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Wednesday, 27 December 2017

393: Auld Reekie

Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland, is known by a number of nicknames and colloquial names. It is commonly known as "Auld Reekie", a name thought to originate from a distinctive mix of sewage stench and smoke/smog in the Old Town of Edinburgh.
I'm here for a couple of days to apply for a visa to allow me to visit my old friend Bob McGarry, who lives in Krasnodar in the South of Russia. I've paid an absolute arm and a leg for express processing of the visa and I will know within the next two hours whether I have been successful or not. If I am denied the visa, for any reason, then the cost of applying for the visa, the cost of the flights, and the cost of the hotel will all go down the tubes. All my fingers are crossed for a successful outcome.
In between submitting the paperwork and collecting my passport, hopefully with a visa in it, we have had quite some time to explore Edinburgh. Yesterday we 'did' Princes Street and I was able to collect my pre-ordered Turkish Lira as I plan to visit Istanbul on the way to Russia. In the evening we enjoyed some tacos and tequila in a Mexican restaurant, Diablo Loco, which we chanced upon on our way back to the guest house. The old adage that you get what you pay for became evident when I took a shower this morning in the guest house where we had decided to lay our heads for the two nights. It was one of those cubicle things and when I tried to slide the door closed it fell off! I duly reported it and, to their credit, it has been fixed. I must try and be a bit more gentle with it tomorrow. Breakfast was advertised as 0800-1000 Alisdair and I turned up for 8 o'clock and the waitress/hostess/person i/c breakfast turned up at about 8.30. By which time we had helped ourselves to cereal and toast. She very quickly prepared bacon and eggs for those fat boys amongst us.  
Today, despite the bitterly cold wind, we had a wander around Arthur's Seat. I was amazed by the number of people, walkers and runners of all ages and both sexes, who were on the hills, blowing away the cobwebs from the Christmas excesses.  (question to self: are there still only 2 sexes theses days or have a couple more crept in?).
A couple of pictures, to prove we were there. 

Waverley station, from above

Swan Lake

I'll drink anything!

STOP PRESS: Visa granted. Krasnodar here we come...

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