Weekend Outing to London

Last week I decided to use some British Airline air miles to visit London again. When I was there in July, it was very warm, and due to the heat, I was kind of sluggish while visiting everything I wanted to see. London is much different, and more enjoyable, when cooler.

I got into London late Saturday, but walked around area of the hotel that evening and enjoyed the neighborhood nightlife. A number of restaurants serve food until very late in the evening. Ending up having dinner at a Lebanese / Turkish restaurant. (No, didn’t take a picture.)

In the morning, got up late and headed out towards Westminster. Along the way, I found myself in St. James’s Park and enjoyed watching everyone taking advantage of a late September afternoon.



While walking through the park, not really paying attention to where I was, I saw something golden through the trees – it was a gate that looked very familiar. It was my good friend, Buckingham Palace. Took a picture of one of the guards next to the palace to point out how immense it is.




img_20160925_204356 img_20160925_204333                                            Can you see the guard in the first picture?

From there I walked down the Mall (road between the palace and Westminster) – the one used by the royal family to travel down for weddings, funerals, coronations, opening of Parliament. Took a picture of a monument that I hadn’t seen before and then headed to Trafalgar Square.

img_20160925_204307 The Mall

(Looking back toward Buckingham Palace)

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At Trafalgar Square, there was a Japanese festival in the square. Was getting a little hungry so sampled some of the food offered and enjoyed the performances from the main stage, including a group of youngsters from the Suzuki Institute who were a crowd favorite.

img_20160925_204158 Admiral Nelson (at the top)

The festival – Japan Matsuri: http://www.japanmatsuri.com/




While leaving the square, I saw a contingent of horses and their riders heading my way. As they approached, saw they were part of the metropolitan police force – and what they were doing parading down the street I do not know.


Close to where I first saw the mounted police contingent, I saw where Her Majesty’s mounted patrol are based. At the entrance was this officer.


And a few blocks from there I saw this street sign.  Downy Street – do I know anyone who lives there? (Hint: Prime Minister)

img_20160925_203920 Downing Street?

img_20160925_203900 (See the red brick home.)

I had no idea that the Prime Minister lived so close to “the store”. See next picture. Palace of Westminster (the side away from the river that we usually see in America).


Attached to the Palace of Westminster, is the tower (Elizabeth Tower) that holds “Big Ben”, the great bell of the clock. This time, I took a video (with sound) of the clock striking 4:00 p.m.  You’ll want to get your headphones to listen.


Video (uploaded to YouTube): https://youtu.be/NAowt2wKz0E  (Cut and Paste) Enjoy!

(Note: There is a lag between when the chimes end and when the bell begins.)





FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Since I’ve been a homebody recently, and getting settled in Edinburgh, thought I’d do a post answers to questions that have been asked over the past few months. (If you have any follow up questions or a new question, please use the comments feature below, or email me directly at philipmarsh1879@gmail.com.)

What does the 1879 represent at the end of your email?  1879 is the year that my paternal grandfather, Glenn B. Marsh, was born. Someone else had already claimed philipmarsh@gmail.com and I needed a way to make my address unique – so used my grandfather’s birth year. He and I were very close and this gave me another way to remember him, and do so every time I use my email.

Why am I using Philip rather than Phil now?  The first answer to the question is that I never stopped using Philip. Really! Somewhere around my freshman year in high school, either people started calling me Phil, or I thought Philip didn’t sound very grown up. So then the confusion started, where I was still being called Philip (mainly by family), using Philip for formal documents, and friends and teachers calling me Phil. After awhile I didn’t care – and so it went for many years. About a couple of years ago, I made an effort to start using only Philip so my name was more consistent in all places, and to take back the name that I was given at birth. So, my name has gone full circle. As one of my grandfathers used to say, “You can call me anything you’d like, just don’t call me ‘late’ for dinner.”

Why am I traveling in Europe for 3 years?  The tipping point for me was when I found out how much it would cost for insurance (good insurance, not basic coverage) if I retired. Spending half of my income on medical insurance didn’t seem like a good value to me. When I found out how much it would cost to live in Europe, that sealed the deal.  When I am eligible for Medicare, then I’ll consider returning.

