Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Edinburgh - Part 2

Back in downtown Edinburgh, we continued our walk down the Royal Mile.

I liked this statue (of course, I've forgotten who it is) in front of the cathedral.

It had some amazing detail and very fine work. Amazing what artists will do with concrete....
We are just part of the many crowds heading down to the palace or up to the castle.

Just in case you didn't think that Scottish attire was for everyone, even your pet lion would be decked out!

The palace.

A view from the palace of Arthur's Seat - the crags/cliffs overlooking Edinburgh.

Unfortunately, due to my running the marathon the next day, I couldn't hike up it for the view. It was a lovely day so a bit disappointing that I was 'resting'.

Instead, we hung out on the lawn and enjoyed the sun (and it was a bit windy, which is why Louise's hair is poofy)

Lastly, I ended my Edinburgh weekend with a whisky tasting. I think whisky is an aquired taste.... one that I have yet to acquire. All in all, I highly recommend Edinburgh for a visit.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Fancy Fish and Chips

Scottish people will yell at me for this, but the perception in the United States of Scotland doesn't exactly portray it as very posh.

I, of course, find the one with the most posh fish and chips. I normally pair fish & chips with a beer, so was quite surprised at this Scottish pub. Perception changed?!?!?!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Edinburgh - Part 1

I've got some good pics so I'm going to split Scotland into two posts.

 You may recall that I went to Edinburgh to run the marathon. The run was rubbish but the weekend in the city was lovely. I went by train from London and it was a lovely trip.

I stayed in an area called Leithe which had some good restaurants and shops on the water.

It's not every day you've got one of these in your downtown....

Where do you build a castle? On a hill/cliff/defendable position.

Indulging my love for statues, Edinburgh has statues of historical figures everywhere.

There are also a few of these. I had to keep reminding myself that I really was in Scotland (notice how it is sunny - very strange!)

The Royal mile leads from the castle at the top, down to the palace at the bottom of the hill. In the middle is the cathedral so it was equi-distant walking for everyone to worship.

I forgot to mention that Louise was my tour guide (I probably shouldn't be walking all over the city the day before a marathon but how often am I in Scotland?), she took me to this lovely little tea room for lunch. It is famous for being the place that JK Rowling went to write Harry Potter.....

Across the exposed entrance to the castle. No place to hide on this walk to the gates. Unfortunately, it was filled with lots of tourists (I can say that, because I am one)

I'm should try and convince my family to make this the lampost at the end of the driveway.

Trying to get a sense of scale, look at where the people's heads are compared to the statue.

The view from the castle, looking down on the town.

Through yet another portcullis. I was seriously waiting for Braveheart people to come storming through.

Rock walls, narrow alleyways, all a bit medevial if you ask me.... :p

Friday, August 10, 2012

At the Olympics

Serioulsy. The Olympics have been amazing. I can't remember ever being this addicted to watching sports on TV before. I'm going to go through serious withdrawal when it is over. Thank goodness the Paralympics will take some of the sting out of it.

I had tickets to Olympic volleyball. I was a bit uninformed and only knew what day and the venue when I arrived.

This is how big I used to feel on the volleyball court. It is amazing how short I felt again!

When we arrived at the venue (I dragged my friend Holly from New York to be my Olympic buddy), we were told we had to be reseated. Turned out a bunch of other Olympic athletes wanted to sit together so I had to give up my seats for Kobe Bryant. I as annoyed until I got reseated to the front row. Front row!!! It was almost as good as Wayne and Garth and their backstage passes....

My other big surprise came when I went to the board to see who was playing (remember, I got these tickets in the lottery so you just get date, time and venue) and it turned out to be Russia v the Dominican Republic (tallest girl on Russian's team 6 ft 8, shortest girl 6 ft 1) AND the USA v Brazil. Whoop! Whoop!

 Holly went out and bought us a flag because we didn't have an US bling on us. If we were going to be on TV, the least we could do was show that we weren't cheering for Brazil. ( I seriously look like a cheeseball in this photo, don't I?)

The next day after volleyball, where the weather was outstanding, I had tickets to rowing. Unfortunately, I go on the one cloudy/miserable day. At least the rowing was cool. Here you look down to the start of the race. You forget the course is 2k long!

We had great seats, just about 50 yards before the finish. The big screen TV is also just out of camera shot so we got to watch the action and then see the finish. Amazing amazing amazing. I really can't say enough about the fans, the people, the atmosphere. I highly recommend going if you ever get a chance. Go Olympics!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Olympic Mania

I know I'm a little behind, but that thing called work has been getting in the way.

 It's Olympic mania here in London and it is fantastic. I've never seen so many happy people in my life. Starting with all of these people who lined the streets of Windsor for....

The Olympic Torch Relay!! Whoo hoo! Lining the streets to watch fire go by. Exciting! Here is the transport for all the torch bearers. I think they each get to run a mile or so and then it's back to the bus to wave and watch the journey.

After the key torch bearers, time for a sponsor or two.....

Then, the Met's finest get ready to go undercover.

These guys got to serve and protect on two wheels....

While those around the torch had to run. I'm not entirely sure who this torch bearer is. He seems a bit like astronaut though all dressed in white. Or a sacrificial lamb.

 Go torch man!!

Bye torch man! And that is how the Olympic flame came to Windsor before it was put into all the copper pots during the Opening ceremony.

Also, my main commute has some new signs and colours. It really is quite disturbing to see all the Olympians and different officials cross your path. I swear I almost ran over a badminton squad. More from the ACTUAL Olympics next!!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Which Platform?

I went to Scotland on the train.

But I was a bit early to the train station so thought I would relax while watching the board for my train departure.

I even treated myself to a rare burrito and guacamole. Such a find!

When it came time to find my platform, things started to look a bit different...

Was I supposed to go to platform 9?

Or platform 9 3/4????