Our flight arrived London Heathrow 15 minutes earlier than scheduled, the move through Customs was uneventful although the line up of people for countries other than UK/EU was rather long so I opted to enter the UK on my Euro passport. Whilst I waited for the other 3 to gain entry I went to the baggage hall, collected a trolley and headed to the baggage carousel.
After collecting our luggage it was off to board the bus to the rental car company. We had booked a VW Passat station wagon but we were given a Mazda 6 wagon. We realised immediately this was not going to cope with all our luggage, each of us had a large bag, hand luggage plus we 3 females with handbags as well. Ty decided it was best to upgrade, which proved to be costly…..half again of the original price we had paid. Always best to book the rental car in advance to get the best rate, which we had done thinking a Passat wagon would cope. We had no choice but to upgrade or the backseat passengers would be nursing bags and that wouldn’t do.
This took some time to organise and we were finally on the road to Edinburgh by 6.45am.
First stop was a service centre off the motorway for coffee and breakfast. There were a number of truckies stopped there, when you see truckies that’s the place to stop.
To pass the hours and keep us alert we came up with a little I spy game…….we had to spot Eddie Stobbard trucks. I can hear you…..’who?” “what?” you’re saying “are these two going loopy”? We have watched, occasionally, a ‘boys’ TV channel with programmes about trucks and there was a series on Stobbards trucking company in UK. Each truck is named after a female so we also had to spot what it’s name was. Alison, Freya Grace, Tegan Eve and Leanne were some of the names we spied. There are people in UK who spend their time spotting these trucks, similar to train spotters I suppose. Not that I know exactly what train spotters do other than stand on overhead railway bridges looking for trains. Standing on railway bridges with a pair of binoculars doesn’t really appeal to me thank goodness. So we decided to see who could spot the trucks first. Silly game but gave us something to focus on during the long drive up the motorway. The backseat passengers chose not to join in our little game of ‘I spy’.
At one coffee stop Ted and Dog picked up a new travelling companion in Maurice Meerkat. Just as well he could travel up front with Ted and Dog as there was no room in the baggage area for him!
On the road again after another stop, this time for lunch, we arrived in Edinburgh at 4.10pm. Nine and a half hours including several food/coffee breaks this wasn’t bad time. GPS took us straight to our accommodation at Heriott Park. I had booked an apartment and, as often happens, it was on the 3rd floor of a building with no lift. I have a tendency to gravitate to buildings with character, not always a good thing as the internal staircases in these buildings are usually narrow with lots of steps to our rooms. I cringed when I stepped inside the front door and I could hear Ty saying “You’ve done it again haven’t you? I have to carry the bags up multiple flights of stairs don’t I?” I prefer not to answer or just mumble “sorry”. I feel really bad about it and promise to be more careful with my choices in future…..until I see some other place that I think has old world charm and my promise is forgotten. Ty puts a different interpretation on my view of old world charm luckily he isn’t booking all our accommodation!!!! We’d be sitting in fabulous new apartments with square windows, square walls and absolutely no character……..Who needs a lift to ease the burden of dragging bags up and down stairs?
Once we had all the baggage upstairs it was time to explore the surrounding area and decide on somewhere to have dinner. We had a range of cafes, a pub, a pharmacy and a couple of dress shops 400 metres up the road and round the corner…..although don’t quote me on that as I have no idea on distances!!
We decided to eat at the local pub and assumed all pubs served a variety of meals on their menus. Stepping inside I noticed it was very busy but 2 small tables together were free. As we sat down the customers in the pub turned to give us the quick once over then returned to their drinks and conversations.
A barman came over to take our meal order, he appeared nervous but perhaps that was his personality. We all stayed away from the haggis….although the meals we ordered were quite unappetising so maybe we should have tried the haggis!!! We were beginning to think we were upsetting the barman because each time he came near us he was more nervous than the time before. Poor thing but it amused us.
I really upset both barmen when I decided to ask for a coffee. Ty said “good luck with that” but I could see the coffee machine AND the menu offered a variety of coffees. The meal probably should have been an indicator for me but I ignored the signs and stepped up to the bar. The younger barman served me and I asked for my usual “a half strength latte please”. He stared at me for a minute then walked out of the bar to another little room and had a discussion with our nervous barman. I seemed to be waiting for an awfully long time for him to come back and make the coffee. The espresso machine was sitting on the counter of the main bar and ready to go. “So what’s the problem”, I thought to myself, as I looked towards Ty, Darelle and Maryanne and shrugged but all they did was laugh.
Eventually the barman returned to the air and announced he was unable to make my coffee as the machine was broken. What could I say, the machine looked in perfect working order, the light was on so it didn’t appear broken to me. However, not wanting to raise a disturbance in this little old pub I said “Oh, that’s disappointing, the machine looks like it’s on” and walked back to our table to break the news that our barmen couldn’t or wouldn’t use the coffee machine!!! I’d probably had enough coffees today anyway.
Our aim had been to stay up past 9.30pm so we could combat the jet lag. It was becoming increasingly difficult to keep those eyelids open and would have been so much easier to give in to the tiredness that sweeps over me in waves. However we all passed the 9.30 deadline. Ty had fallen asleep sitting on the lounge so, with him still sleeping, I managed to get him to stand and I frogmarched him into bed.
Let the holiday begin…………