Monday, June 20, 2005

Europe 2005 - Edinburgh

So we flew from Belfast to Glasgow and decided to drive right into Edinburgh. Right now there is lots of construction gong on in the city like I guess any big city. Up until now using the GPS has been a life saver. There is absolutely no way we could find our way around with even the most detailed maps. We found this out the hard way as the map for Edinburgh that the GPS had in it must have been old because it kept trying to get us to drive on bus only streets, turns where no turns were allowed, and down the wrong way of one way streets. I would dive past that area hoping that the GPS would just re-calculate our trip. As it turned out we just kept driving in larger and larger concentric circles. Realizing this was not getting us anywhere we turned off the GPS and made the bad mistake of trying to navigate off the tourist map brochure we had. This succeeded in making us think south was north and we were half way out of town before we realized anything. I pulled over and L. gave up at this point. As a last ditch effort I memorized the roads I needed to take and just drove it. I still missed the right road in one of the round-abouts and after about a mile of trying to find a place to turn around by shear luck we realized we were on the road we were trying to get to. total driving time- 2 hours. We found parking and walked up the hill to the castle. From on top of this high hill we could see downtown and realized it would have been about a 20 minute walk from our hostel. Argh. The good side is that all the sites we wanted to see were really close together since they did not mess with cars 1000 years ago.

Edinburgh castle- it was really weird that they actually had the keys to the kingdom on display and all the royalty they had been presented to. The Scottish guides seemed really proud that none of the English kings could conquer Scotland but the Scottish king got the English throne when Queen Elizabeth did not have any kids.

Mary Kings close- so they had one main road in the old city going down the hill (That was the that was really hard to find.) all the narrow side streets (as in touching buildings on both buildings on each side of the street ran down perpendicular from there. So when its all on a steep hill and you need flat space you cut off the tops of buildings and build on top of them. They offer tours of the 1600 century buildings that are now the foundations. L. and I both decided that we like underground tours when we went to Seattle so we could not pass it up. It was really weird to be in what looks like a normal medieval street and to look up 3 stories to see the floor boards of another building.

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