A lovely fine morning! Up to finish the re packing then out for a walk and brekky.
The West End of Edinburgh seems to undergoing a big rejuvenation. My recollection of thirty ago is that there were many older apartment blocks and it now seems that a lot have been levelled and new blocks with businesses at street level have built. Are being built. And yet to be built judging by a large empty site across from the place we stayed in.
These newer buildings are generally harmonious and some actually quite attractive. This will be high density housing close in to the city, with more living space per sq metre than the buildings they replace due to thinner walls and lower ceilings. There is even a brand new High School with a playing field on the roof.
We managed to get ourselves a bit lost, and then started to recognise places from the past. As we moved up the hill from the Union Canal ( now much cleaner and safer feeling). Then all of a sudden we at the links, having come up via Viewforth Church.
Thirty years ago the Links and the Meadow were important thoroughfares for me as I walked to and from New College. They are a very large green space near the heart of the city.
Lots of twists and turns and finally we popped out into Grassmarket. It was chilly in there with sun not yet high…well as high as it would get which in Scotland is never high! A lovely spot just down from the castle which dominates it. Found a breakfast place which seemed to be a student favourite. Pleasant.
The Castle in the sun while we were in the shade in the Grassmarket
The Vennel. I walked up these steps often on my home from study
A meander back to the apartment and it was time for the 11:00 checkout. Retrieved the car and started a drive further afield
Up Lothian road and past the old house then all the way up, past the surgery, then close to the Pentlands. Morningside was traffic clogged. Seems to be much busier now. Safeway is now a Waitrose. Lots of small cafes. Appears prosperous.
We drove back via some less familiar routes and when we hit Outangs Road we knew we were close to Colinton Road and the old house.
The plan was to park (easier said than done) and have a coffee in what was a garden shop in our time, now a Starbucks. We could see the old house from there, just across the street. Actually, we could see this place from the house as well and once saw a burglary taking place, called the police and also watched the burglars being apprehended.
We lived behind the blue door to the left of the double windows. The peaked roof was above our (W&K) bedroom, the floor below was a large lounge and the street level room was locked and held the owner’s possessions….loads of antique furniture The children slept in rooms on intermediate levels behind.
For us today it was about nostalgia.
Keitha nipped around the corner Everybodys Designs where she often bought cards and stationery in the past. Business now 70 yrs old and same family. I headed back to the car to thwart the officious and numerous traffic wardens.
So, then back out to the bypass road under the Pentlands. This took us around to the outer west of town and close to the airport. We had to go past the airport to fill up with petrol before returning the car, and getting in the wrong lane on a big roundabout meant a 10 mile detour before getting of the M8. Still, we had plenty if time and the check in desk did not open for nearly an hour after got to the terminal. Lufthansa seemed to cut it fine to me, but transpired that nearly all check in is done on line and we would have done likewise except for the advice on my phone. This meant difficult seating on both legs to Singapore. Lesson learnt!
All ok as we got to Frankfurt and had to walk at least a kilometre in the same terminal to get to gate Z32. This a seriously big airport with many, many Lufthansa planes parked nose-in or out in the open.
Good flight although were the two middles in a four seat centre block of an A380. Our respective neighbours were both a bit uncommunicative and both slept a lot, making getting out difficult.
A long bus ride into town, but it cost nothing as drivers changed as we got on and we were hustled to the back of the bus and got forgotten. Managing four suitcases with wheels
in a bus was not easy ( no luggage racks) but it went OK. Used GPS to follow the route, anticipate where it might go and then where to get off. Keitha declared that it would be a miracle if we foynd ourselves at the right place. Such little faith! Perfect navigation. Actually, I was bit relieved myself.
Checked in, went to bed.
I am awake at 3:00 am as I write this, not sure what the date is here, but know that it is Saturday. Oh, that means it must be the 11th. Feels like a big hole in my life over the last 24 hours. Never gone straight to bed after a long haul before!