Wednesday 18 June 2014

Sunburnt in Scotland

Beginning the day with breakfast served under a silver dome, the oj in a decanter, lit candles on the table and all the furniture antique is hard to beat. I do recommend No.2 Cambridge St in Edinburgh - it's really rather special.

But the day's other big treat was beyond even Erlend's powers: a clear blue sky over Auld Reekie that lasted all day. I even had to seek shade to stand in while I listened to Margaret's stories on my Mercat tour of the Royal Mile - Giles and the deer and the arrow, David Hume the chef, and, best of all, the interchangeable equestrian statue of Oliver Cromwell/Charles II that peed nonstop for three days.

Then I trotted back down the road again, past the elegantly splendid Holyrood Palace (with its bloodstain) and the somewhat less elegant new Parliament building where panting dogs splashed in the pond, to climb up to Arthur's Seat, the top of a volcanic stump with a 360 degree view. I was a bit frustrated not to find a plane table at first (someone was sitting on it) but a man with a dog shrugged, waving his arm. "Wha's the bother? City, sea, lowlands, highlands." And I guess that did cover it.
Back down in the city - so much walking today - there were lots of pleasingly free museums, Greyfriars Bobby, the JK Rowling coffee shop (rather hot and stuffy) and one nearby with a blackboard outside: "JK Rowling never wrote here".

And then a different B&B: 94DR, super-friendly and comfortable, with a view towards Arthur's Seat, still with people walking around it in the last golden light of a glorious day in which I can't have been the only one to get unexpectedly sunburnt.

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