Did I mention that one of the guys who gave me his phone number that crazy day in Rome also asked for mine? We were on the same flight to Rome. He sat behind me. His name is Giovanni (of course it is). He’s actually American. Raised in SACRAMENTO. Now living in Texas. (Helloooo random!? Gotta love it!). He was flying to Rome that day with his business partner – they were going out to their Art Gallery in Assisi. Seriously.
My lunch at Fat Boabs – Minced Beef and Mash. Looks gross – but was pretty tasty!
Look how crazy my eyes look! That’s what sleep deprivation and jet lag does to me.
Edinburgh is a GORGEOUS old city! It’s just so… SCOTTISH! There were statues of dudes in Kilts and castles and cold, damp, overcast weather. It was a perfect day in Scotland!
Statue of a dude in a Kilt.
Along the Royal Mile.
Fun house mirrors! mmmm… flattering!
A Scottish Ballerina… hehehe.
You just can’t go to Scotland without getting a photo with a bagpiper!
Mary outside our Lunch Pub – The Deacon Brothers’ Tavern
And then we were off again on foot toward the Queen’s Castle.
We found this gorgeous little cemetary covered in pink blossoms. Kodak Moment!
Back on Sunday I purchased a Scottish Trust pass to get me into the Castles and Attractions we were planning on visiting. It was a better deal to buy the pass than pay for the attractions separately. Well, once we arrived at the Queen’s Castle, we found out that it wasn’t actually included in the pass I’d bought! Sad! We opted not to pay an extra 10 Pounds to see the castle and just walked around the perimeter snapping photos instead. (I don’t know about you, but Scotland’s bonny history isn’t at the top of my scintillating list of fun… for Castles I’d go to France, Ireland… places with a bit more romance!)
The Queen’s Castle
A Beautiful Bluff sits along the back of Edinburgh, covered in those Yellow flowers…
Yesterday in Roma, Amy (my travel companion) and I met an Italian man at lunch named Adriano (of course it is!). He stopped an chatted (flirted) with us a while and then apologized because he has to leave in order to make it home to Firenze (Florence) in time for his next appuntamento (appointment). We said goodbye and finished our lunch. Just as we exited the restaurant he pulls up in his car, rolls down the window and hands over a bottle of wine!
So although he was in a terrible rush (Italian style), before we had finished our meal and exited the restaurant, he managed to purchase a bottle of wine and drove by in his car just as we emerged to hand it to me. “It is a beautiful, light, wine, very nice. Keep it cool, drink it slowly. Enjoy your travels. Buona passegiata. Ciao.”
We thanked him, waved as he drove away in the Italian manner- tranformed from the easy going guy into the guy, who like all Italians on the road, is the sole proprietor of said road.
This morning as I rose from my very comfortable bed in my ridiculously lush hostel (oxymoron, I know, yet true!) I had a very difficult time of shaking off the sleep. It’s been a long and wonderful week filled with beautiful experiences and a lot of travel! I’m tired!
I packed up my backpacks (large frame pack and smaller day pack) and made my way to the airport via taxi. (May 1 is like labor day in Italy so as much as I would have preffered to take a bus (1,20 €) they simply were not running.) Anyhow, I arrived, checked in and shlupped myself to the security check, where a guard informed me with a smile that I had a bottle of vino in my carry-on backpack which was not allowed. Panic!
The security fellow suggested I go and get my checked bag, insert said bottle of vino in checked bag and then come back to the security checkpoint (which he would arrange or me to go through without waiting on the line again) or I would have to disopse of it. He really wanted me to keep it. In fact, he was most accommodating and encouraging – and I felt very keenly the need to keep my Italian trophy! And so I went back to the check-in-counter where, when I presented my request to the check-in Woman, I encountered the famous Italian Woman’s glare. It is a formidable thing!!
Here is how you get around it- you need a bit of gusto. Stand your ground. When said Italian woman is done glaring disdainfully at you, she will do what she can to help (despite the obviously terrible inconvenience you have caused her. Once things are shaping up, be very grateful – immediately – that she has been so gracious and accomodating.
After a few phone calls, my bag was waiting at baggage claim no. 9 – almost immediately. How’s that for service?
My next problem was getting into he bagage claim area. If you have traveled internationally, you know that the baggage claim is beyond an impenetrable wall of one way doors meant only to be exited by passengers finished with their itineraries. I knew that. But che buffo! I’m an akward Americana! I snuck in anyway. Only in Italy would they simply stop you and send you to the right place. In the states you’d be detained and interrogated! I was sent through another security check where I was explained to by two confused Italian gate guards that what I was doing was not allowed. It my best Italian-ish I explained my piccolo problema an motioned that my bag was waiting for me at baggage claim nove, 9. One fellow picked up my bottle of wine and tenderly examined it with a smile in his eyes. The guards reluctantly said ok but they needed to keep the vino with them. LOL. Whatever. Grabbed my bag, the wine, ran back up to the check in desk and re-checked the bag.
Presto. Hopped on my plane and headed back to London.
Only in Italy would everone understand the importance of a bottle of wine.
Now – If only I drank.
Sent from my iPhone.