Am I coming back to the U.S. to live? I can’t say. Maybe I will come back full time, or do 6 months in the U.S. and 6 months in Europe. Or just stay in Europe. Too early to say.

Do I get lonely? Yes, I do at times – but don’t we all? Actually, I get along fairly well with myself. Also, friends and family keep in contact with me and can expect frequent contacts throughout the day. A big thank you to social media, texting, and for those who follow this travel blog and send me comments that I appreciate so much.  And, I’ve also met some terrific people along the way.

Do I have a travel plan? No specific travel plan at this time. I have an overall idea what I’d like to do and see, perhaps for the next few months.  But that is all. I like going with the flow and see where that takes me. Seems to be working out well. To recap, this is my tentative plan for the next 6+ months: Edinburgh: Until 30 November; London: December; Zermatt and Egypt: January; Budapest: February – April; May (Italy and/or Austria?); Dublin: June – August

Did you really sell or give everything away? Yes, most everything. Have a few items that family and friends are holding on to, but the remainder are in 15 boxes in my brother’s warehouse. Other than the items with me as I travel, that is the extent of my physical assets. Recently, I settled the ownership of the Hood River home with my brother, so that releases me from that responsibility. It feels good to travel light!

Do you have a permanent address?  Yes, my mail goes to a friend’s house in Portland and he sends me copies of anything that I need to see. He will mail my voter’s ballot to me.

How is your cat? He is doing fine at his new home and having his own adventures. His new family lets him outside in their fenced back yard. (Something that I could never do.) I get periodic updates, and pictures, from his new family who love him very much. Below is a picture I received this week:


Do you eat your meals in restaurants or cook at home? I have almost all meals at home. When looking for a new place to stay, I am now only seeking places where I can cook. Grocery shopping in various countries is both a challenge and fun at the same time. Then again, cooking in a unfamiliar kitchen, that may or may not have everything you need, requires some creativity and compromises. My guilty (food) pleasures?  At home: toast  Restaurant: McDonald’s cheese burgers

Favorite city or country so far? I don’t have one. Really! I am going back to Zermatt because I want to see what January is like and Budapest because my first visit was not long enough to see everything.

How is your health? Excellent. No sick days, though there have been a couple of days where I was exhausted, but seemed to shake it off after a few hours of rest. Also, as part of joining the new gym, I was given a health physical (BP, heart, weight, etc.) and everything checked out okay – though it showed I was a little dehydrated, so have been drinking more water.

What about health insurance?  Yes, I have health insurance. My premium is around $130 per month, but doesn’t include dental. Yesterday, I passed a dental office and they had this posted in their window. Prices look reasonable to me. Also, found out that Budapest is a travel destination, many from the UK, who want good dental treatment for a low price. I’ll probably have my teeth cleaned before I leave Edinburgh and then again in Budapest.


Do I miss driving a car?  Nope, not yet. No plans to rent a car. I seem to do well with walking and public transportation.  When (or if) I return to Portland, I may not have a car.

What is it like being retired and traveling? I was surprised. Seemed to have taken to this new lifestyle very well. It is almost like traveling is what I’ve always done. Each time I land in a new city, it gets easier to settle in. Haven’t yet woken up and not know where I was – or where the bathroom is located when I’m half asleep. I try to get to bed before midnight, and wake up anywhere from 4:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – though when I wake early, I generally get in a morning nap before heading out the door.

Is my brother visiting me in Edinburgh?  Yes, he will be here in late October or early November and think he will be here about 10 or so days.

Are you staying within your travel budget?  Was asked this yesterday. My answer was, “What travel budget?”  And that was an honest answer. In the big scheme of things, to travel to a number of cities, it does cost more – considering transportation costs. When settled in one place, travel expenses are much lower. (See next question.)

