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Edinburgh Trip starts in 1 hour

Tampa FL
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Edinburgh Trip starts in 1 hour

My wife and I will be heading for the airport in about 1 hour on our way to Edinburgh. OH has been there before, but I have not traveled outside North American before. Pushing 58-you'd think I would have been there by now.

Trying to remember that a biscuit is a scone, and a cookie is a biscuit. And jello is jelly, or is it the other way around? Not renting (oops, hiring) a car, so I don't have to worry about driving on the "wrong" side of the road. A round trip is a return, and a fanny pack is a...oops, bum bag, and a bum is not a homeless person, and fag is a..well, I don't smoke anyway, and Scotch is whiskey, and beer will actually have a taste, and haggis is...maybe I'll try it. I wear slacks, not pants. Well, I do wear pants but they are not my slacks. If I ask for iced tea I'll be deported. Even though my surname is English I hope the Scots won't hold that against me. I'm more Italian than English. That's okay, right? I am American...I hope nobody holds that against me! I'll try to not talk to loudly, and I won't even try to speak like a Scot. I really love Robbie Burns, you know.

OH, and thanks to everybody that has answered my questions here, whether or not they were asked by me. It has been an education.

Trip report when I get back, if I survive.

Joe

Tampa FL

Chester, United...
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11. Re: Edinburgh Trip starts in 1 hour

Great trip reports, loved them.

The cost of petrol (gas) continues to rise, so take full advantage of public transport...

Scotland, United...
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for South Ayrshire, Glasgow
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12. Re: Edinburgh Trip starts in 1 hour

Joe, Brilliant and entertaining trip report. Thanks for sharing. So when are you coming back?

ps

glad you made the effort to head across to Glasgow. Its a very different kind of city to Edinburgh, but still has quite a bit to offer. I love the Museum of Transport too - and you'll already know this bit......its free!

Inverness, Scotland
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13. Re: Edinburgh Trip starts in 1 hour

Excellent observations Joe!

To clarify, what is your opinion of the current exchange rate?

;-)

Tampa FL
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14. Re: Edinburgh Trip starts in 1 hour

My opinion of the exchange rate? :-) My opinion is that now is a great time for people from the UK to come to the US on holiday. Everything will be about 1/2 price. You don't even have to do the normal touristy things, either.

More random thoughts:

I have read some comments from UK visitors on the Orlando forum that when at a restaurant they felt they were being rushed. I think I understand why. There is a difference in the way the wait staff operates on each side of the Atlantic. In the US waiters will remove plates that the customer has finished or will ask if the customer is finished without prompting from the customer. It appeared to me that in the UK the waiters would wait quite a while to remove them unless the customer asked for them to be removed. In the US when all courses have been served the check, or bill will be delivered to the table. In the UK the customer needs to ask for the bill. Once asked for the bill is expected to be paid at that time. The differences, I think are in expectations from the customer. In the US the customer expect the waiters to remove plates without asking, and are expected to say no to the server if they are not through. The US customer also expects the check, or bill to be delivered without asking for it. It is then paid at the customers' leisure. The UK customer expects the waiter to wait until they are asked to remove plates or to bring the bill. I don't think either custom is better than the other, merely different and if the customer knows what to expect then they can act accordingly.

The first time we ate at a restaurant in Scotland I kept wondering why the waiter wouldn't remove my plates when I was done until I asked, and I waited for what seemed forever for the bill, until I finally asked for it. It then dawned on me that the waiter was not ignoring me, but waiting for my instructions.

So if you are visiting the US and are feeling rushed by the waiter remember, if they ask if you want to have your plate removed and you are not finished, do not be afraid to say no. When the check, or bill is delivered do not pay it until you are ready to leave. Many times the waiter will say, "I'll take that when you're ready." And they actually mean it. It is just a matter of different customs.

The weather was really nice when we were there. Only twice was there any rain at all, and most days were at least sunny for part of the day.

The temperatures reminded me of a typical winter's day here on the central west coast of Florida. Lows of about 5C to a high of about 16C.

I was reluctant to strike up conversations with strangers on the bus or train and I regret that. I think I was waiting for them. Probably my mistake.

Did have a nice conversation with folks on the train between Ft. William and Mallaig.

Waiters, guides, drivers, staff at hotels and shops were very friendly and helpful.

