The premise was to jump into my car accompanied by the irrepressibly optimistic and
boundlessly patient Prideesh, and spend the first of two weeks touring this great
sceptred isle, primarily the northern reaches. The second week was to be spent shacked
up in some remote cottage outside Fort William with great access to long walks and a
local pub. Fort William being some 90 miles and three hours north of Glasgow for those still with us, at
the base of Ben Nevis to be precise.
The roadtrip was a plan fulfilled encompassing Oct 9 thru Oct 21, covered 1476 miles and 22 hours of driving, of which most took place in the first week - it felt like we did 140 miles and spent three hours driving. It was probably up there with the greatest holidays I have ever enjoyed and I feel the need to tell you all about it, well at least the first week as it was the given task of Prideesh to journal the second week for which there is currently a sad lack of produced output. We live in hope.
|Day One - Stratford Upon Avon
It had been decided that this should not be an overly hurried or taxing start, which was just as well, as it was circa 2PM that we found ourselves accelerating along the A34 Oxford bound. As this holiday was also going to be heavily focused towards literature it was Stratford Upon Avon into which I had programmed my rather erratic carbon based navigation system.
Of course Prideesh had arrived at mine that morning just after the allotted time: ten of the
morning. I for my part had only just organised clothing, had suitcase open on bed for
effect and had yet to organise two new front tyres to replace those worn bold at the
outer edges a thousand miles previous. I suppose in the great scheme then, leaving
four hours late was actually an achievement. It started raining about half a mile
down the road.
At this early stage there were a few minor hitches on the driver, direction giving
front. This mostly revolved around the non driving participant forgetting that it was
not only in her head that the direction needed to be communicated. The result: a
slightly circular tour of the middle stages M40.
Soon enough though, hotel was located, car park was negotiated via a tour of the
Sainsbury delivery bay and we were soon leisurely strolling about the streets of
Stratford upon Avon, beneath grey but rain free skies. All around were lopsided
timber framed buildings. It was not yet four of the afternoon.
The initial planning coffee, Al Fresco, was interrupted by a slightly less than
coherent, but smiling Irish geezer from the black country, a formidable mix of
genetics and culture that demanded attention. He managed in a few precious minutes to
flash a number of livid knife wounds, a result of his recent trip to Swansea and
invite us to stay at his mothers house, the last building on the west coast of
Galloway apparently. He left us with his mobile and email details scrawled in a
notepad and was last seen ambling down the street clutching what was according to the
bar staff his 17th bottle of Stella since one that afternoon. There was a white van
at the end of the street waiting to pick him up.
A leisurely stroll down
Bridge street and we happened upon the canal, probably painted and immortalised below
curved struts a million times. Our search for the RSC box office was also over. We
had entertained faint aspirations of some play that evening, in the unlikely event,
according to the 'guide book' there were any tickets remaining. There were in fact
several tickets available, a quick decision and we made our purchase under the
austere gaze of Ian Mckellan, framed above details of his forthcoming stint as King
Lear. An excited conversation later, now emboldened, we were soon also clutching
tickets for that event circa May 2007. Undoubtedly this will be one of the two shows
during the run that will be performed by his understudy.
The remainder of the afternoon was spent toiling about the streets of issue high
street shops plugged into these Tudor constructions. As the light crept away too the
autumn sunset we sat outside once more sipping coffee, this time with our own company
while taking in the delicate structure that is reputed to be the birthplace of the
great man himself. Shakespeare that is.
At 7:30 we were seated in the RSC theatre, lights down enter front right Julius
Caesar, or at least a mannequin of. This was my virgin live Shakespeare event, once I
overcame the need to understand each word and began enjoying what was happening on
the stage, I rather had a good time. I did count myself fortunate that I never
pursued the brief affair I had with acting circa my ninth year, the result of a much
lauded impersonation of Pam Ayres; It must have taken ages to learn endless and
infinitely intricate dialogue, and to act as well! I also doubted my ability to
muster quite as much projectile saliva, not to sure I would pay the extra to sit in
the front row, maybe its considered the done thing in Thespian circles.
