Edinburgh, Scotland – I had a pleasant and scenic 2.5 hour train ride from York to Edinburgh, some of it along very pretty coastal areas with nice white beaches.
On arrival at Waverly Station, I readied myself for what I knew was coming: the News Steps, a daunting 124-step hike up steep stairs, with 35lbs of luggage, to my Airbnb neighborhood. What I didn’t realize was that it was all uphill right from the train platform: uphill ramps then uphill streets. I was almost ready for a nap when I got to the News Steps! But I told myself to take it in stages and gamely headed upward. It was steep and tough, and it was 78-degrees and I was wearing a sports coat.
At the mid-point, I was wheezing like an old caliope; at the top I knew my heart was in OK shape because I hadn’t had a coronary. But the old ticker was really thumping. There’s a business opportunity for some young person there, hauling folks luggage for them.
Then, guess what? At the top, more uphill streets, and then 50 more steps to get into my 3rd floor AirBnB flat. Why didn’t I take a taxi? Well, it was really too short a trip by car to make sense and all of the surrounding streets were closed anyway for a big bicycle race. Finally in my flat, I felt as if I had been in the race.
And there I was, right in the heart of touristy Edinburgh, on the “Royal Mile”, with wall-to-wall throngs of summer visitors on the sidewalks (picture above taken at 7am this morning). There were bag pipers, buskers, and those peculiar “artists” that paint themselves gold and appear to hover in mid-air, too. Not unexpected – I knew what this area would be like. There’s also a lot of nice old architecture to enjoy and, after collapsing for a rest, I managed to find a nice, not-too-crowded pub for dinner.
Slept like a rock.