Afternoon walk to Stockbridge, a little village just down the road from New Town where I am staying. When I see the Scott Memorial I know I am almost home. Amazing how this idyllic town is so close to the 'downtown' of Edinburgh.
I'm here in Edinburgh. The flight from Boston took off on time and we arrived 30 minutes ahead of time; even the dinner was acceptable. The tram from the airport stopped right in front of my hotel on Princes Street. Alas, this was at 8:30 and I can't get into my room until 3.
So, I've walked Royal Mile , enjoyed eggs Benedict, walked along Princes Street, took pictures of THE CASTLE, and now I am resting in one of the hotel public rooms. Even fell asleep. Maybe the room will be ready a little early.
Tonight: Direct flight: Boston--Edinburgh. Yes, now that winter is over, the weather warmer, and more daylight hours, there is a daily direct flight from Boston to Edinburgh. I'll be spending 7 nights in a hotel on Princes Street overlooking Princes Street Gardens.
There is so much to do in Edinburgh, all within walking distance. I know, because I was there in June 2019 just before the…..you know what. Very grateful to be going again. The picture is of the Scott Memorial taken from my hotel window. I'll send another in a couple of days.
I watched the service for the Queen at St. Giles Cathedral today. The scene was familiar, well somewhat, because I’ve walked the Royal Mile many times, and have attended at least three Sunday services at St. Giles. I can picture where the Royal Family sat, where the choir was located, and the placement of the casket. That circle you may have noticed in the center was where I stood to receive communion, maybe in June 2015.
I hope those who watched, regardless of their faith, heard the message expressing the way the Queen did her best to reign—be honest, loving, and fair to all people.
My last morning in Edinburgh. My flight is delayed until 1:00 and thankfully Delta let me know of the change via email. So here I sit at the go-to café I discovered on my second morning here, enjoying coffee, croissants and other breads, porridge, fruit and easy internet access.
For those of you who sometimes like to be alone (and live on the east coast of the U.S. or in Europe), Edinburgh is the perfect city for a get-away week. There is plenty to do; everything is within walking distance of the city center, and there is also the hop-on-hop-off bus to give your body a rest while taking in the scenic views and learning the history of the city.
As many of you know, I love to get away by myself for extended periods of time. I love not talking with anyone or having to make plans with a fellow traveler. I am never lonely. This isn’t the only way to travel, nor does it appeal to everyone. The point is, however, to figure out what works for you. If you are reading this blog, you probably want time extended times alone. Search for the solitude that feeds you.
I’m refreshed and ready to return to a busy summer, both social and solitary.
Less than 24 hours ago I was sitting in my sunny backyard before heading to the airport and on my way to Edinburgh. Now I find myself warming up out of the rain in the reference room of the National Scottish Library. My suitcase is waiting for me at the hotel for a 3PM check-in. I’ve wandered across Waverly Bridge, enjoyed Eggs Benedict with smoked salmon, and now I am here in this silent place.
I could be annoyed that it is cold and rainy and that I couldn’t check into my room, but I’m not. Would I be more content if it were sunny? I don’t think so. With a certain equanimity I’ve come to accept whatever presents itself during my solitary travel. I‘ve come to expect the unknown as part of the known.
From my hotel window: the Scot Monument, Princes Street, and the Royal Mile in the distance.
My fourth day in Edinburgh. I’ve been writing, as evidenced by the daily posts in A Solitary Traveler, part of “Seven Days Writing in Edinburgh.” Thus reading has been less prolific, although I am now one book short of completing my 2017 Goodreads Challenge of 52 books. I’ll reach it in a day or two, taking just a little over five months. What to do? Should I revise the challenge, double it and go for 104 books for the year?
Recording on Goodreads is an easy way to keep track of what I read, but the challenge has never been an impetus to get me reading. The challenge I began on January 1st was personal: to be a more compassionate person, and to keep from letting the news take over my life, which at best was a waste of time, and at worst added negative energy to the world. I am satisfied that I have adhered to this personal challenge, and am amused by the number of books I’ve read. For certain, reading is an essential element in writing.
I’m settling in well as a solitary traveler here in Edinburgh. Yesterday was sunny; today the weather is changing, but no fog for me.
The apartment (I should say flat) I’ve rented is spacious, with huge windows opening onto Queen Street Garden just across the street. The garden is for residents of surrounding flats, which, to my delight includes a preschool. I’m particularly pleased with this flat because I’m spending more time here than I did when in Florence. Edinburgh is more spread out, thus more walking to get from place to place. With no cappuccino to lure me out first thing in the morning, I’m happy to stay in with my own brew. I’ve discovered Mark & Spencer with it’s extensive, gourmet, take-out food emporium, conducive to eating in. All of this helps me experience living here, albeit for only a week, but nonetheless, inspiring the writing life.
As I did in Florence, I’m working on an article about writing, this one, “Seven Days Writing in Edinburgh”. As a start, I plan to post each day in this blog under ‘Solitary Traveler. So far, I’ve posted Day One. It’s a draft, but at least a start.
A random, ever-unfolding itinerary today: bought tomorrow’s train ticket to Oban, successfully activated my credit card, and unsuccessfully tried to join Edinburgh Book Lovers’ Tour. Instead, I attended a noon service and piano concert and St. Giles, before enjoying a salad in their tea room. Next I wandered to the castle but the scaffolding for the August Festival has taken over the entrance, so I quickly turned around and came to the West Princes Garden.
Here, many people are enjoying themselves, but I feel solitude; they are conversing, but I am in silence. I have simple desires today—just sit and be. And so I do.
P.S. Internet access is difficult. I’ll add a slideshow when and if local technology improves.
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