The evening was rounded off with food from the kebab shop eaten in our room, it seems
Stratford eateries shut down as the men of Rome begin falling on their swords.
|Day Two - Warwick the M6 and Windermere
There are 159 worn sandstone steps leading to the summit of St Mary's of Warwick. If
your lucky somewhere between 90 and 120 the clock will chime its song across the East
Midland countryside. The view from the summit though, does not live up to the promise
of the tightly spiralled steps. Save for the distant castle the hazy pre autumn
countryside is harshly dotted by various low buildings of industry.
We came to St Mary's
innocent, while walking off the loss of an inch square of Prideesh knee skin, the
result of a leaf like fall post turned ankle. We had been attracted by its proud
demand for attention, almost forgotten in the high ground above the castle. Inside
there was something captivating in those grand designs, of the intricate detail,
erstwhile devotion through generations laid at the feet of silent gods.
Post St Mary's the streets took us to coffee in the precariously angled Lord
Leycester Hospital, which at the time was receiving attention from the David Dimbleby
camera crew. Following this the streets and alleys took us around the perimeter of
the castle which promised for just under two score, a complete medieval experience.
Evidence of this was visible in the suitably attired house wench we saw running
across the road to partake in a quick fag.
Finally, we took a tour of the box square museum sat conspicuously mid-town square,
probably the sincerest of the attractions. We learned of the geological foundations
of Warwick, of the volcanoes and subsequent ice age just 25,000 years ago that shaped
it, of the great tusked mammoths that roamed this same tundra, proud fossils of which
lay behind freshly polished glass.
A span of almost two hundred minutes and a similar number of miles saw us magically
transported North and some way West to the rolling green velvet of Cumbrias Lake
District and the glass like Windermere. Oh the magic of early afternoon travel via
the M6 toll road.
Being unusually laid
back on the whole accommodation front I.e. Had nothing booked, we had ambled through
and beyond Bowness passing tired lodgings and high turnover guest houses thinly
disguised as Hotels. Soon though, via an auto dial telephone lost in a deserted booth
next to a ferry, we were led to the freshly laundered bed upon which I now type this
entry. The bed itself sits inside a building atop a long slope the locals refer to as
the struggle and opposite a grounds containing lots of howling dogs. The howling we
were assured was not the sort that only made itself known on moonlit nights, low
cloud prevented any furtive checks on lunar status.
A very pleasant evening then, was spent reading Vladimir's Lolita in a trendy little
student bar set amongst slate walled buildings and streets. Once more though we were
forced to rush at the late hour of nine to locate a vendor that was prepared to
trouble themselves in the matter of serving cooked food. We ended up in the overly
contrived Lucy's before a night cap in the wine bar and a relaxed if slightly
breathless walk back up the struggle.
|Day Three - Wansfell Pike
The mission accomplished for Windermere was for two nights set either side of a day
spent walking amongst forest, crag and fell. Despite a disjointed finale to a nights
sleep, 8 of the AM saw Prideesh and I sat alternating our gazes between each others
bleary eyes and the horizontal rain lashing upon the glass windows of the B&B.
Careful and prolonged inspection of our faces may also have hinted at some resolve,
for we were not to be diverted by a light shower, or for that matter thunder and
Two hours later thunderstorm was in its
final throes and rain was temporarily at an ebb. I was kitted out in my thick walking
socks, tightly knotted walking boots, jeans, t-shirt, sweat shirt (which fulfilled on
its promise) and gore tex all weather coat. This last an unused hand down from my
uncle who buys such condiments as I do electronic gadgetry. Atop my freshly short
hair sat my outback hat (minus corks). I had a romantic illusion as to the sound rain
might make upon this hat, the result of countless daydreams at the flickering image
of Clint Eastwood. Has a man ever looked so cool wet?
