Goodbye to Scotland

24 Jul

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As I write this, we are on the train travelling back to London after a full weekend in Scotland.  I’m looking forward to our London visit and feel very fortunate to have met such nice people in Scotland.  We began the day with breakfast at the hotel and then checked the bus schedule on the internet.  We checked out of our hotel room, knowing we wouldn’t be back until after check out time.  The hotel was nice enough to keep our luggage for us so that we were free to move about the city without dragging it behind us!  I will definitely pack lighter next time.  A 48 pound suitcase, 10 pound back pack and 5 pound purse is overkill!  (Poor Jimmy hiked all the way up Arthur’s Seat carrying our combined items in his backpack)  We are both finding that we are carrying fewer and fewer items with us as the trip progresses. So far the weather has been gorgeous, so we haven’t used the umbrellas. (That will probably change though as we get into London).

The temperature this morning started out at 46 degrees, but the sun was bright and the skies clear all day.  It quickly warmed up to around 66 degrees.  Once we had determined the proper bus connection, we were off to church.  We walked down to the bus stop and waited until the bus we needed came along.  We were able to see more of the city by taking the bus to the church.  It was a wonderful experience to meet other believers from Scotland.  I think we were a curiosity to them.  They immediately knew we were from America (or from the States as they often say) by our speech, and we were asked a couple of times if we were from the South.

We weren’t sure how long the bus ride would take so we arrived about an hour before the service was to begin.  Destiny Church of Edinburgh meets in an old theater.  It is a great lay-out for meeting and mingling with people.  We came into the theater on an upper level where they had tables and chairs placed, with couches and chairs in the rear.  To one side was a coffee bar with barista style coffees and hot tea, and they even sold sandwiches, snacks, and breakfast items.  Somewhat closer to the stage was a section behind plexi-glass reserved for families with small children (a marvelous idea, moms could still feel like they had been to church rather than in a room somewhere babysitting). Down a couple of steps beyond that were the theater style seats where everyone else sat.

Since we had arrived well before the service began, we were offered a seat at one of the tables (where the fellowship time takes place) and were offered complimentary coffee or hot tea.  We both chose coffee and they asked did we drink it black or white? (Black for me, white for Jimmy)  Since Jimmy said white, they further asked any sugar?  (yes)  How many?  (two)  We sat at the table and were greeted by so many different people.  They took turns sitting with us and asking about our visit.  They wanted to know what brought us to Scotland, and asked if we were on “holiday”.  On a couple of different occasions while we were in Scotland, we explained that we were visiting this city first, then going on to London.  They would say, well there’s nothing to see in London!  Scotland is much better!  You should skip London altogether and just stay in Scotland! (imagine this being said with the Scottish accent)

At one point, as we waited for the service to begin, we were joined at our table by 4 or 5 older gentlemen, all interested in our visit, where we were from, what brought us to Scotland, how we found the church (on the internet).  They didn’t know much about Kentucky, but they did know about Kentucky Fried Chicken!  When I asked one of the men if he knew where Kentucky was (meaning where it was geographically in the US), he said (in his thick Scottish accent) I know it’s not in Scotland!

It was a delightful experience and just proves that there are good people wherever you go.  It was so refreshing to be with other Christians and to see the good work they are doing in their city.  We talked about our church and told them of some of the positive changes we’ve experienced lately.  They wanted to know if we met in a regular church building or a theater like they did.

The service itself was very, very good.  The speaker, Andrew Owen, was the founder of Destiny Church in Scotland.  (Their regular pastor was on “holiday”)  Once the service was over, we said good bye to our new friends and caught the bus out to the port to see the Royal Yacht Britannia.  We ate lunch at Zizzi’s.  It’s another place that Sarah had recommended.  Jimmy had goat cheese and spinach ravioli and I had the Super Salad!  It was great.  It was an unusual blend of greens, goat cheese, zucchini, broad beans, lentils, and some other bean I didn’t recognize, but it was good and very filling.  Made me feel healthier just to be eating it.

We toured the Brittania, which was very interesting. I took lots of pictures of the inside.  Sarah, for you I took a picture of the Queen’s bedroom, drawing room and a picture of the honeymoon suite of Charles and Dianna who spent their honeymoon aboard the Britannia.  This was another self guided audio tour which I have really found to be enjoyable.

After the Brittania, we walked back out and caught the bus back into the city, hopped off at the base of the Royal Mile (the main drag going through town), did some last minute gift buying and retrieved our suitcases from the hotel.

We then walked to the train station and caught the 4:30 train to London.  We were able to sit together this time and have enjoyed the beautiful scenery.  My camera does not do it justice.  Much of the early part of the trip has been along the sea.  Beautiful bright green fields dotted with sheep and cows, with the sea in the background.  Little villages of stone houses and old castles crop up every so often.  The butterfly bushes that we have in our flower gardens at home grow in wild abundance here.  They are everywhere and come in every shade of deep purple to light lavender and even white.   They grow wild just as we have wild roses or wild blackberries coming up everywhere that hasn’t been mowed in awhile.  I’ve just soaked it all in as we’ve travelled.  What a beautiful world God has created for us to enjoy!

We are due to arrive in London at about 9:00 pm.  In Edinburgh, it did not get dark until about 10:30 pm, I still don’t know what time the sun comes up, but it’s early.  We slept until about 6:30 this morning and it was already very bright outside.

We will probably just grab a bite to eat at the train station for our dinner.  (Train stations are like malls!)  There are many excellent food choices, especially at the larger ones like the one we’ll be pulling into this evening.  The trains are very nice, clean and quiet.  People speak very softly to one another.  Families ride, business people, college students, elderly folks, etc. We’ve seen very well behaved dogs on the train and lots of luggage, so it’s a common way to travel even on “holiday”.  There are restrooms on the train and a coffee bar selling coffee, tea, soft drinks, and snacks.  There are electrical outlets for laptops, etc. (though they won’t fit mine) and wi-fi.  I’m finding that you can get to about anywhere you need to go by using the trains.

Enough for now, I’ve got more scenery to see…





2 Responses to “Goodbye to Scotland”

  1. Sarah July 24, 2011 at 10:34 pm #

    Sounds amazing! I love that you guys found a nice church to go to! It really is special getting to talk to other Christians from a different culture. Glad you made it to Zizzi, but remember, Risotto Verde is my favorite!!! (maybe you can go back) :)
    Awesome that you got to tour the Britannia… I only saw the outside.
    The scenery really is great!!! Ps- The lovely Scottish people told me the same thing about London. Oh, and don’t mention that you are visiting Paris to the Londoners… They will tell you it is a complete waste of time! :)
    Miss you!

  2. Pat Lewis July 25, 2011 at 7:14 am #

    Great pictures !! Dad really is enjoying the food pictures… Surprised ??? Have a great day,

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