Is food more expensive in Europe? From my limited experience, there are several answers. Overall, I’d have to say, not really. For instance, I was expecting to pay much more for food purchased in a Swiss grocery store, but discovered the cost to be about the same as the U.S. Budapest was the least expensive. Here in Edinburgh, I have a store discount card that I’ve been using. Also, it depends on what you buy and where you buy it.

What do you do about clothes? Quick answer: make do with what I have. To be honest, it was difficult parting with my clothes when I left Portland. A friend has some of my clothes so when I visit, or perhaps move back, I have something to wear. My clothes have been a real game changer for me, since I probably had more clothes than anyone really needs – now I know that. After the cold weather, I will donate my winter clothes to a charity thrift shop as the weather warms so I’m not packing so many clothes from place to place.

You seem to do things that put you high in the air (tall buildings, paragliding, helicopter)? What’s next?  Next month, I’m traveling to an island in Scotland and the plane will land on a beach. Riding in a hot air balloon over the Nile river (January).

Any tattoos or piercings?  No. Haven’t up to now, and no plans to.

Why did you name your site: “Travel – Explore – Learn – Share”?  I wanted to name a site with something that tells the reader what to expect. While I’m traveling for my own pleasure and personal growth, I also want to share what I’ve learned and my experiences. It goes back to being in the flow. And sharing seems to be the right thing to do. Kind of like breathing.

“After pressing reset..” What does that mean? Did you “press reset”?  My vision, after retirement and in my travels, I expected it would be like pressing my personal “reset button” where my life changes. Thought it would happen when I sat down on the bench in St. James’ Park, but it didn’t – for that experience, it was more like turning a page. What I’m feeling now is that (metaphorically) my finger is still on the button.






My Home in Edinburgh (Stockbridge/Comely Bank)

In an earlier post I showed where in Edinburgh I was living. Thought it might be helpful to describe the area where I live as well. Technically, I live in Comely Bank, situated between Stockbridge and Craigleith – but much closer to Stockbridge.

comelybank Comely Bank

There are only a few shops within Comely Bank, since it is almost 100% residential. Like my street as shown below. Comely Bank seems to be almost all tenements (or apartments), rather than homes. Those that are homes, would almost always are attached to the home next to it. From what I’ve read, most of these buildings in Comely Bank are from the late 19th century to the 1930’s. Also I see where the writer Thomas Carlyle lived on Comely Bank Road between 1819 and 1821.

If you’d like to see inside my flat, the pictures and description from my Airbnb hosts describe it better than I could.  Here is the link:

https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/13945061?sug=50  (comfortable, remodeled, and quiet)

The fun part is that just 5 minutes away is Stockbridge. A little village, with shops mainly on one street. All the shops and restaurants are well-maintained and varied. (Yes, there is a Starbucks and Domino’s Pizza, but the rest of the shops and restaurants are unique to the area. I ventured out last Saturday, around 9:00 p.m., and the restaurants were in full swing, attracting a good crowd. Also, some charity thrift shops that look interested – will have to visit them one of these days.

stockbridge Stockbridge

And some pictures of the street…




I pass through Stockbridge to get to my health club. I sometimes go up one side of the street going and the other side coming back. Very convenient to stop in the local Sainsbury’s to pick up something on the way back from the gym. For those familiar with Portland, it is very much like 23rd Avenue.

Each Sunday, there is open air market. I’ve gone a couple of times and for a small space, there are a surprising variety of local products and food, including fruits and vegetables. There is also a vendor that makes paella – haven’t tried yet. Maybe next time.









The Royal Botanic Garden – Edinburgh

I’ve been waiting for the right day to venture over to the Royal Botanic Garden, just down the road from where I’m staying in Edinburgh.


Speaking of which, I haven’t included a map of where I’m staying. As you can see from the map below, I’m close to the center of the city and can walk to almost everything. I’m a few blocks away from Stockbridge, which is considered a suburb of Edinburgh – more like the Pearl District, or even South Waterfront in Portland. I’ll include pictures of Stockbridge shops in another update.