Prideesh for her part was a slightly more conventional incarnation, the hood on her
waterproofs saving her hair for a short period from the moist attentions of the day.
At this time we should probably take a quick snapshot of two images to give you some
context to the events of the day. First we have jaunty figures laughing and pushing
at each other, striding down the hill with the expectation of the day stretching
ahead. Secondly we have the two same, but sodden, bedraggled souls that make their
way back up this incline some four hours later.
First stop for our intrepid duo was the bemused climbing shop where compass 'remove
luck from the equation' and local map of walks were purchased. We already had a
specific walk in mind, gleaned from an older incarnation of the same book over
breakfast, courtesy of our host. This choice of walk appealed to Prideesh as the
final two kilometres (of ten) wove its way down beside a torrid river which often
served as a worthy opponent for daring canoeists.
Into the void then, or almost as we spent a worrying period finding a way out of the
reflective rain covered streets of Ambleside. My compass seemed to indicate that at
all times we were walking in the symmetrical opposite direction to that indicated by
the plastic covered map held firmly in the small red gloved hands of Prideesh. All my
attempts at flagging this fact fell on wisely deaf ears, for I would later discover I
was reading the wrong end of the needle.
Soon enough, we were to be seen
striding the 800 metres up Skelghyll Lane and were stepping literally breathless
through Skelghyll Wood, a wild and deep collective of gnarled fairy tale tree's that
skirted increasingly higher above the misty eastern tip of Windermere.
Over a period of two kilometers tarmac gave way to forest floor, which in turn gave
way to pale igneous rock down which streams of rainwater tumbled around our thick
soled boots. Eventually an opening in a tired slate wall, held together it seemed
only by the fusion of time, heralded Jenkin crag, a short walkway to a protruding
rock above a shallow cliff face that stood 200 metres above the barely discernible
Onwards we went. Taking advantage of a brief abating in the incessant rain, jackets
were drawn open to release heat and welcome the cool drift of this late summers
breeze. Above, dark skies flashed lightening one final time that we recollect,
followed a few moments later by a parting rumble from the trailing thunder. Over time
the rock beneath broke onto and gave way to a track cultivated by man which led us
through the aptly named Skelghyll Farm and into the vista of rolling dales. On the
far horizon a red and blue dot slowly made their way towards us. It took nearly 30
minutes of weaving up and down, around and over these rolling, slate wall lined,
grass covered rolls of earth before the two dots manifested at a gate as a male and
female. He just into his sixth decade, she well into it, it seemed. He stepped
through, the rain peppering his gleaming blue mac, and dryly delivered a line he had
probably rehearsed for the last five minutes “Dr Livingston I presume!”
We all laughed. I was thinking more like 'Lawrence of Arabia' but kept this to
myself. As they headed in the direction from which we came, over his shoulder he told
us the coffee in the Troutbeck post office was not to be missed.
A further kilometer and we disappeared down the side of a dale and stepped onto the
lose grit of a road, soon we were loping down into a village, turned left at the
t-junction and walked the last few meters to the entrance of the post office. There
was no indication as yet as to the village name but deduction and the wooden plaque
to the right of the door 'Tea and coffee served' allowed us to conclude this must be
At this time, 5 kilometres into
our epic journey, despite being outwardly wet our spirits were still high. Rain had
long ceased tapping a tune on the water loaded brim of my hat that now hung limply
about my head. Inside the layers of protective clothing, save maybe for Prideesh's
matted hair, our only cause for damp irritation was that manifested through sweat,
perfectly acceptable. I took the opportunity to remove the hat and coat and leave it
propped up in the hall entrance that led to the post office main.
