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Trip Report Trip Report: Sheep Rule. A Week in Scotland

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Recap: In week one, Sue and Mr. Sue rode the rails from CDG airport to Schiphol and thence to Haarlem, at one point crossing the turf that was the site of Operation Market Garden. We dropped into Ghent to see a bridge, into Bruges to bike around and gawk, and Antwerp to sneak a peek at a work by Mr. Rubens. Over an extended (four day) weekend, we surveyed Amsterdam and Haarlem, including a bike ride over the marshes, and a visit to the Reichsmuseum. Hello, Mr. Vermeer.

It's now Tuesday and we're heading into week two. Our mission is to see a little of the capital of Scotland, then whirl around the western highlands of Scotland by car.

Day 1 (day 8 of entire trip). Haarlem-Schiphol-London- Edinburgh. Schiphol airport has some very comfy chairs, including one that roughly resembles a half of an egg. The egg half blocks out a lot of sound, so I drop down gratefully into it. We got here earlier than expected, so have a bit of time to kill until our flight to Edinburgh via London.

The day gets eaten up pretty well by our commute to Scotland. Note: If you are heading straight for Scotland, flying in from North America, you'll likely have about a half day left by the time you get into Edinburgh.

Day 2. Edinburgh, full day number one. Someone less lazy than us could have whipped downtown and then off to an art gallery, or climbed up to Arthur's seat. But this morning I think Arthur had the better idea, because he apparently was up mainly for sitting down. So spouse does the crossword puzzle over breakfast. I have an extra long hot shower.

Fortified by a morning off, we head into town, check in to our downtown hotel, and then head over to the National Museum of Scotland. Whoever redesigned this place tried very hard to make it interesting, but they also made it very easy to get lost. Forewarned is forearmed.

On the other hand, it was a great place to refresh my ninth grade history lessons on the unification of the crowns of Scotland and England. Spoiler alert: Elizabeth dies, and her half-nephew James (who was already King of Scotland as James VI) also assumes, with England's agreement, the title of James I of England. This was a 'personal union' as opposed to a federation, and I won't spoil the story, suffice to say that not everyone was happy with the arrangement. This will culminate with a battle on a certain moor some time later, but I'm getting ahead of myself - over a century ahead, which is fast even for me.

We also find some great exhibits on that most famous of Scottish engineer/inventors, James Watt. These involve demonstrations of actual working equipment. Spouse is fascinated. All in all, worth the time spent.

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