People sure do walk fast in the city on the side walk (pavement).

Had a good time talking to a fellow from Leeds that was staying at our hotel after watching the Rangers vs Zenit football match.

I was surprised how many people were drinking Budweiser beer at the hotel bar, and they were NOT Americans.

I didn't even try haggis.

The only American food I had was from Subway sandwich shop.

And eating (because of the exchange rate) was very expensive.

Joe

Tampa FL

Edinburgh, Scotland
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15. Re: Edinburgh Trip starts in 1 hour

lol about the 35 bus needing a tour guide. I got that bus once when leaving the airport as there wasn't an airport bus due to leave. I got off as soon as possible as I realised I was going to be on the bus about 3 days trying to get to the city centre.

Kirkcaldy, Scotland
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16. Re: Edinburgh Trip starts in 1 hour

Joe, I loved your 'random thoughts' on your trip to Scotland. They made me chuckle. Your sense of humour and fun came through brilliantly! All of your observations were spot on. Especially about the outdoor smoking habit and the fast walking! Oh, and the dreaded exchange rate!

Fast walking is something we Scots adopted so as to spend as little time in the cold weather as possible. On Princes Street the only way to walk is fast with head down and elbows out! If it had been colder on your visit you would have witnessed something I call smoke-dancing. That's when the smoker is outside in the freezing cold and hops from one foot to the other to keep warm. [I have been known to have a shuffle myself].

Glad you enjoyed your visit and look forward to seeing more posts on here regarding your trip.

Tampa FL
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17. Re: Edinburgh Trip starts in 1 hour

Mac99,

I love your discription of walking along Princes St. It is just as you describe. My wife, noted by me as being a particularly slow walker, was nearly run over dozens of times. I always tell her that to walk any slower she'd have to be going backwards!

It took us a while to get used to walking up and down the little hills in the city centre. Being Florida flatlanders, the only mountain we have is Space Mountain at DisneyWorld, and it has a roller coaster inside of it.

Joe

Tampa FL

upstate ny
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18. Re: Edinburgh Trip starts in 1 hour

How very exciting! Going in august and will be interested in trip report apon your return!

Kirkcaldy, Scotland
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19. Re: Edinburgh Trip starts in 1 hour

Joe, I sympathise with your wife nearly being 'run over' when walking on Princes Street. It took me many years from a young age to perfect my Princes Street walk! I now teach my girls the three main rules. Two of which is the 'head down and elbows out' battle stance. The 3rd, is for when you have to look up to see where you are going, it helps to have a wild glint in your eye. This ensures victory over the person coming the other way! lol.

I've been to Florida many times. We have good friends up in Tampa. I remember fondly trying to cross the road down in Madeira Beach. Even at the designated crossing, the cars just don't like to stop. It was a daily adrenaline rush for me. I had a bad enough time trying to remember that the cars would be coming from the opposite direction!

We love the beach areas and even found a wee Scottish man running a bar along from Madeira Beach. If I remember, the exchange rate was extremely good. Much better than the one you got. lol.

Edinburgh, United...
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20. Re: Edinburgh Trip starts in 1 hour

Joe, how lovely to read your positive comments on my home town and indeed home country. A few random thoughts on your random thoughts..

I sympathise about walking Edinburgh streets! In defence of those of us who live and work here, we get very used to tourists wandering slowly along Princes Street um-ing and ah-ing at the castle, but it can be frustrating when a person is actually trying to be somewhere, eg a business meeting, for a certain time! The head-down-and-charge walking technique has been perfected over many years to cope with this.

I also sympathise re the exchange rate (call me intuitive but I picked up a vibe that you were not happy!!) and the price of things like petrol/gasoline! I think given the price of things here I am constantly amazed Americans make it over here at all, particularly when you factor in our so-called "customer service" which can be dire to say the least...

Also glad to see you visited Glasgow, a great city with loads to see and do, and indeed saw a lot of the whole country by the sounds of it - anyone who takes a day trip to the Highlands is a brave soul in my book, its a long way in a day. (Although I appreciate Scotland is a v small place to you guys I guess).

Dont bother spending more than 45 minutes in Pitlochry. Seriously.

Sorry you missed Holyrood House, sometimes the royal family have the nerve to want to stay in it! Go on your next trip here, it is well worth it.

Thanks so much for your entertaining posts. I hope you come here again soon.