Yesterday we embarked on yet another train trip to Edinburgh, this time taking J with us. He was told to arrive promptly at 6.15 am because a taxi was arriving to collect us at 6.30am.
“Yes Mum, I’ll be there, don’t worry!” How many times during the last twenty eight years or so have I heard those words? (Well maybe not twenty eight as he couldn't talk when he was born, only cry, so maybe 25 years.) Of course as usual he ended up running down the road at the last minute, huffing and puffing into the waiting taxi. Sigh. Will my youngest son ever EVER see the stupidity of never being able to arrive on time for anything not to mention the complete waste of energy spent pelting down roads, platforms etc in order to catch buses, trains and waiting taxis?
At the station we all gathered waiting for the train to arrive. The journey up was really enjoyable despite the fact that it was so overcast and it actually began raining before we reached Edinburgh. J was sat next to me, and as per usual drove me nearly insane by continuously texting someone on his mobile for the entire journey. He kept trying to go to sleep but no sooner would his eyes close, than his mobile would vibrate and he would have to text the person back. Sigh.
We had taken our breakfast (two packets each of some Kellogg's Varieties, some milk to pour over the former, and some orange juice) and also our lunch, Caesar Salad for myself and J, and a sandwich for K. We ate that just before arriving at Edinburgh right on time at 12.30pm. As usual there was the warning that the staff were not sure where the train would be departing from and that we should all check the ‘boards’ on our return.
Hmm. We weren’t even outside the station before K had bought yet another t-shirt to add to her meagre one hundred or so that she already owns. We had entered the visitors centre initially looking for some kind of map because J was insisting that we pay a visit to ‘City of the Dead’ and we needed to know whether or not we could walk to it rather than bother boarding a bus, when she spied some t-shirts with Scotland emblazoned over them, made a bee line for them and chose one. XL so that it absolutely buries her and resembles a new nightie. Sigh.
After being assured of the distance and general directions from the lady who served us in the Visitors Centre that we could indeed walk there, we began to make our way there. Luckily the rain had stopped by the time we emerged and the streets were really very busy with people. Some tourists, some students, some shoppers, all intent on getting in each others way. Eventually we arrived at the ‘City of the Dead’ and were informed that the next tour didn’t begin until 1.30pm. Three quarters of an hour at least to wait. We decided to have a look around the various shops so we casually sauntered further up the hill. I was taking photos of various buildings and sights as usual when suddenly my camera informed me that my memory card was full. Sigh.
What is it with me and this new camera? I seem to be making a complete hash of my camera care of late! First the battery and now a full memory card! K quickly stated that she would take over photo shooting duties from now on. Hmm.
We made our way back to the ‘City of the Dead’ tour and it began. These tours are a real endurance if you don’t like standing for any length of time listening to someone blather on about nothing in particular. My feet were aching, my back was beginning to ache and to be honest with you, it wasn’t a very pleasant experience. K was frightened of the dark and spent the entire tour clutched to my arm. The tourist guide did single me out at one point when she was mentioning ‘ginger headed’ people. I hadn’t the heart to tell her it was out of a bottle so I just stood there smiling whilst the rest of the tour participants all looked at me. Sigh.
We did enter some very dark ‘arches’ which for some reason reminded me of the old railway arches at Bradford Forster Square. She kept trying her damndest to frighten everyone by suddenly stamping her feet on the floor and/or giving a sudden shout out loud. I was fed up. K nearly slipped on the wet floor taking me down with her. Water was dripping from the ceiling and for me, the only ‘happening’ that sent a shiver down my spine was a drip from the ceiling that ran down my back.
Only J looked to be in any way enjoying himself and let’s face it, he had little choice in the matter seeing as all this was HIS brilliant idea. K gave me one of her ‘don’t bring him again!’ looks when we finally emerged from the ordeal. When will I learn to stop leaving the choice of where we go and what we do on our day trips up to him? We could have been sat down atop one of those lovely open top buses enjoying a leisurely guided tour all around the entire sites of Edinburgh or (as K pointed out to me later) being really spooked in the Edinburgh Dungeons, instead of standing for what seemed to me like an eternity listening to some stranger banging her feet on the ground whilst she shone a tiny torch up her nose!
By the time that we regained our bearings, it was too late to set off anywhere else. We had to check which platform our train was due to depart from AND grab some tea from somewhere. We decided to spend the last half hour or so wandering along the path in the Princes Street gardens where we eventually stopped to sit and enjoy an ice cream and a coffee. It was pleasant being able to sit down and rest my aching feet, and we were nice and handy for the station which is situated just opposite. Whenever we have visited Edinburgh previously Princes Street gardens has been a hive of activities and people because its usually been during the weeks of the Edinburgh festival.
Eventually it was time to make our way back to the station to grab a quick bite to eat and check on which platform the train was departing from. Platform 19 as it turned out so nice and handy. J toddled off outside for his last smoke before we reached home (thank goodness that I no longer smoke!) and then we boarded the train for the return journey. No alcohol during the return journey this trip as I couldn’t have any because of the tablets I’m taking for my vertigo and K didn’t want any either. In fact, no sooner had the train set off, than both K and J promptly fell asleep! I dunno, these young un’s simply can’t stand the pace these days can they?
Enjoy the photos of our latest trip on the Green Express. You can view them by clicking on the flickr Photo’s in the right hand sidebar.