Thursday, October 9, 2014

On to a Working Class Neighborhood in Edinburgh

Here we are, arriving at our Edinburgh flat.
Sonya and I flew over to Edinburgh from Dublin earlier today and got an earful about Ryanair, the discount European airline. Seems the Irish--at least--have strongly mixed feelings about its inexpensive fares and its constant nickeling and dining.

Dinner at the pub.
I think we both agreed that the 45-minute flight was uneventful, clean, comfortable (we were on the exit aisle, so we had tons of leg room), but small amenities simply are not there. I don't mind that at all. We did mind that it is so very difficult to book a flight, to pay for a flight, to download a ticket, etc. There seems to be a profit center in all that and it appears--I stress appears--that Ryan doesn't want you to take the basics and leave the rest.

One woman in our airport bus sneered when we said, "Ryanair." She dislikes the service, but said, "A couple of years ago I booked a $600 flight to London with three days' notice. That was before Ryanair. Recently, I took the same flight for $230. That's Ryan's doing."

In any case, we got what we wanted and we got it on the cheap. This is not a top-end vac a and considering the cost of things over 23 days is important. Tonight, we are on the second floor of a three-floor flat in downtown Edinburgh. It is a building constructed as part of an huge apartment project in the late 19th Century and it has the worn and beautiful look so common in Edinburgh, an old city by anybody's standard.

Edinburgh loves red doors.
At Lou's farm, we had separate quarters and separate loos (that's a bathroom for those of you who aren't as sophisticated as me). Here, we have a small room with two tiny (children's?) beds and the loo is on the third floor up a narrow, winding stairway. Sonya and I, as I have mentioned, are not intimately involved and won't be, but we can share sleeping quarters. This, though, might challenge us since I snore upon occasion. We'll see.

On our bus ride over from the airport, which took 45 minutes, we kept looking for Edinburgh, but only saw a modern, business-y city with a lot of people in ties and suits catching the bus, which pretty well stayed full. The old city finally showed up as we neared our temporary flat. I'm deeply impressed with the public transportation here. Comfortable, cheap, fast and convenient. We need something like that in the states.

Our landlady is an easy-going 40ish Scot named Becky Smith (my sister's maiden name) with a college-aged son, Brandon, whom she said might be a bit noisy upon occasion. Becky says her brother-in-law is Dan "but not Smith." There is another boarder named Susan who is from New Mexico.

Becky sent us down to a nearby pub tonight and I jumped at the fish and chips, which were fine, if not over the top. Sonya did a burger. Good, she said. Our young waitress, a church music instructor by day, says she moved here from South Africa after her mom and dad split.

I'm getting jet lag and I miss Lou's farm and those wonderful people. I think that feeling may linger for a while.
This is the street where we're staying. Working class, old, comfy, Scottish.

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