My address is: 5/11 Comley Bank Row (the 5 is the building number and 11 is my flat number)  Edinburgh postal code of EH4 1DZ. Google EH4 1DZ and it will take you almost to my door – great postal numbering system.

Okay – back to the Royal Botanic Garden. There are actually three other sites as well: Dawyck, Logan and Benmore – with Edinburgh being the main garden and headquarters.

As you can see, a short walk for me this morning. Going through the West Gate Entrance, I entered the visitor center where I picked up a map and headed into the gardens.

(Note: At the time I published this update, the Garden’s website appeared to be unavailable. I’ll put in a map of the garden when the website has been restored.)

I first went to the Inverleith House, which is close to the center of the gardens and offers a view of Edinburgh. Inverleith House is used now as a museum for modern art, which I toured before heading to the next location.

img_20160917_182027 View of Edinburgh from Inverleith House

img_20160917_182051 Inverleith House

img_20160917_182110 View of gardens from Inverleith House

Heading from Inverleith House to the north side of the gardens, I saw the Herbaceous Border and Beech Hedge.

img_20160917_112641083 Herbaceous Border and Beech Hedge

Through the headge, I saw and toured the Queen Mother’s Memorial Garden. The center was this hedge garden which was surrounded by smaller spaces all around the hedge garden. In the picture below, there is a building at the far end that can be used for small receptions. There is a picture of the Queen dedicating the park that I Googled, but didn’t include here.

img_20160917_112828398_hdr img_20160917_181953

I saw where the Queen Mother’s home, the Castle of Mey, is open for visitors. I probably will not visit since it is 3 hours away from Inverness. Very remote – but you never know where I’ll end up.


Next I visited the Glasshouses, which are a series of green houses that contain a variety of both rare and common plants that require special climates. Each of these greenhouses were individually maintained. Was quite interesting to go from one to another – you never knew if you were going to the tropics or the hot desert, or somewhere in between.

Difficult to describe each picture, so I’ll just include some of the pictures I took during my visit. I entered through the Temperate Palm House, first opened in 1858.







img_20160917_115131361_hdr Felt at times I was on a different world

img_20160917_115159055 img_20160917_115310626 img_20160917_115508987_hdr img_20160917_115816304

img_20160917_115830493 img_20160917_115926133

img_20160917_120641690 img_20160917_120712151

Found a couple of interesting signs.

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And beautiful flowers. These are from within the greenhouses and outside in the gardens.

img_20160917_181907 img_20160917_181736

img_20160917_181710 Morticia Addams would like this one.

img_20160917_181606 img_20160917_181549 img_20160917_181529 img_20160917_181511 img_20160917_181456  img_20160917_181414 img_20160917_181151

Just when I was ready to leave greenhouse #10, I wondered if I would see a Venus Flytrap. Not sure why I thought this – it just popped into my head. In less than 5 minutes, I saw the Venus Flytrap display. Timing is everything…  (See below.)


There were a number of Monkey Puzzle trees on display.

img_20160917_122228311  A couple of Monkey Puzzle treesimg_20160917_122244198 Close Up

img_20160917_122207263  Some facts

Walked around the gardens…


img_20160917_122110715_hdr Some of the greenhouses


img_20160917_123850890 img_20160917_123951685_hdr

img_20160917_124124807_hdr img_20160917_124223087

I will have to go back again. Bet if I reversed my walk through the gardens I’d get a different perspective. Will give it a try!

On my way out (East Entrance), I took a picture of the gate.


Just outside the gate, I found the William Playfair house, or thought I did. The house has his name on it. I’ll go back and check out further. Also, this house could belong to one of two people named William Playfair. Actually, this is kind of fun for me….


Walking home, I passed a building called “Union House”. Now it contains businesses – was built in 1911 as a Christian Science church.


And more more stop. Even closer to my flat, is Inverleith Park. Just walked by the lake and will visit again for a longer visit in the near future.

img_20160917_131326321_hdr img_20160917_131332789_hdr

Have to include one more picture. Reminded me of growing up in Hood River. My cousins who I know are following my adventures will enjoy this too.