This post office is a scaled down version of the type commonly seen in small villages
throughout this country, with a little less emphasis on security. The main booth,
immediately to the left upon walking through the door is little more than a wooden
frame, fronted by slats of perspex. These in turn were covered in partially pealed,
faded stickers that dated to the final decade of the last century. If one had need to
communicate with the seated employee you would just pop your head round the side of
the open booth. Next to this was a typical angled display sparsely populated of
popular sweets, on from which ran a counter that turned at a right angle and sealed
off the three smiling staff looking expectantly at our ruddy faces. Behind the staff
shelves rose to the ceiling which held precisely one of every essential tinned item
you would normally find in grocery stores. This shopping nirvana was completed, on
our right by a large glass fronted fridge which held three cokes, two cans of diet
coke and three bottles of lilt. We ordered two coffees.
It would be to do these three people a huge injustice to compare the situation to the
'league of gentlemen', but there was some resonance in the difference equally felt
between the locals and the obvious city types that currently stood dripping on the
dust covered wooden floor. Genuine but over used conversation was undertaken on the
topic of holiday destinations sought by those that lived in gods back garden. It
seems Norway and Sea houses are hot favourite's. Another local entered while we
sipped from the blissfully sweet, hot coffee and engaged two of the staff in a short
and rather heated conversation regarding the pro's and con's of showing the proud and
well maintained gardens of this village to the general untrained rabble of tourist.
Post purchase of a football sized plumb cake that had been calling to me practically
from the moment I stepped into the shop, we re-applied the outwardly wet layers and
stepped back into the vast open valley of which we could not see past the first house
on account of the vapored haze that we later concluded was actually the lower strata
of cloud. We would meet its close relative; 'thick I can't see a bloody thing' type
cloud in the not to distant future.
This my dear reader, is where things started to fall about our blissfully
inexperienced and literally wet ears. Yes we could look up and see the peak which our
map headed us towards, far off enveloped in thick, unmoving buds of wool. There was
some measure of unreality set between us though, in the drizzle of the roadside that
heralded the upward winding path and that far off summit. Some part that our minds
told us the path would conveniently circumnavigate this inconvenient cumulus and
bring us to a clear peak with breathtaking views that would see our cameras happily
clicking at distant horizons.
So then, with our innards freshly warmed and safe knowing that we had enough plumb
cake to sustain us for at least two days, we stepped forward onto the rising rock
strewn path and began the 520 meter (1700 feet) ascent of Wansfell Pike. As is the
way of such things, the path rose in a zig zagging fashion for perhaps half a mile
and then diverted, via a large gate into the serious work of multiple steep summits
that by increasingly steeper and winding paths always heralded the next incredibly
steep summit lost in that depressing veil. As this haze permeated every spare vent
and space in our clothing, drenching us both from within and outwardly, we lost all
correlation of distance, time but fortunately never completely heading. This despite
an ever present opportunity to lose ones way in visibility that could be measured at
best in the distance Prideesh can throw a ball, which I can assure you fair reader is
not very far at all. These constant false summits and the winding path to the next
higher, steeper summit was taking its toll. My lungs felt like the inner layer had
been painfully stripped away and my legs felt lead heavy. There was the ever likely
concern of turning and finding ones ever flagging angel either disappeared or
spreadeagled in the long grass, for there was much groaning and speak of feeling
bilious. Somehow, eventually the path ended and heralded by a vicious wind as if from
no where, we made the final summit, plonking our weary bodies down on the nearest
cold damp rock. To hell for now with piles.
To my oxygen starved brain I have to
admit that it seemed in this visibility, which stretched all around us at no more
that three meters, fenced off on one side, there seemed no obvious path to which we
might continue. I suddenly had a premonition of being filmed on Cumbria TV as the
hopeless, hapless southern tourist that got rescued in dire conditions after getting
lost with nothing more to sustain a successful journey than a cheap map, confusing
compass and football sized portion of plumb cake. All this much to the merriment of
the locals crowded round TV's and who would all spend that evening patting me on the
back and having a jolly good laugh while consoling poor Prideesh on her sorry choice
of walking partner.
