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RonO's Ramblings

Aug. 3rd, 2005 10:23 am Trip Report -- Days 2 and 3

Trip Report Part 2

On Sunday, July 31, we spent most the day in Dundee. After getting up, we had breakfast at the buffet at the Apex Hotel, mistakenly thinking that it was included in our room. Tara and I took full advantage of the breakfast, but Derrick was not interested in most of the offerings. In addition to the eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes and bangers, I did have toast with marmalade. Tara had eggs, toast and some other stuff. Neither of us had the blood sausage, however. Derrick, on the other hand, and cereal and toast with nutella and we finally talked him into eating some yoghurt.

After breakfast, we finished packing, checked out and left our bags at the hotel. We then proceeded to the City Centre, a few blocks away and then to the Sensation children's museum.

Derrick enjoyed himself at the museum, although he would not climb into the mouth and out through the nose after it made a throat clearing sound - which had a noticeable accent that reminded me of my Grandpa for some reason.

Upstairs at the museum they have their new robot display which Tara and Derrick enjoyed, even if Derrick would not listen to the directions on how to sneak up on one of the displays.

In the education center at Sensation, there was a `collection of live animals, including ferrets, guinea pigs, a tarantula, scorpeans, and snakes. Derrick held one of the guinea pigs and, much to our surprise, the tarantula.

After getting lunch at the museum cafe, we headed over to Discovery point and the RRS Discovery. Touring the museum there, I learned that the Discovery - the first purpose built antarctic exploring vessel - was built in Dundee around 1901. I couldn't help but wonder if any of my ancestors or their relatives worked on the ship. (Tara, who read the family information sent by my mother more carefully said most of them were boot makers, but they may have helped outfit the ship). We skipped the movie and went on board.

The ship is impressive, epically considering that it had to house, and feed 40 men over a two to three year voyage, much of that time trapped in the antarctic ice pack.

After leaving the Discovery, we went back to the hotel for our bags and then took a cab to the train station, where we caught the train to Edinburgh.

Due to construction on the Forth rail bridge, the train was diverted through Stirling which gave me a chance to get a picture of the castle. Unfortunately, I only had the phone with me so the picture is not good (and is trapped on the phone until I can figure out how to download it).

Between our late departure from Dundee, the added time to go around the Firth of Forth, and some unexpected delays on the train line, we arrived in Edinburgh later than we would have liked, and still needed dinner. We caught a taxi to our hotel, checked in and then moved to the correct room - our first room only had two beds, not the three we needed. After that we got a late supper at Bella Italia, an Italian restaurant near our hotel.

In Edinburgh, we are staying at the Hanover Hotel, which is very convienently located. Our room is small, but it has its own bathroom and the necessary beds.

On Monday, we got up and had breakfast at a nearby coffee bar. During and right after breakfast, Derrick's lack of sleep caught up with him. So he had to nap until noon. Once we were up, we made our way up - and I mean UP - to the Edinburgh Castle. At the castle, the queue to get tickets took about thirty minutes, and we were not able to get inside in time to be near the 1:00 cannon shot.

We enjoyed our visit, and the lunch purchased at the Redcoat Cafe inside. After lunch we made our way to the top and visited St. Margaret's Chapel, the Honors - Scotland's Crown Jewels and the recently returned Stone of Destiny - and the Scottish War Memorial. Looking at the War Memorial, it struck me that had World War I lasted only a couple of years longer, my Grandpa who had enlisted, although he was too young to serve, might have seen combat.

We then worked our way down, spending some time and money in the gift shop. We then started down the High Street, stopping at the tartan shop and mill just below the castle. We were too late to get our pictures in traditional dress, but we may go back later.

We then continued down the high street, until we decided it was time to turn back towards our hotel. On the way back we stopped at Garfunkle's for supper.

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