Steam Train to Tweedback

I saw that there was a steam train from Edinburgh to a town named Tweedback, South of Edinburgh. So I booked a ride. Why? Well, I’ve not ridden on a steam-powered train and have not been to Tweedback – so I was very much “on board”. (Sorry for the pun.)

There are several steam trains in Scotland, but this one was convenient and received good reviews. So yesterday I got myself to Waverly station, about a 30 minute walk from the flat, at around 9:00 – in time to ensure that I get on the 9:46 train to Treedback. This is the second year this particular train has been in operation and only runs for a limited time, only on Sundays, August to September.


Edinburgh to Tweedbank

Before we left the station, I took a picture of the train. It was making a lot of sounds and letting off steam at regular intervals. I returned to my seat, 2 by 2 seating (2 people facing 2 other people with a table in between), and joined a retired couple traveling with their daughter. The four of us exchanged some greetings and prepared for our journey. The rail cars were from perhaps the 50’s and we were very cozy!

img_20160911_134323 At Waverley (Edinburgh) Train Station

As the train left the station, the conversation my fellow travelers started slowly. We first commented how many people came out of their homes along the way to take pictures and wave at us. We waved back. The couple pointed out the town they once lived in and commented on the various water foul on the rivers. The train ride was about an hour – just enough time to get fairly well acquainted with them.

When we got to Treedbank, we went our separate ways. They were going to take a local train back to an earlier stop and visit some attractions there. I decided to remain in Tweedbank and find a place to eat. I really hadn’t had a full meal at a Scottish restaurant, and was looking forward to see what might be on a menu in a small town. (I also needed to visit a W.C. since there were no facilities on the train or at the station.)  One of the guides who met us at the station recommended a place not too far from the station, so off I went – quickly.

“Herges on the Loch” was perfect. Local and on a loch. (My first Scotish loch!)  I got there about 15 minutes before opening and was happy to be let in early. The menu was fairly basic, but had a good number of items offered. The beef and ale pie looked good and also ordered the vegetable soup for a starter. Was going to have a little dessert, but was full after the meal.

On the way back to the station, I walked through some neighborhoods and taking in the sights along the way. A couple of bushes caught my eye, each had distinctive berries on them. Maybe the angle of the sun, but the red berries really were vibrant.

img_20160911_132852472  img_20160911_134212

When I returned to the station, I took pictures of the train from the other side and another showing the passenger cars, of which there were about 10. Noticed the plaque on the train. Saw that the train was built in 1927 (the year my dad was born).

img_20160911_134156 img_20160911_134304

The family that I had met on the way to Tweedbank got on at Galasiels, a few miles down the track. We got caught up on what we did in between our arrival and now. They had lunch in Galashiels, and just walked around the town. We settled in for our ride back. This time, because we were going in the opposite direction from before, I had a different view – my seat now faced forward.

We talked about all sorts of subjects. Think they enjoyed my humor, or in my case, innocence, because of some of the questions I asked. For instance, “What do you call “Scottish Broom”?  They laughed and said, “Broom”.  Then we all laughed when they saw me realize that it would be redundant, being Scottish themselves, if they were to also call the bush, Scottish Broom. Anyway, we thought it was funny. Of course, I had to follow up with another funny and commented on the large sheep on the hill – pointing to a herd of very light blond cows. That definitely broke the ice.

img_20160912_123241 Broom (a.k.a. Scottish Broom)

img_20160912_123346 img_20160912_123219

(Above: Sheep, not Cows)

From there we talked about many subjects: sources of Scotland electrical power, animal rights, travel, Scotland weather, schools, farms, English/Scottish history, etc. This was the best part of this trip. Of course we were treated by a nice sunny day, picturesque landscapes, natural wildlife (many heron), farm animals, and well-kept farm houses.

When it became time to say our good byes, think we didn’t want it to end. It was one of those chance meetings we have with others that make traveling so much fun.

Enjoyed this adventure very much.


