Mum arrived safely and soundly, the events in London didn’t significantly alter her travels, although her flight from Germany to London contained a heap of journalists and photographers. Our week has been full of the typical touristy things, it’s been fantastic. Before we were able to do all our sightseeing, however, I had to show mum the hostel we’ve been staying in… Up the 77 steps we climbed, to inspect the bedrooms and hang out rooms. Mum didn’t seem tooooooo upset, it could have been worse! When mum arrived, I commented to her that it was tough luck that she didn’t arrive the week before, so she could see all the protesters and what not. Just after I said this to her, she called me to the window of our hotel room. Right outside, there were alot of people boo-ing, whilst firefighters were getting protesters down off a bridge. They had somehow climbed to the top of the bridge and rolled out a sign. Waiting on the ground, with handcuffs at the ready, were the police…
I took mum to see all my favourite hangouts, including Greyfriars Kirk. Interestingly, after visiting Greyfriars, mum discovered scratches all over her arm – we took a photo. Weird. Also went to Mary Kings Close, very interesting. It is a small street that was closed over and largely forgotten about in the 1700’s, so that the council chambers could be built over the top. The street and some of the buildings have been kept in their original condition. When we entered one of the rooms, our guide told us how, in the 1980’s, a Japanese film crew had come down with a psychic. The psychic felt such strong emotions in this particular room, at first she refused to enter. Eventually she did, and she felt the presence of a small girl, named Anne. She said that the reason the girl was so upset is because her family had left, and she had no-one to play with. The Japanese psychic sent one of her colleagues up to the street to buy a doll for the girl, and ever since then, people have been bringing her toys and money. After a time, the toys and money are donated to a local childrens charity.
We hired a car for two days, which allowed us to get out of the city for a while and see the countryside. On the first day we went to Rosslyn Chapel, which was amazing. Built in 1446, Rosslyn Chapel is unique in that it conforms to neither architecture of the time, nor to any fashion of the time. Everything within the chapel is heavily carved, full of symbolism. Things like the carvings of maize from the New World that pre-date the discovery of America by Columbus by at least one hundred years. Rosslyn Chapel feautures in the book, ‘The Da Vinci Code’, as the place where the holy grail is supposedly buried. When we went, the chapel was in the middle of being restored, so there was scaffolding everywhere. Dissapointing, as it meant we couldn’t see the outside of the building well, but rewarding in that it meant we could climb up to the top and view the chapel from above.
On our second day with the car we took a road trip. Leaving extremly early, Tash, Elysha, Mike, mum an I set off for the highlands. Our aim of the day was to visit Loch Ness, on the way there we stopped off at tea rooms, to get scones and tea, yum! Lunch at Inverness, then onto Loch Ness. We went through the ‘Loch Ness Discovery Centre’, which was a bit dissapointing, they spent most of their time convincing us that the Loch Ness Monster didn’t exist. Afterwards we set off to the loch, to find out for ourselves. I don’t believe them, there’s definetly something in the waters there, there has to be. The trip home took us through the highlands and past all the lochs. Really beautiful countryside, lots of sheep, cows and Pavlova’s (read: sheep dogs).
Apart from our car travels, we’ve just spent the week discovering Edinburgh. We found the legendary Tesco’s – woohoo! Spent half a day at the castle, which was fun. Saw the dressing room where Mary, Queen of Scots gave birth to James I. We also saw the Honours of Scotland, the oldest jewels in the U.K. Saw mum off yesterday, shes off to Thailand to meet Charlotte, they should have a blast. Going to be nice and warm over there… Today I went into an interesting store. It’s called ‘Argos’, you walk in and walk up to a set of catalogues. In the catalogue there is everything you could possibly want to buy – towels, iPods, cameras, sofas, board games, books, hair dryers etc etc. Once you find what you want, you punch the number into the little machine sitting in front of you, which tells you if the item is in stock. After deciding what you want, you go to the front of the store, tell the staff and they give you a receipt. They then fill the order and bring it back to you in about 10 minutes. Amazing! A store that has completely taken away the idea of browsing through stock. It seems to work, it was really busy today.
Anyway, thats enough ramblings about weird shops… love to all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY LEAH!!!