The buses from Haddington to Edinburgh only went every two hours. I didn’t want to miss the 9:30am bus so we were out the door of our apartment just after 9am. I had spent hours trying to fit all our stuff in our packs and bags but I struggled to get the last items in even after we had recently sent 6kgs, mainly toys, home. Even with leaving two pairs of jandals and my jacket at the house we barely could squeeze everything in. It looks like we are going to need to make another trip to the post office. The drive to Edinburgh took about 40 minutes then we caught another bus to our next apartment. I met some interesting people on the bus. The Scottish are very friendly.
Once we dropped off our bags and got semi-setup we caught a short bus ride to a supermarket. While Karen and the kids shopped I popped into a barber and got a haircut. Seeing the barber, a young guy with tattoos, bouncing around to loud rock music, with his boxer shorts on full display, and smelling of alcohol – I did wonder if he was qualified to cut my hair or was he just some lout off the street waiting for a hair cut himself. Putting my inhabitations aside I sat in the chair and he went to work. Despite my initial fears, not that I really care about my hair style, he didn’t do too bad a job – and it was entertaining as well.
With the cupboards stocked up we headed into town to take an initial look at the city. We got off the bus in the middle of the Fringe festival area near the National Art Gallery. There were crowds everywhere, a good sort of crowd that build a great atmosphere – not the sort you find at a tourist sight. In the square there were half-a-dozen street performers. The kids loved watching them so we did for an hour or so. Unfortunately I wasn’t looking at the cobble-stone pavement and didn’t see the flat area chance to two levels. The net result was my left foot went flat on its side with my ankle taking all my weight. I recognised the pain from when I broke a bone in my ankle, the same ankle, in Kolkata two years earlier. Slack! By this time I was pretty bored at the shows the kids were watching so I stupidly hobbled around the streets in search of a coffee shop. Eventually I found a Costa Coffee shop but it was up a couple of flights of stairs so initially I decided to look elsewhere. After a further ten minutes of searching I gave in and went back to Costa Coffee and climbed the stairs carefully.
The next day was Sunday so after church Karen insisted I went to the hospital which I did with the help of the church’s pastor who drove me. A few hours later I had an x-ray, nice photo of a small break, nothing too serious. The doctor gave me a couple of bandages to help strengthen the area and a walking stick. I was relieved to not need a moonboot like last time as I needed to be able to drive around in our rental car after Paris. The broken bone is annoying and slows me down but not the end of the world. After the hospital visit I met Karen and the kids in town at the National Art Gallery. It was raining so we headed for Costa Coffee again and then we went home to get an early night.
Monday we had a busy day. While Karen and Amy went to pick up our Edinburgh Tattoo tickets I helped Daniel find a spot to have a go at busking. He had his ukulele and the sheet music for “I’m on top of the world” which he had been learning the past few weeks. After half hour he had nice smiles from passer-bys but no cash … he kept going, good thing no one was watching him on the corner or they would get sick of the same song … by the end of the hour he had earned 3 pound 40p, not bad for his first attempts and in a city overloaded with buskers. When Amy got back she also had to have a quick go as well and earned 70p in two minutes. With that we moved on to McD’s and then I went home with the kids while Karen sorted out boxes to post more of our gear home in.
It was a pretty quick turn around. After an early meal we headed back into town so we could make our way to the Tattoo. Although it didn’t start until 9pm we had to try to get there by 8pm. Even still we encountered crowds, the bad sort J, there were thousands of people all converging into the entrance of the castle. Thanks to my walking stick and my limp we were able to take a short cut along the side of the road but it still took half an hour to walk slowly to the gate. Of course our seats were at the very top of the stadium so it took a little effort to get in place.
Overall the show was better than I expected, lots of music band parades, and a great lighting/data show on the castle walls. It was missing the non-music items which I had assumed we would see, like say soldiers taking apart a tank and carrying it to the other side and putting it together again. Nonetheless the show wasn’t too painful and I was pleased Karen made me go to it!
I sure loved Edinburgh and enjoy just wandering around the place. There were a lot of things we could have done but I just didn’t have the energy to due to my foot being sore. Karen and I definitely want to return someday.
(Week 27A: Saturday 18 August 2012 – Wednesday 22 August 2012)