Back to the Gym

Before today’s update, I had a question about why I’m in Edinburgh and why for 3 months. Good questions! I decided on Edinburgh because I heard that there’s a lot of history to discover, my brother might visit me here in November, and because the climate is nice and cool.  I picked 3 months, because that will give me time to get into a routine, at least for a little bit, before traveling again. Next stop will be London, where I’ll spend the month of December to enjoy the holiday season.

If you have any questions, feel free to use the comments feature at the end of each post.

Today’s Update: 

Completed my first workout at the new gym, Bannatyne’s Health Club. Interesting building (see below) with several levels but has all of the features I need. Before starting my travels, I was working out 6 days a week – and have very much missed that routine.

IMG_20160905_154217 Bannatyne’s Health Club

It is about a 15 minute walk – so very easy to access. I’ll need some training on some of the equipment, but for the most part I was able to figure out what I needed today. The big one is that the weights are not in pounds – so I’ll get better at doing conversions. Bottom line is that I feel great after my workout today. Onward!

On the way home, as I was looking around at the buildings, saw this one plaque, and thought it interesting to share. I’ll have to keep my eyes open for more of these plaques.


Sir James Young Simpson who discovered the anaesthetic power of chloroform. His picture:


And the building…


Looking forward to another workout tomorrow!



Britannia (The Royal Yacht)

Wanted to do something fun today, some walking and also looked forward to getting down to the water.  (Edinburgh’s harbor faces the North Sea.)  Saw that I was about an hour away from the harbor by foot – guess I’ll let Google lead the way.

Good that my goal for the day was the decommissioned Britannia, the Royal Yacht – on permanent display in Edinburgh. Was commissioned in 1953 and decommissioned in 1997.

Most of the way, with Google as my guide, to the harbor was through urban trails and essentially avoided the main streets, which was okay by me. Most of the time, was near Water of Leith, the main river in Edinburgh.

IMG_20160906_102809553 Urban Pathway

IMG_20160906_134525739_HDR Water of Leith

The yacht Britannia is a very large ship. Didn’t quite get the whole ship in a picture, but this is the best I could do.

IMG_20160906_130313759_HDR IMG_20160906_170907

Got a few pictures of me too.  (I’ve been asked to include more selfies.)

IMG_20160906_125608170 IMG_20160906_170815 (I’m getting better with taking a selfie.)

The other one, on the right, was taken by a crew member.

Got to see much of the ship, including the royal bedrooms and studies, lounges, and it seemed that there was a lot of drinking. Most every lounge had a bar of some sort.

IMG_20160906_113933116_HDR (Note the gin.)

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Went up and had tea and a sandwich in the royal family dinning room. Many commoners were also there, but they behaved themselves. You can see this room in the picture below. After touring the ship, you could say the Queen and Prince Philip were treated like royalty.


I didn’t take a lot of pictures. You can probably Google and get the same thing. I did like the formal dinning room – which is where special guests, like Churchill dined when he was on board.



Edinburgh Sunsets

More pictures from my window. Great sunset pictures from last night.




Getting Settled

Nice to get settled in!

After a few days, now have a pantry full of food, and the few items I have with me are now stowed away and can now safely operate all of the kitchen appliances.  Success!

Remember the Weetabix cereal that I bought? I’ve been trying it out for the past few days – and I like it! Sometimes with a little yogurt, but always with some fruit.


With my coffee too! I have been using an AeroPress to make coffee for the past few years. All I need is some hot water and some coffee. Easy and efficient. Also easy to pack away.

The past few days I’ve been taking care of personal business that I let slide while I’ve been moving from place to place. There are still some open items in Oregon that need my attention, but have been closing them out now that I feel more settled.

Have been enjoying the weather here and looking at the various cloud formations. Perhaps with the higher latitude, the clouds are more interesting to watch. It could be that I’ve missed seeing clouds for the past few months and now they are a welcome friend.

