I took a sleeper train from London that arrived in Edinburgh at six o’clock in the morning. Nothing was open. No coffee shop; no nothing. (The doughnut places in my hometown always opened at five o’clock in the morning so I was a bit taken aback by that. Thankfully, I had only a very small overnight bag for luggage.) I walked the city up and down and around. Even the McDonald’s didn’t open until nine o’clock. The Wimpy’s was a bit more on the ball with an eight o’clock opening time. And as I sipped my hot tea and looked out Wimpy’s glass wall with the castle view, I realized it doesn’t get better than that.
While I was early at the Tourist Information Center, there were no single rooms available anywhere at a decent rate. I ended up staying in a spare room at an apartment rented out on the quiet. My hosts were a pensioner couple, lovely but a bit more reserved that what I was used to. (I wondered if that had something to do with the late start to the mornings there.) After a misty morning, the sun came out and made the gardens a lovely sight. I had tea at Burberry’s Department Store because it seemed like the local thing to do. While the china was pretty there, the view couldn’t compare to that from Wimpy’s.
By dusk, it was drizzling as I watched a military ceremony at the castle. After spending a lifetime of visiting castles and interesting homes, I still hold the castle at Edinburgh as one of the finest. Mary, Queen of Scotts, lived there for a bit; I had spent a “school lifetime” writing papers comparing Mary to Elizabeth I so that may have endeared the place to me. I supped at a self-service restaurant offering whole wheat short bread;I bought more of that for the road. (I never did learn whether Mary or Elizabeth liked short bread.) That was my first day in Edinburgh and my first day in Scotland so many, many years ago. All in all, it was a good day.
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