With a determined set to my jaw I resolved to get us off this rock and pulled out the
instructions to my compass. It was of course at this moment I realised in was the red
needle that pointed northwards and the black one southwards, they had all been black
when I was a nipper.
I managed to prise the map out of the reluctant grasp of Prideesh and after some
minutes aligning the directional markings with my jittery red needle managed to
follow the printed direction arrow to the rather obvious but unusually constructed
style flanked either side by fence, that stood insolently about two meters front and
left from my current position.
Prideesh of course
claims to have seen said obvious route immediately and had wondered why I was so
determined to double check the path with compass (given its erratic recent
past), she is quite obviously fibbing. The compass did have its moment though. After
twenty minutes of descending carefully, step by step on jagged slippery rock it
became apparent that there were three intersecting paths and no obvious indication
with zero visibility which one would take us west and back down into Ambleside. Enter
stage right, moi by now as expert in compass wielding. West most path was located and
this did eventually lead us down into our required destination.
As we came below 300 meters the cloud started to clear and hazy outlines of buildings
way below could be seen, 200 hundred meters and we were stepping between stair like
slabs rather than jutting rock and at 100 metres were back onto tarmac. If the walk
up had been wearing on our minds and lungs then the walk down was physically
exhausting, as the muscles in our backs, abdomen, thighs and calves would constantly
remind us over the next two days.
By the time we stepped from tarmac onto the concrete pavement of the village the
incesant rain seemed like an irrelevant foe. We weaved our way through the throng of
mid afternoon shoppers, who even accustomed to the wet and tired visitor seemed
somewhat taken aback by these two thoroughly damp castaways escaped from natures
A quick stomp up the struggle was followed by a triumphant shedding of clothes which
were hung to dry in the utility room set aside for visiting climbers (of which we now
proudly counted ourselves). Next was a warm shower, loose clothes and falling as a
pair of felled great oaks onto the heavenly bed, deep sleep lasted to the early hours
of the evening. Despite weary bodies we dressed and walked back into the now rain
free village, took dinner early and reclined to the wine bar where, between bouts of
Lolita we plotted as only the human mind and its ability to look forward can. Our
next great conquest would of course be Ben Nevis in a few days time.
Sometimes, between the turn of a new day and the promise of lights dawn, the
subconscious mind hears some rhythm of the nights symphony that does not play as the
sheet music dictates. In a common place these irregularities, the two step of a
passing train, the drone of air conditioning, the laconic blades of a fan, can be
slotted into the play order and thus embraced as part of the symphony. In a strange
place, even one high and away in the remotest reaches the minds conductor may fumble
on any irregularity.
I awoke on Thursday morning in the dead pitch of night, alerted to concious by some
discorded note that had now passed or was temporarily ceased. Sea blue light outlined
the glass top of the table and the downy outline of a body beside me, on its side,
facing away. This aqua luminance comes from the display of an enthusiastic device,
devised to tell the time and artificially rouse minds from slumber. Its numerals are
hidden, facing indolently towards the wall, arranged as such by a tired hand at the
will of sleepy eyes intolerant of its unfettered glow.
My internal clock would have me believe this must be 4AM. I lay on my elbow, my
breath teetering on the brink of expectation, waiting on the all clear from ears
reaching out into the silent night. My minds eye conjures dark shapes in the deep
black, some partially formed wolf man, blink and the shape has contorted, not through
movement but of imagination.
Of course if Nabokov ever heard these words and were to learn their creation in this
order had been inspired but his prose, he would be merrily spinning in his grave. I
make no apologies though, other than to you patient reader, who invests precious life
in reading this. The beauty of his prose, for me is in his unorthodox use of words
and structures, layered upon his unhindered vision of existence. I dare anyone
with any want for writing to not find themselves attempting to simulate this, if you
have read it.
