read or hear all the time. In fact, I often get the feeling that there's a very well worn path on the way to "off the beaten path" these days.

No, when we go somewhere we tend to see those places that (to paraphrase Yogi Berra) nobody goes to nowadays because they're too crowded. Now, thanks to the range of ages and interests in our group, we try to find things that will appeal to everyone.

The highlights of our time in Edinburgh were:
  • Edinburgh Castle: Of course. This is simply fantastic. Fantastic history (with a small error in the presentation on John Paul Jones during which we were told that the American War of Independence began in 1776, but all Americans know the war began in 1775 even if Independence was only declared in '76.), a good show when the gun is fired at 1pm and sturdy enough to withstand the assault of the four old male. We spent hours there.
  • The old town: I just loved walking around. Maybe if I had done more traveling around Europe this sort of thing would impress me less, but anything more than 300 years old always impresses me.
  • The Museum of Childhood: This was really good, better than I expected, with something to appeal to every one of us.
  • Edinburgh bus tours: I'm sure I'm not supposed to admit this, but I love these. We got the ticket that allowed us to hop on and off any of the 4 main tours wherever we liked. These buses are a great way to get a quick potted history and also provide you with a good guide to what the locals consider important. In Edinburgh, 'pride' is too tame a word to describe what they feel about Scotch whiskey whisky.
  • The weather: Does it ever rain in Scotland? I have a sunburn after my two days there.
I don't get traveling often, so these little trips are a treat. Still, there are things I'd love to see and a return trip to Edinburgh (without children would be ideal) would give me a chance to see some of those things that I missed.