Saturday, July 18, 2009
We woke up to more clouds on our last day in the UK. We ate our last British Breakfast, and checked out of the guest house. Unfortunately, we couldn’t leave our luggage there, so we took it to the train station to store while we did our final sight-seeing. It cost £7/bag, but it was probably worth that to not drag it around all over Edinburgh. We also made sure to buy our bus tickets to the airport before we set out to see more sights.We were about to board the Majestic Tour bus right outside the train station to ride to the Royal Yacht Britannia. The yacht was launched in 1953 and retired in 1997. It is now permanently moored at the Ocean Terminal Shopping Mall in Edinburgh’s port of Leith. Again, they gave us an audioguide that told us all about the yacht. It was interesting to see how the royals traveled in style and to learn about the crew that maintained the yacht. We were able to eat lunch at the mall in a cafeteria-type restaurant overlooking Britannia. We rode the Majestic Tour bus back to the starting point and hopped on the next tour bus that was going out. We rode almost the entire loop on the top of the double decker bus with a half-top to keep us dry. I feel like we were able to see the major landmarks and learn a little about them even though the weather prevented us from comfortably walking around the city. We did take one walking tour right before we headed to the airport. We met the Mercat Tour near St. Giles Cathedral at 2:15pm. This 90-minute tour didn’t go very far, but pointed out things on or right off the Royal Mile that we had previously walked right by. Some of the most interesting parts were going down some of the “closes,” tiny alleys between the buildings. We also saw a leather ID holder that was made from the tanned skin of the murderer, William Burke. While the tour was enjoyable, the weather was still miserable. With only one broken umbrella between us, I finally gave in and used one of the rain ponchos that Mark had given us for a Nebraska game one time. I felt silly walking around in a glorified garbage bag, but at least I stayed dry during the periodic deluges that plagued our walk. Brandon kept fighting with the umbrella. Both the poncho and umbrella were unceremoniously thrown away when the tour was over.
After the walking tour, we collected our luggage and rode the Airlink bus to the airport. We didn’t have any problems at the Edinburgh airport, easily checking in with Lufthansa and going through security. We flew to Frankfurt, where things were a bit rushed. We had to go through passport control since we were coming from the UK. That took us outside of security, so we had to go back through to catch our connection to Nürnberg. Our connection was a bit tight on time, so we were a little worried when security detained us because they couldn’t identify my curing iron. We made it to the gate on time to discover that this was a smaller flight and only allowed one carry on bag. They checked our bags at the gate, and we were quite relieved to see them arrive in Nürnberg. We were relieved in general to be back in Germany. We had an hour drive (through more rain!) back to Großbissendorf, but we arrived home around midnight.
It was a long trip through England and Scotland, but one that we enjoyed and will remember fondly. To see more pictures from our last day, please see my Picasa Web Album.