I did wake as described above, if not quite so dramatically. Rather than wrestle with
escaped wolf beasts I lay on my side for two hours wide eyed at the exploits of dear
Humbert, especially during his little swim to the centre of the lake avec wife and
the hand Mcfate was idly waiting to play him. Eventually I did fall asleep again at
the tender touch of Prideesh but was awoken again by the same not more than an hour
later. Apparently she was quietly rummaging.
By eleven we were fuelled, packed and Bowness an ever shrinking cacophony of random
lights as we weaved through a high sided, misty glen. We were headed towards Hexham
via a beetle like crawl across, around, up and through the Pennines. Down we came the
other side, skipped off the Newcastle border, skirted the Tyne and trundled up the A1
ever nearing the North sea, a distorted reflection of the grey sky above, courted by
Our destination this day was
for Holy Island and Lindisfarne, our timing to coincide with the tide which at low
ebb, reveals the causeway connecting this mesh of tundra and volcanic rock to the
mainland. This occasionally submerged road is cheerily described in our 'Rough Guide'
as presenting a 'real possibility for drowning'.
A real tourist pull then judging by the number of cars lined up in rows on a
grass field outside the small village at the heart of this island. Our 'guide'
indicated this was a national trust site and we decided to take the trust up on its
special membership offer. This offer hung rather limply beneath a portable rock on a
temporary table, positioned next to a battered blue Volkswagen that guarded the exit
to the parking area. Barry (we learned later this was his name) was busy selling a
lost cause to a nubile blond wearing a pink top, beige combats and nothing in the
middle. We waited increasingly impatient, “We have money, want to join!”,
silently, as tradition dictates, in line. The sun reflected of the soft down on her
lower back, pushed grass like by the playful wind.
Barry and his fancy were eventually left behind. We soon stood beneath the castle,
which sits atop a rock feature known as crag and tail; This a result of volcanic rock
shaped by retreating ice, its tail the detritus left behind. Its a small castle, very
pleasing to look upon, in some part due to the moody grey backdrop of the north sea.
You imagine some last bastion fighting off marauding men looking for pillage and
other such nefarious wants. The reality is, it was built some 800 years after it may
have served some use against Vikings. Although there has been a castle here for many
years, atop this rock, it was only almost attacked by mistake once. The home that
pulls the walls about for protection does so only against the weather. It was
redesigned and rebuilt mostly within the last 100 years.
These descriptions of actual objects
are not meant to be some semblance of any guide, but I would warn hardened visitors
of historic buildings against entering this castle. If you are already a member of
the trust it is owned by, then with free access available I would deliberate on
whether I had time enough with the worthwhile Lindisfarne Abbey still to view, and
presented with greater attention to historic context.
Begin Rant – So then Lindisfarne
Castle or rather its innards, for which we redden at the jowls. History is of
interest to me, that which resides outside of my lifetime attracts me most. The
places in which people have existed draw me, and by the number of shoulders I jostle
with, through all weathers, I am not alone. So then, if you would entice me to your
historic building then the very least I expect, even in as sparse a torso as
this Castle, is some context to the historic objects you seem to randomly place about
the redesigned, rock bare walls. If you have a neat chair sat in some corner, do not
expect me to just be grateful that this chair came from time past, tell me from which
time and give it some context in relation to this castle or its inhabitants or that
time! Likewise, if you have rows of painted faces, apparently created at hands now
dust, even if they have no connection to the floors and walls that surround us, just
tell us from what time they come and give some context to its parallel. Do not expect
me to scratch my stubbly chin, look knowingly at my bemused partners in audience, and
move on. Surely you do not expect us to just be grateful that they are there;
“Nice chair, Looks old!”. Dear grandmother, do you think fit this
mindless fodder for our generation, just because we spawned 'reality' entertainment?
