Day # 9 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge... You can read my other posts for the Challenge here :)
And so begins the Travel Tale Theme for the week (click to read my previous travels) .....I was thinking which trip to start with and thought of starting with the latest one (actually less strain on the brain to remember)
Last month, one evening when I woke up after a nice nap and came out of the bedroom, saw Ritchie busy with something on MY laptop and then seeing me he had a wide grin. My first question, 'What are you doing with MY laptop?'. He looked at me and said 'Let's go to Scotland'. I snatched MY laptop and said, 'Ya rite. You still cannot have MY laptop!!'. And then just before dinner we had the below conversation.
Me: God I slept so well in the afternoon, yet I feel sleepy
Him: Yes sleep early, we need to leave by atleast 6.30am
Me: Leave where?
Him: To Scotland
Me: SCOTLAND!!! We are really going or what???
Him: I told you no?
Me: No you told me 'Let's go to Scotland' that does not mean 'We are going to Scotland tomorrow morning!!!'
Him: I just booked the tickets and made a hotel confirmation. You know I called Binny...but he and Reema cannot come...wish they had joined no?
Me: Ya.. here's the thing.... if you are not aware .. some people like to plan their journey...NOT DROP A BOMB LIKE THIS!!
Saying this I walked away thumping my foot to do an emergency packing and left Ritchie wondering why I was connecting a Scotland trip to dropping a bomb!!
We went to Glasgow first. It is a very beautiful place reminded us lot of Stockholm. People here we found to be very friendly and helpful, especially if you are a tourist. Like when we went to the Glasgow Science Centre, the customer care lady let us know that if we had our sight seeing bus tickets stamped by the driver, we would have got a 10% discount on their entry tickets. Then she told us that we still had a chance of that discount if we could wait at the bus stop for another bus to arrive in about 10 minutes and we can get our discount stamps from that driver as well. Oh and we Indians how we love discounts, promptly me and Ritchie went to the bus stop got not only our discount tickets but also told about it to the other tourists who were getting down from that bus. While we are still in Glasgow let me tell you one more thing, I had the bestest of Japanese food here. I doubt if I will find anything better even in Japan. We were served some rice with raw salmon with lots of chilly oil..oh how we relished it. We are big time foodies and love to experiment. We have tried and loved Japanese food. If you ever go to Wagamama don't forget to try the plum wine (it's sweet) and try Sake a fermented drink made from rice. Ok sorry sorry I deviated from Glasgow to Japan...food can get me crazy actually
Coming back to the Science centre, it was pure fun. There were lot of families around with their kids, but we noticed something... the kids were ofcourse enjoying, but the elders were the ones who were really letting it go. Every game you could see grown ups letting themselves lose and enjoying the inventions. Me and Ritchie really did not want to leave that place. We were like little children let lose in a circus
There was another place I had to literally drag my man out of 'The Glengoyne Distillery'. The tour to this place was very informative also the bus ride we took to reach here was really nice. Once inside it was really amazing to see how a bottle of this finest Single Malt is prepared. I really did not know this much effort and detailed process is involved just to get someone drunk . This video explains it, though their inhouse guide gave a very detailed information to us.
From there we went to Edinburgh. If Glasgow was more like Stockholm calm, peaceful with lush green surroundings then Edinburgh was totally opposite. More city life, more traffic, busy people all around you, we were about to write off Edinburgh as not a place we want to go again, when it completely surprised us the next day. We were tired a lot and wanted to wake up really late. So morning while both of us were snoring away to glory, the smoke alarm in our room went off. We woke up startled. I was really irritated. Ritchie went out to check what happened. He rushed back inside and asked me to get up as everyone else was rushing down. So we grabbed our coats and the bag with our passports in it and ran down the stairs. All the while we ran down I kept thinking about my toiletry bag which had my favourite lipsticks in it and cursed myself for not taking it with me. Once down it was a sight to see. Men with shaving creams on their faces, women who had forgotten to wear their trousers in a rush, some one complaining that she did not take her phone!! I know I sound insensitive but still
While we waited we saw the fire brigade walk in. They checked all the rooms. We were after about 20 minutes informed that the alarm in someone's room probably went off because of the steam from their bathrooms. If I was not sleeping in all probability that alarm room would have been ours. The thing is I love to take long showers and when I come out of the bathroom it usually resembles a small steam room. So yes that was a first, the fire alarm exercise. We then got ready and left for roaming around. After one or two museums we went to visit the Palace of Holyroodhouse.
When we reached the Palace we saw it was restricted for tourists and there were security personnel outside. Ritchie walked upto one and she informed him that Prince Charles was visiting and hence it was closed. Then we just lurked around to click pictures of the palace. In some time guess whom we saw...the Man himself....Prince Charles... with his staff. We kept clicking his pictures and when he waved at us we could have swooned...seriously... So after the fire alarm this was another shock...a Royal One!!
|♥My Prince ♥|
We then went to visit the Scottish Parliament. Yes you can go in and see the Parliament in session. I whispered to Ritchie, maybe it was not a very good idea, because what if like our Indian Parliament, ministers who threw chairs and chappals at each other these guys did the same too. We very cautiously went in. There was an audience booth we sat there. The debate was about withdrawing benefits to the disabled. And no ... no one threw chairs .. atleast that day!
|The Queen's Bed in the Yacht|
That day we also went to see the Royal Yacht Britannia. This was the Queen's Ship for 40 years and now it is berthed at a port in Edinburgh for public display. It is a huge yacht. The Queen has had many delegates over in here and our own Late PM Rajiv Gandhi was also one of them. The ship is so well maintained and every inch of that ship screams Royalty. It was a complete worth while visit.
|A paper napkin @tea room|
There is a tea room on the Royal Deck. Visitors can go there and have good food....it is not much of the food though it is more about enjoying a Royal service. Yours truly as usual got clumsy and spilled a full bottle of soft drink all over the table. The server was kind enough not to stare at me and cleaned up the table and even gave me another bottle totally free. Ritchie though for that moment pretended not to know me at all.
While in Edinburgh we also visited the Writers' Museum, to the writer inside me it was a pilgrimage. It preserves the works of three great Scottish writers Sir Walter Scott, Robert Burns & Louis Stevenson. Absolute treat!! Edinburgh was really trying very hard to clear our first impression and it succeeded
And yes in Scotland I finally also got Ritchie to wear the Kilt - Scottish Skirt, like the one Prince Charles is wearing in the picture above. But due to serious threats to my future shopping plans I cannot post those pictures here on the blog. We are going to frame that picture and put it in our home though.
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