IMG_20160902_225450  From Dean Bridge

IMG_20160905_172727 Taken from Flat

Today I joined a gym. About a 20 minute walk, and has many of the same features from OHSU’s March Wellness where I was a member for 3 years. My goal is 6 days a week. Need to get back into a consistent routine.

IMG_20160905_154217 Bannatyne Health Club and Spa

Have been going on a number of walks around the neighborhood and into central Edinburgh. The picture below was on my walk to a local shopping center to pick up new socks. It looks back on my local neighborhood in the distance.


Got myself all trimmed and ready. (Not sure for what.)  Haircut and pedicure on Saturday.

Also, have a new phone number. +44 (0)7392922182  And my mailing address is: 5/11 Comley Bank Row  Edinburgh, Scottland EH4 1DZ  Ordered from Amazon and the items were delivered.

I can be reached by Messenger or WhatApps. Have made phone calls via both. Email me if you’d like to find out how: philipmarsh1879@gmail.com


Edinburgh Day #1

I came into Edinburgh yesterday afternoon, via Budapest to Brussels then here, took a taxi to the new flat and met the hosts. Got through Customs easy enough. Was a little concerned that when I said I was staying for 3 months, there was a chance that my request could have been denied entry. UK allows visitors like me to stay for 6 months, out of a span on one year, but they can deny entry if they feel it would be in the interests of the UK to deny entry. In any case, I’m here. Was met with cool weather as I left the terminal – loved it!! After warm to hot weather for the last couple of months, will enjoy the break.

Now to get used to the Scottish accent… Was a little difficult speaking with the taxi driver through the plastic shield between us as we drove into the city. Had to ask several times for him to repeat what he said.

My hosts are a very nice local couple, who now have a larger place now they have children. They did a great job with the updates to the flat. Very modern but have kept some of the traditional features. Have everything I need for the next three months. Nearby supermarket has most everything I need, but will also check out another local market that has some higher quality foods (like my favorite Zupan’s). And the farmer’s market too. I’d like to make Paprika Chicken – with good and fresh paprika if possible. After some additional shopping today, the pantry is looking full.

Here is a picture of the street where I’m staying. I’m on the 2nd floor (3rd story).


The neighborhood is residential, very little traffic, but close to city center. Many shops nearby and Edinburgh Castle is a 20 minute walk away. So guess where I went this morning? Of course! Edinburgh Castle was my first stop.

On the way, I crossed over Dean Bridge. The pictures below show the view from each side of the bridge. The bridge spans the Water of Leith and it looks like there is a park down below as I looked over the edge.

IMG_20160901_102855889_HDR IMG_20160901_102926015_HDR IMG_20160901_165947 Plaque on Bridge (Date is 1832)

A nice little hike up the hill to the castle. The good thing is I didn’t sweat on the way up. Weather was perfect for walking! Just took some pictures while I was there and stopped in for a bite to eat at one of the pubs along the Royal Mile.IMG_20160901_170157 IMG_20160901_170219

IMG_20160901_105946451 IMG_20160901_110152876


If I read correctly, the reviewing stands (in blue above) are set up for the Festival (just completed recently) and they are taken down. I’ll take a tour of the castle on a rainy day – which will be most any day now.

IMG_20160901_170134 View down the Royal Mile.

Got a chance to view myself in a mirror. Looks like the walking has really helped shed a few pounds. Ha!

IMG_20160901_170013 (Skinny Me)

This afternoon I went back to the supermarket and added to my pantry. Last night I just picked up the essentials: bread, coffee, sugar, beer.  On the way to the store today, I looked down a side street and saw this.

IMG_20160901_165923 Fettes College

This is Fettes College (Second Empire architecture) is a private coeducational independent boarding and day school. Established 1870.  (Thank you Wikipedia!)

This is one of the benefits of walking around. Every so often to see something new and interesting.

At the store, I bought a package of Weetabix. Wanted to find out what all the fuss was about. And yes, I read how to apply the milk so it doesn’t end up a soggy mess. Looking forward to breakfast. (Or maybe a late night snack.)


And the Edinburgh adventure begins…