- End Rant
If you walk back along the path,
especially after midday, you should notice the sun, or some part of it illuminating
the ruins of the abbey that has existed here since the 7th century. Admittedly there
is not much if anything here that dates back before the 12th century, mainly due to
Vikings and a leaning towards wooden structures during the first millennia.
There are many ways in which you can get to the ruins, one is to bank left and head
towards the fishing huts which will take you above and around to the back. The other
is to carry on walking down into the village and follow the signs.
The Abbey site is owned by English Heritage, most frustrating if you forked out for a
years worth of National Trust membership before entering the castle. These two
organisations bitch like brother and sister and offer nothing in the way of
So, if your looking to maximise time
and pound sterling on this Holy Island, follow the path from the car park, walk round
the base of the Castle, look out over the sun shimmering bay and head back to the
abbey via the fishing huts. If need be, it is worth it, pay to stand amongst the
different areas of the Abbey that once were and walk through the museum that stands
just a few strides away. Much time has been spent in giving you some idea of local
history, geography, function and context.
As we trawled back over the causeway it seemed that Berwick-Upon-Tweed would be a
good layover before the last push into Edinburgh, especially given its pivotal part
in English, Scots history. But it was not to be. Either we took a wrong turning or
our 'guide' misled us, probably the former. Nothing took the eye that we could not
have attained in any other city of these lands, so we passed on through.
Edinburgh is only 56 miles north of Berwick, so onto the A1 we headed and had reached
the city limits as natural light departed the sky. A service station stop
allowed for a biological refuel and appropriation of accommodation. To this we
headed via the A720 bypass and the A8. We were in Edinburgh, Scotland, had cosy
accommodation, were too tired to venture forth so sat in the large bar area reading
Lolita. I could of course spend another 500 words painting some picture of our fellow
patrons, and of the staff, but have put upon you enough for one day.
|Day Five - Edinburgh Castle
Walk up the royal mile, onto the plateau of the courtyard, through the relatively new
gatehouse guarded by two legendary men and then take a right, past the old guard room
and through the portcullis gate. If you keep going, ignore the Lang Stairs, far to
steep, you will be able to spiral your way up, through this cornucopia of
Eventually you will come across an
almost perfectly rectangular building, one of the further most reaches of this rock.
It is no bigger than your average domestic garage and sits directly atop the crag,
itself built of volcano shaped of ice. If you compare this buildings construct to the
those around it, you will notice a difference in the rock used, a workman like
styling in the layering and joining of these stones. At varying times these four
walls have been used as a chapel and a gunpowder magazine. As it now stands,
serving the purpose for which it was originally constructed; a chapel built by
a son, to honour Margaret, a Queen of Scots who was later anointed a saint by
the man who was the orthodox Christian pope. Remarkably, for all the history within a
radius of 6 miles, this 12th century building is the oldest standing of Dun Edyn as
this city was known before it was given the name of 'Edinburgh' sometime in the last
The only reason we left the Castle was from exhaustion, having walked its cobbled
streets for the best part of the day. We had wondered through its proud and detailed
war museum, oh how mans mind excells when it involves killing other men. We
stood in the room that witnessed the birth of England's first Scottish King,
listened to the history of and looked upon the cherished 'Honours of Scotland'. The
best value for thirteen pound, including radio and headphones that did fill our ears
with information on the history of this castle and its city all day.
Tomorrow was going to be the trek
across to Glasgow and up through Dumbarton along the A82 to Fort William and Ben
Nevis. For now with the castle illuminated high in the night sky we walked down into
the neat Georgian streets connecting George and Princes. A bustling Italian was
located, complete with mischievous chef's tossing pizza and world weary waiters,
every action laden with charm and accomplished with a fourish. Especially if you have
a plunging neckline. We ended the night full of good food and wine, this time in the
biggest bed I have ever wiggled my weary little body into, courtesy of the Royal Scot
ED: to be Continued when Prideesh gets her notepad's sorted and start typing up her part of the stories!
Submission: Last post 22 October 2006