Thursday, December 25, 2008


Warning sign on Rose Street, New Town, Edinburgh

After a restful night's sleep and a complimentary breakfast of toast and cereal, I head out to meet Jess at church. There are no buses running on Christmas morning and it's a 45 minute walk to St Paul's and St George's Church [picture right]. This Scottish Episcopal (Anglican) church is an amazing blend of traditional and cutting edge in both architecture and worship style.
We walk through the New Town towards Jess' flat and I recognize many street names and buildings from Alexander McCall's books including: George Street, Charlotte Square, The Caledonian Hotel and Usher Hall, which will reopen in the spring of 2009 when interior and exterior renovations are complete [picture left].
Terra and Jess make a tasty lunch and we chat about Edinburgh and the cultural differences we've discovered. Jess and I watch a Blackadder DVD and just "hang out" for the afternoon. Later we go in search of somewhere to have dinner. It seems that the only places open are either very up-market or pubs. I'm having trouble making a decision about where to eat when we see a sandwich board sign pointing down Fleshmarket Close to an eatery that's little more than a hole in the wall. In Yum Yum's, there's a guy of middle-eastern origins taking orders for pizza, fish and chips and burgers from a gaggle of Spanish girls, two Asian men and a couple of Polish ladies none of whom have strong English skills. We order falafel wraps, pop and fries/chips. Total for dinner is £8.60 - then the guy realizes he's overcharged us and refunds us 40 p.
My alternate bus is running only once an hour and I've just missed one so I take a taxi home, arriving at the hotel about 8 pm. The cab ride costs exactly the same as our dinners did. I put my key in my room door and an odd smell surprises me. I open the door wide and discover that there's water dripping onto the bed. It must have been happening for sometime as the ceiling is peeling and the floor puddled. I go down stairs and ring the bell for help. After showing the attendant the problem I hastily pack my stuff while he goes to contact the boss and see what's going on upstairs. Oddly he can't determine the source of the leak. He gives me the key to the "Bridal Suite" where I unpack, make a cup of tea, console myself that nothing of mine has been damaged and chalk it up to the adventures of travelling.

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