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Welcome to my personal blog. Squirrel(!) is such an appropriate title for this spot on the Internet. This began as a way to share the journal from my walk across England with hubby Jan. That trip is archived here for you to enjoy (June of 2012), but now when you visit you'll read my crazy musings on everything from horses, to cars, to grammar, to books, baseball, or weasels. Don't get whiplash trying to figure out a theme; just watch out for the squirrels!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Days 1 and 2: Edinburgh via Car, Plane, Plane, Taxi, Train, and Schlepp!

What a magical introduction to Scotland we’ve had! Our only complaint is that there simply isn’t enough time to fit in everything that would be fun to do. But then again, what traveler doesn’t have that complaint? Two days in Edinburgh didn’t even scratch the surface of activities on our wish list of sights. On the other hand, we had two phenomenal weather days with blue skies, puffy white clouds, and T-shirt temps. We’ve been told this was very lucky since it had rained at least a little while every day for the past month. Thank the Lord for many blessings!
Evie with our suitcases and backpacks!
We left home at 7:00 p.m. Sunday, chauffeured by Adam and sweet Evelyn Grace, and with a stop at Jen, Ben and Riley’s house for bon voyage hugs. We had no troubles until the traffic jam at the airport where it took 10 minutes to go a quarter mile. On the other hand, by a stroke of luck we had TSA pre-check tix, so we buzzed through security without even having to remove shoes. (Big smiley face!)
Our Minneapolis to Amsterdam plane.
We are so used to domestic flights where nobody feeds you on a plane anymore, that it didn’t dawn on us we’d have two meals on our flight to Amsterdam! So, we ate at a fairly nice airport seafood place. Surprise! We had lasagna and chicken Kiev on the plane. A lesson in how to feel unhealthy before you even get to your destination.
Following a medical emergency (concerning an elderly lady who wasn’t breathing but ended up all right), watching The Zookeeper’s Wife on the seat back screen, getting an hour or two’s
worth of sleep and then eating again for breakfast, we landed in Amsterdam.

Leaving Minneapolis at 10 p.m.
The coast of Greenland.

The coast of the Netherlands.

Interesting juxtaposition: windmills next to oil storage.
Schiphol airport is huge and crazily fun. Check out the Man-in-the-Clock clock we watched at one of the shopping and eating plazas!
The man fooled us--he isn't truly there. But every single minute he erases the minute hand and repaints it one tick down.
I loved these sumo guys--but this guard took one look at me posing with them and photo-bombed us.

KLM to Glasgow!
Tulip stores and duty-free shops abound. Fun sculptures and
friendly guards are everywhere!  After a two-hour layover we boarded a plane once more and arrived in Glasgow just over an hour later. It almost seemed too easy for getting 5000 miles from home and we didn't even feel too jetlagged! Only the bags under my eyes showed I was sleep deprived.

First view of Glasgow & the River Clyde
We caught a cab with “Jim” who gave us a lovely tour of Glasgow and even drove us past the hotel we’ll be staying in come Wednesday. He told us to hit the pedestrian shopping area, George Square, Kelvingrove Park and a pub called “Pot Still.” But with his (wonderful) accent we heard that as “Pot Stau” and it took us a long time to look it up on the web!

The train trip from Glasgow to Edinburgh takes 55 minutes and we did snooze away a few minutes of jet lag. Still we were “refreshed” enough to think we could walk to our B&B, which turned out to be approximately 1.7 miles from the train station. It’s a testament to the accepting nature of the Scots that nobody looked twice at two semi-bedraggled foreigners dragging their suitcases along Dalkeith Street and through throngs of people attending the August Edinburgh Fringe Festival. (Way more on that in a later post!) We probably looked like some of the wacky festival performers!

Amar Agua B&B
We arrived at Amar Agua B&B not knowing exactly what to expect. 
We were thrilled to find an almost luxurious home! 
Kuan was our host and took literally twenty minutes to give us a full orientation to the B&B and to Edinburgh. We learned bus routes, places to exchange money, times to hit the sights, and all kinds of fun facts. The best advice was for a dinner venue. He sent us to The Salisbury Arms—and we didn’t regret it for a second. The atmosphere was classy but homey and the food was different but delicious. After my dinner of a butternut squash/beetroot tart and Jan’s of a prawn/chorizo sausage linguini—we were sold on Scotland’s ability to feed its guests! 

The Salisbury Arms. Above--prawn linguini and squash/beet tart!
Finally, after a very long trip using four modes of transportation, including our own feet (warming up for the coming hike), we got to sleep in our lovely room beneath our four poster canopy, under a snuggly down comforter. Tomorrow we truly start the vacation! It was an amazing welcome to Scotland—we can’t believe we’re here!

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