Arrival Day! Most members arrived at the Edinburgh airport around 7:30 AM local time and graciously waited for Jeff and Anna to arrive from Maine. Unfortunately, Flip, also from Maine, got stranded due to a delayed flight.
We immediately left as a group for the Edinburgh Royal Botanical Gardens on our tour bus. By this time, most of us were starving and headed for food and drink. Those who enjoy discovering different foods as a benefit of travel immediately begon to samplel new items. But the real thrill, of course, was the expansive gardens – Chinese, alpine, rock, and other gardens — 79 acres of beautiful landscape.
In spite of the beauty, exhaustion from no sleep during the flight took over. We left the gardens and drove through the charming old streets to our hotel, the Doubletree. Most of us crashed for awhile and readied ourselves for an exciting evening out.
Our evening consisted of a welcome dinner and entertainment at “The Spirit of Scotland”, an evening of traditional Scottish food, including such delicacies as haggis, tatties, and smoked salmon. This was followed by a rousing performance of dancing and singing. It was a rainy night in this old city (the Longfellow’s umbrellas came in handy), but we hope to sleep well after a tiring but enjoyable start to our journey.