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Sunday, May 21, 2023

Scotland - Day 2: It's Pronounced "Edin-Brah"

A minor mystery has been solved.  What mystery, you may ask?  Well, is this town named...



...wrong on both counts.  According to our tour guide this morning, the very talented Ms. Roisin, it's actually pronounced something like "Edin-brah", where the "brah" part sounds like what a 20-something-year-old dude who vapes a lot calls everyone he knows.  See below.

On a more serious note, I highly recommend anyone who happens to be in Edin-brah (sorry, that's the last time I'll use that gag, promise) to check out Little Fish Tours.  Our guide, the above-referenced Ms. Roisin, was excellent.  In fact, we decided to take another one of their tours later in the week.  I'm not always a big fan of guided tours, but they do work best when you get to know the stories of the place...not just names and dates and assorted facts...but the very human stories of people who lived in a particular place.  That's what we got today.

Today's event was the walking tour noted above, combined with some additional wandering about (sometimes in circles) in and around the castle area of Edinburgh.  One of the things I find most fascinating about places, particularly older places, are the roof lines of buildings. Modern architecture, in my extremely amateurish opinion, lacks a certain kind of distinctiveness when the building hits the sky.  Instead of a kind of crown, many newer buildings just look as if someone arbitrarily just cut them off at some point.  That's certainly not the case here.

New vs. old building rooflines.  See the difference?

One quasi-funny story:  We were near the Scottish equivalent of the Supreme Court.  As our guide was speaking, we were told to move back, and low and behold, the justices of the court walked by us (within about 10 feet), complete with powdered wigs and robes befitting the best of a 17th-century jurist.  It was almost kind of odd in a way; as I mentioned to my stepson Alex if this were the U.S. we never would have gotten that close to the justices of the Supreme would have been one warning then 20 seconds later a taser shot to the abdomen.

Much of today's walking was centered around High Street/the Royal Mile.  Some of the buildings were spectacular.   

Unfortunately, there is a limit to how many photos I can share in a blog posting, but I'll be adding more to Facebook over the next few hours.

While the buildings seen today are beautiful, what I noted yesterday, which is a certain grittiness, complete with an odd assortment of sights and smells, was sort of familiar.  This is not a clean place.  In fact, you can tell this is a very much lived-in, working, functional kind of location.  The tourists are just here for the ride.

More to come.

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