What BA had laid on for us was a taxi. I thought this very strange, wouldn't it have been cheaper to just give us a train ticket? On final analyses actually not. The taxi fare came to close to £200 and there were five of us in the car, that is £40 a person, the train would have cost something very similar. Jenny came to collect us from the airport, which is where the taxi had to take us to. What was to be done with the remainder of the day? They went to visit their mom and I went to the Botanical Garden. On a previous visit I had limited time and ran through the greenhouses and resolved that I had to come back and look at them in a bit more detail. And so I did.
First thing next day was I had to get a pair of tackies, I was getting very sick and tired of being in hiking boots all the time, so I bought (and Jim too) a pair of Hitek tackies. They are extremely comfortable and I am still wearing them daily. Than the bookshops, I got myself very rattled by the choices and actually gave up at one stage and had a cup of coffee. At this point Jim pointed me to a book near our table and that got me started again, finishing off paying £43 for four books. In the evening was a show, the Edinburgh festival was on and we went to watch (and listen) a folksinger singing some songs about mainly Edinburgh. And on TV I saw Anita from Shetland. They have had a warm sunny day in Shetland and she was on the beach proclaiming that people don't need to go to the Mediterranean for some sunny weather.
Rain, rain, rain, .. There is a exhibition of paintings from the Italian renaissance, entrance fee was £7, so we didn't go, but went into the Scottish gallery instead, more paintings in there anyway and it costs nothing. They seem to have a policy here, stuff that belongs to Scotland can be viewed free. I like that, it makes sense. Some of the paintings, mostly from the 18th and 19th century were nice and I could learn again about composition for photography. Next was the Scottish Museum, also free. I was mainly interested in the science stuff. And after that to Dobbies Garden Centre, the biggest gardening shop in the area. I was mainly after seeds for special cyclamens, those fancy ones with the frills (Cyclamen persicum giganteum fibriatum). Couldn't find them, the rep from the seed company happened to be there and also couldn't help.
The happening of the day was going to a whisky distillery. The one we selected was Glenkinchie, just southeast of Edinburgh. It was interesting in that I saw some chemical process plant. My suggestion that I come and put in a proper continuous distillation column instead of the two batch stills and also a decent control system was rejected with contempt. 'This is tradition', I was told. Jim, at least, enjoyed the tasting session. Looked for mushrooms and picked some raspberries for dinner.
The event of the trip, the Edinburgh Tattoo. I enjoyed this as much as the previous one. And we were fortunate, the rain stopped as the show started. Also present was the South African Naval band and the Cape Town Highlanders. The performance of the bands was well received, but I noticed they only played the black part of the national anthem. A sign of things to come?
Nearly time to go home, spend a day with Ruth and her mom in Kirkcaldy and then to the airport and off straight to the overloaded Jan Smut passport control. I cheated by going through the crew counter. I am not sure it works all the time.
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