Sunday, 26 November 2017

Edinburgh, Scotland (23 Great King Street)

Woke up before my alarm that I had set last night for 7:30 a.m. Today I’m taking the train to Inverness to meet up with Mary who is there visiting family. We have been trying to make plans to meet up since October.

I called for a taxi to pick me up at 8:45 to deliver me to Waverley station to catch my 9:33 train. It took less than 10 minutes to ride to the station, but it gave me time to collect my pre-ordered tickets from the ticket machine, grab some liquids and snacks for the train, buy a cup of coffee and locate the platform from where the train will depart.

It was getting to be under 10 minutes before the 9:33 scheduled departure and the platform for departure had not been posted. Since Waverley is a very large station on several floors, I asked at the information desk if they had an idea which set of platforms I might expect to find the train. They said it was most likely going to be platform 15, or somewhere nearby. It wasn’t until 5 minutes prior to departure that the departure platform was announced. Was amazing how almost 100 people were able to quickly walk down the platform and board a train – and for the train to leave on time.

As we were going over the old cantilever railway Forth Bridge, I took a couple of pictures of the new bridge, Queensferry Crossing. The Forth Road Bridge partially obstructs the view of the new bridge, but I was still able a great picture of both through the train’s window.

Another picture from the train crossing the Forth Bridge and the two bridges to the East:

The train to Inverness took us from the green pastures of sites from the lowlands to the snow-covered hills of the highlands:

 

The picture below was exceptionally beautiful so I shared it on Facebook as I returned to Edinburgh.

On the 3.5 hour ride up to Inverness, I used the time to make quite a few updates to my Early Memories before the dodgy internet and WiFi connection made saving my updates difficult.

The train arrived on time and saw that Mary was waiting for me as we exited the train.

After I secured my laptop and travel sack in a locker at the train station we headed off to the nearby mall. I asked Mary if she would purchase a supply of the naproxen pain relief pills to use when my back acts up. Naproxen is in Aleve in the U.S., but is limited in the UK to women with menstrual cramps. The only pharmacy in Inverness that would have had the pills was out of the product. Guess I will try my luck back in Edinburgh. I found a pharmacy in Edinburgh that was okay with selling me the product, but others were not so willing. Anyway, no big deal, I was looking forward to getting caught up with Mary and having a good lunch.

Mary and I found a place that we liked to eat lunch and we talked about our travels since we last saw each other this past June in Dublin. We were at the table for a few hours and then noticed that everyone else had left and we were the last two. The restaurant was in the process of preparing for the dinner customers as we left.

I was also looking to purchase the same boots that I had purchased last year when I visited Inverness. They have been great boots and have proven to be totally waterproof in the rain, lightweight, and very comfortable. We went to the store where I had purchased them last year and found they were marked as being 20% off. Nice! I tried on a pair and found they were exactly what I was expecting. Now, what to do with my old pair. I’ll see if a charity shop would take them with a chance that someone might still find more use from them. We also stopped by the M&S store and I found a pair of loungewear that I liked.

As it was getting dark and colder, we thought a warm coffee drink would be nice. We found a bar right next to the train station where we ordered a coffee drink with some Bailey’s added. Perfect! We talked about our future plans and were still unsure when we will meet up again. Definitely before our friend Barbara is due to arrive next August.

It was time for my train and we headed to the train station next door. We said our good-byes and I boarded the train. I had expected to work on my Early Memories stories on the way back but was too tired and took a quick nap after the train left the station. I listened so some music and ate a couple of snacks on the way back. The internet connection was off and on during the trip. Just as I completed a Facebook posting the train was approaching Edinburgh. It was nearly 10:30 p.m.

I took a taxi back to the flat, but stopped off at the Tesco Express store to pick up a couple of items before walking the half a block to the flat. Once home, I changed into something comfortable and made a fried egg sandwich for a late dinner.

Tomorrow I’m planning to make a Shepard’s Pie and get more travel planning accomplished. I’m really dragging my feet on finalizing some of my next stays, so I really need to get on it.

 

 

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