London to Edinburgh
Minnesota Nice is a thing that we did not experience while across the pond.
We did experience Scotland Nice and London Nice, but those “Nices” definitely look different from Minnesota Nice.
When we finally arrived in Edinburgh’s Train Station, the three extremely jet-lagged ladies wandered aimlessly around the station looking for a way to get out. Becky, the vibrantly put-together traveler, knew we needed to get to the bus stop. And she knew how to get out of the station.
But we were so loopy and excited to finally be at in Scotland that she struggled to move us along. She finally was able to herd us into an elevator bringing us up to street level.
Once there, again, the jet-laggers turned in circles trying to figure out where we needed to go and what we were actually looking at.
“Is that the Sir Walter Scott Memorial?”
“Yes. The bus is coming in 4 minutes. We need to be over on the other side of it to catch the bus.”
“Is that Arthur’s Seat?”
“I’m not sure. We need to go this way for the bus.”
“It’s so pretty.”
“Hmm, I think that was our bus.”
Becky was being so patient with us. It was already after 9:00 pm, and we still had an hour bus ride. We tried to catch the bus at the corner 10 feet from the bus stop, but the driver refused to open the door for us. He stared us like we were dumb foreigners.
Oh, wait. We were.
And he didn’t open his doors. I don’t think he was being rude. I think he knew another bus was coming, and when his light turned green, we stared after the bus as it disappeared down the road.
7 minutes later, we boarded a bus that would take us to our destination.
In a manner of speaking, that is.
A Summation of our first bus ride through Edinburgh.
- One hour ride to drive 6 miles.
- Hanging out at a bus stop for 6 minutes with no one getting on or off
- Andrea’s personal space being compromised by a local
- Being the last ones on the bus
- Experiencing the bus driver being off duty even though we hadn’t arrived at our stop
- Getting dumped off on the side of the road
When we got off the bus, we made our way up the street dragging our luggage and heading into a headstrong wind. We were getting blown to pieces when the bus–the one that just ungraciously unloaded us–pulled up behind us and opened the door.
“War ya headed?” When we answered the driver, he invited us back onto the bus for a 2-block ride.
Unfortunately, he didn’t know exactly where our Bed and Breakfast was, so he took us in the wrong direction and we still had to walk. But we agreed that it was super kind of him.
When the bus pulled away, we did a 180 and walked 3 more blocks.
We saw the sign to our destination and followed the gravel driveway into a wooded dell around a corner where we saw a breathtaking residence.
This was it. At 10:15 pm, we had finally made it. We would be sleeping with the ghosts of Scotland of old.
John Chute–our delightful host–met us at the front stoop. He eagerly greeted us and bustled us through the front door, handing keys to Andrea with the briefest of explanations of their purpose.
Being that it was late, he hoisted a bag and led us up a grand staircase pontificating all the way to our enormous guest room. He showed us the shower room and the sitting room. He asked us if we were hungry, and coming from Minnesota, most of our group said, “We are fine.”
But my stomach was rumbling, so I overcame my Minnesota Nice and said, “Actually, I am pretty hungry.”
John offered to “nip out for a bit” to get us some fish and chips, and when I said that wasn’t necessary, he offered some biscuits, oatcakes, and a flagon of water. That sounded lovely, so I agreed and John left us while he scrounged for a snack for us.
When he returned, he brought with him his wife, absolutely charming Alice. Alice welcomed us and shortly thereafter ushered her enthusiastic mate out of our room.
We shut the door and prepared for bed. We turned the lights out and crawled between the covers.
“When do you think this house was built?” came a voice from the dark.
“It said above the door 1643,” came an answer in the dark.
“1643 was when John said the stairs were built,” Andrea stated.
“They built the stairs before they built the house?” I asked. “I don’t think so.”
“John told me that the stairs were built in 1643,” Andrea insisted.
“Why would they build the stairs before they built the house?” I asked.
“Let’s build the stairs, and then when we have more money, we can build the rest of the house,” Dacia teased.
“And let’s put a sign on the front of the door to commemorate the building of the stairs,” I added.
“You guys, I was the only one who could hear John, and that is what he said,” Andrea continued to reiterate.
“Okay, Andrea,” we conceded for the moment. “Whatever you say, but it’s still crazy. Good night.”
And it was a glorious night. Good thing because we had no idea of what lay before us.