Alex, Fiona, and I took a trip to Edinburgh in July. We flew over in the afternoon of Monday 18th. We picked up a rental car at the airport (upgraded from the Ford Focus I’d booked to a ludicrously huge Mercedes C200), and took a drive around South Queensferry to have a look at the new bridge under construction. Afterwards we drove to Haddington, and went out to dinner at the Waterside Bistro with Scott, Ange, Kyle, and Rachel. Alex and Fiona both had cajun chicken for the first time, not realizing quite how spicy cajun food can sometimes be. Alex was comically taken aback by his plate, but he did claim to like it (even though the heat eventually became too much for him). His palate is definitely evolving. It was a warm and sunny evening, and we took a leisurerly walk back along the river. Well, leisurely for the adults. The cousins spent most of the walk running and chasing each other.
Tuesday was one of the hottest days of the year in Edinburgh. I went in to work for the day, while Scott and the kids went to Foxlake for watery adventure fun, and hit Haddington again for ice cream in the afternoon. In the evening Alex, Fiona, and I drove back to the airport to drop off the car, and took the bus back into Edinburgh. We took a taxi to our Airbnb rental.
Wednesday I had to work again. I was supposed to be at an all-day workshop, but I had to abandon it part-way through the morning because of an allergic reaction to a personality profiling exercise. (That did allow me to be around the office during for an important software release in the afternoon, but my team had that all under control anyway.) Alex and Fiona were on their own. (Deliberately so: this was an Independence Quest.) They had phones, they know the language, and they had been around Edinburgh before. This was the day for them to explore the city on their own. They left the apartment around lunchtime (after the massive thunderstorms had passed), and visted the National Museum. They wanted to go to Maison de Moggy, the cat café in the Grassmarket for lunch, but they found that it only serves cake, not hot food. So they found a fish and chip shop and had that instead. At some point during the afternoon they hit up the Black Lion games store, and made their way back across the Meadows to the apartment. In the evening we went out to see Area 11 at the Mash House, and had fish and chips (again) at Uncle’s on George IV Bridge on the way back.
I had the day off on Thursday. Ange dropped Kyle off at our apartment just before we left. We walked across the Meadows to drop off our bags at the FanDuel office for the day, and raid the snack table. A long time ago (2002), Abi made a geocache called Up The Close And Down The Stair, which is a scavenger hunt around Edinburgh’s old town, following in the footsteps of 19th century serial killers Burke and Hare. We had a great time doing the cache, stopping off for ice cream, lunch at Mamma’s, and the occasional pokémon. At the end of the day we picked up our bags, saw Kyle off on a train back to East Lothian, and had just enough time to get Alex a haircut at Alfies barbershop on Fleshmarket Close before we caught the bus out to the airport and back home.
So it turns out that if you stick googly eyes on stone statues of children, the result is absolutely terrifying:
We saw these near the site of the first stop of the cache, in the graveyard of St Cuthbert’s on Princes Street. In case you missed it the first time:
Of course this meant that we had to find a shop that sold googly eyes, and targets to apply them to:
Not quite so terrifying, that last one.
At festival time, Edinburgh has such a shortage of flat surfaces for affixing posters that they put up temporary structures just for plastering with festival advertising. In Dutch, these would be called “plakzuilen”.