5:36am EST, 10:30am here...
I think we went to sleep at 11pm GMT last night, so we should be rested. WE just woke up, and typical, Gaby reached for the TV remote (one of the reasons we don't have a TV in the bedroom). Managed to find "Trisha" which is the UK equivalent of Montel WIlliams and Jerry Springer wrapped into one. SO far it's tame by comparison, just a pregnant girl by somebody other than her boyfriend, not transexual jewel thiefs, or marrying brother and sisters.
We're off to go see the castle today and it's surrounds. I tell ya, coming in to town and seeing it yesterday was impressive... more-so than even the ones in Germany... so I hope it lives up to the expectations.
Our day began with expectations of rainy windy weather, but I think the challenge of keepign an umbrella in my camera bag kept both away. It was probably the most beautiful day in Scotland anyone could have asked for. Mild, partly cloudy, and tons of sun peeking through. I've shot a few beautiful shots of the castle as well as the skyline of Edinburgh.
The excahnge rate is still killing us. We've spent 50 GBP ($100) between the two of us yesterday and today. That's included 3 meals. We plan on doing a small pub tour this evening, but hopefully that doesn't kill us too much. We did hit a supermarket to pick up some soda (Pepsi MAX) and some snacks for breakfast and the bus tour on Monday and Tuesday. As per my usual, we came across not one but two HMV's (record stores) as well as the traditional Virgin Megastore (long story, but we hit one every major European city we've been in). I was looking for the Badly Drawn Boy single package supposedly released (found out it'll be here Monday).
We ran in to Ian and Hongying while crossing Grassmarket to wander around the west side of the castle. We'll catch up with them this evening. The wedding is a 2pm GMT tomorrow. We'll need to probably walk the distance. We'll get an idea this evening how long it will take this evening since Grassmarket is also where the hotel is (hence the oddity of running into them outside the pub talking to ian's pal Wolf - he's actually from Germany but is residing in the USA with his wife).
We saw the old Scottish Parliament, which now holds the courts (somewhat like our Supreme Court I'm presuming). Yes, they wear wigs, and no, photos were not allowed.
We may take a bus tour on Sunday or tomorrow to hit the north part of town to see the Britania (Royal Yacht), but we're still working on that.
I hate to say we're being cheap, but phew... financially the UK is NOT the place to go to on a budget. :-D
I think the photos may tell a better story than my typing at this point, since I was taking snaps more than talking...
So, we trekked over to Grassmarket again. This time we got to meet more of the out of "town" visitors. I knew Wolf, Jonathan, and Joseph as well as having met Michelle and a few others briefly.
It took a while before Ian and Hongying showed up from the rehersal dinner. We ended up meeting Ned, Gareth (a Dr. in Biomedial Chemistry, but is working at an outdoor park here... man he could be raking in the dough in DC) and a few others. We heded out to a bar, I forgot which one, but I'll look it up later. It was loud, but they had a "new" Guiness (sic) there... Guiness EXTRA COLD... boy was it good. It was smoother than the US and England Guiness'es. Ian told be over here they brew it separately in each country. So, as the verdict goes, Scottish Guiness is the best.
We walked back (luckily, the walk only took 25 minutes there... we left at 8:38 for a 9pm meetup, and got there exactly on time... but as mentioned earlier...) and Gaby's shoes started rubbing her heels raw. We need to get bandages tomorrow before the wedding just to make sure, got to find where to buy them.
I may be able to swing getting back 2 days because I've been workign issues for work in the evenings here. That would be good.
So far this evening we've also caught "My Name is Earl" on the TV AND ads for the assassination film the BBC did about Bush that caused such a stir (or 'row' in UK speak) in the US.
Happily eating McVItties HobNobs right now.. chocolatey oatie goodness...
More tomorrow, but figured a late post would be welcome.