We left Lockerbie this morning, with two non-vomiting children, eager to see Edinburgh. About 5 miles after leaving our hotel, we were cruising along the motorway when we saw a sign: “Edinburgh, scenic route” and we took the exit.
The drive was only supposed to take an hour and a half — the scenic route added half an hour. It was worth it. This part of Scotland is really beautiful — it actually looks a lot like the Lake District that we loved so much in England, but with the addition of rows of towering pine tress and heather dotted across the fields (and a significantly higher ratio of cows to sheep). We knew we were going to arrive ahead of our original schedule (which was supposed to have the much longer drive from Oban today), so we didn’t have to watch the clock or worry about when we arrived.
Edinburgh itself so far seems really nice. It’s relatively small (having been in London earlier this week), packed with tourists (tons of Americans and Canadians), beautiful and generally pretty pleasant. We’re looking forward to walking around and checking out the castle. (And we’re very grateful for a day that contained neither vomiting nor flat tires.)
I’m also enjoying some of the city’s Harry Potter history. Tonight, we had dinner in the café where JK Rowling apparently wrote a significant part of the first book, and I’ve discovered several place names here that show up as portions of characters’ names in the books. (Not to mention that there is currently a stadium constructed outside of the castle which looks suspiciously like a quidditch stadium.)
In general, though, the pace of our trip is slowing by necessity. The kids are less enthusiastic, less patient, more sensitive, more frazzled and less resilient than they were a week ago (and it’s not just the kids). We’ve travelled a lot over the past week, we’ve been busy, and we’ve seen a lot. So, we’re taking that all into account and doing less on a more flexible schedule. I want to focus on us all having a good time rather than accomplishing a list of vacation to-dos. Tomorrow: Edinburgh and the castle await, but we can take our time. They’ve been there a long time. They’ll wait.