The great European vacation of 2015

The great European vacation of 2015 has begun, for once I took the flight day off, it should have been, as it began, utterly relaxing, however leaving packing until the last minute saw it turn stressful, including realizing I’d left my phone at home 10 minutes into the journey to the airport. We got it recovered & made the flight in time and at this stage I have no items actually forgotten for the trip that i have discovered yet 🙂

Leg room – yeah about that…

We were flying from Dallas to Edinburgh, via London on British Airways, the DFW to LHR leg is just under 9 hours of flight time and it is never much fun, this particular flight was one of the worst yet. My daughter’s seatbelt was missing part of the latch, we reported it & yay, I got moved, away from my family, to a seat by the bulkhead, with no leg room. I must have been visibly showing my frustrations as the attendant came an apologized several times & told me that I could go back to my family as soon as the seat belt signs went off. The same steward also gave me 2 beers instead of 1 when the drink cart went by, so I almost forgave him. The seats were uncomfortable and far too close together. The plane was clearly designed for less, indicated by the fact that where the seats were fastened to the floor left a pole right where your feet & or bag were supposed to go under them. In the intended configuration I am sure that the seat edges would be in line with the fastenings allowing everyone to have bag space & foot room. I slept very little but forced my self to rest regardless, which aid dividends as I wasn’t too wrecked on arrival.

Our connection in LHR was supposed to be easy, the Edinburgh flight was from the same terminal which should have meant no customs or security according to BA customer service – wrong, we had to clear customs & go back through security to get to the next gate. We made it to our connecting flight with no time to spare, extra delayed as my wife’s shoes in her carry on triggered something required a physical search.

We made it to Edinburgh at around 11 am (5am our time – having left at 4:30pm), after we got our bags we went straight to the terminal Starbucks & confused the poor barristers with our very American requests such as “a cup of coffee” lol. At the car rental place we got the hard sell on upgrades & insurance like I’ve not experienced since about 10 years ago in the states, the guys was good at it, but I really just wanted to get going & was never going to give him another 400 pounds to upgrade to a bigger car, these roads are tiny, I don’t want a bigger car! Once we finally got in our car, oh my the parking lot was packed tight! I made it out with no dings, got on the left (right) side of the road & went to Edinburgh Castle.

IMG_2951The castle served 2 purposes, 1 it is a cool tourist spot that we wanted to go to, 2, it would keep us awake long enough to go to sleep in the evening to get adjusted to the time zone. The castle was fun, it is a magnificent imposing military structure. As a place to visit, it was a little more military & a little more structured museum than I usually like for a castle. The air outside was cool & the wind biting, my daughter had fun running around on the battlements & inspecting cannons, once we got index the war museum though she quickly lost interest. Mon’s meg (the huge medieval canon that could fire a stone ball over 2 miles) was as imposing as you would expect & St Margarets Chapel, the oldest building in the castle – built in the 1130s, got her focus back though. We moved on to the crown jewels, they spent a long time building them up with exhibits, yet once you got to them, a little disappointing, I mean, really cool old stuff, but not exactly the English crown royal jewels, oh well.


After the castle we made the hour drive to Stirling where we would spend the night, very tired we ate at the inn next to the hotel, a below average steak & a quite amazing sticky toffee pudding with a pint of carling made me feel very much so back in the UK.

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