Friday, 11 February 2011

Brother does Britain!

Last October brought my brother Derek to the Isle of all things Brit...
Edinburgh Castle and us! 

He came to visit with his friend Danielle from his work. She has friends who live in and near London, and obviously Derek has me way up in lil' old Edinburgh.

They landed in London and spent a few days there before heading up to see me, and as luck would have it, I happened to be in London for a meeting while they were there, so I got to spend some time with them before they even got to my part of the Island!

Rabbit Kung-Fu London!

Us in front of Big Ben

When they arrived up in Edinburgh, bundled up against the 'cold', I met them at the train station and we went off for a nice dinner at a French restaurant owned and run by French people who were hard to understand...and I thought the Scottish accents were bad!

It was really nice to have Derek here, and Danielle was a nice contrast to his quiet, easygoing self. She is constantly excited and chatty, whereas Derek is not what you would call overly verbose. :-)
Derek and Danielle in front of Arthur's Seat

I love showing people Edinburgh when they've never been here before, and for Derek it was a chance to do things he enjoyed doing on his last trip, and some new things we never got around to.

Shadows on Calton Hill

These included two great Edinburgh traditions: Afternoon tea and a ghost tour!

Afternoon tea is one of my favourite British activities! You get a pot of tea of your choice, and a three tiered tray crammed full of goodies like sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam, and little chocolates, cupcakes, and tarts. Not too shabby for an afternoon "snack". (Although it must be said, after one of these teas, I usually can't eat again until late at night or the next morning!)

Mmmm Tastiness!  Nice pinky action!

Tea for two and Coffee for me!

Edinburgh is supposed to be the most haunted city in Britain, and this belief is easily reinforced by the old, winding, cobblestone streets, damp grey weather, buildings older that the United States of America, and the history which is easily accessible from any local in any pub around! Just ask about Mary King's close, and you'll learn all about the fact that during the plague, whole closes (or side streets) were boarded up if the plague was reported with the inhabitants INSIDE the closed up street. Left to die, this was the method for containment. Mary King was an unfortunate victim f this method. A child, she was left to die inside a close right off the Royal Mile. Once the plague passed, and the close was re-opened and cleaned up for new inhabitants, reports of hauntings began to roll in from anyone who lived in Mary King's house. Apparitions of floating limbs, sounds of a child crying, hair pulling by an invisible hand...

Eventually the close was abandoned again, and has been preserved to remain as it was during that time period. Still covered, you can now visit the close and leave Mary King's ghost a toy, as many peple do, to try to appease this sad, lonely child spirit...

Ghost tour faces

We went on one of the tours that takes you into the vaults below the about creepy! pitch black and full of tunnels and little rooms, it would be so hard to navigate without a guide, and impossible without a flashlight! Many of the ghostly sightings reported tend to be in these vaults, but the ghosts must have been on a break that night, because I didn't see or feel anything. What a shame. (sense my sarcasm).

It was a really nice trip, and made it easier to deal with the fact that I hadn't been to the US or seen my family in TEN MONTHS! But October marked the beginning of the end of the year, and the upcoming holidays...

Until Next Time! 

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