Alas, it was time to leave our dear Crovie Cottage and depart for Edinburgh, where my friend was catching a plane to the U.S. I was going to travel on to Kelso, near the English border, but I had a small window of time to spend in Edinburgh before then. An hour-and-a-half, to be exact.
We found my friend’s Edinburgh lodgings for the night, then took a bus to the Royal Mile. After being in the tourist-sparse northeastern part of Scotland, seeing the crowds on the Royal Mile was a shock. The “mile” is a corridor of shops, restaurants and historic buildings that span the center of the city between Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace, where the queen hangs out upon occasion.
We visited shops, looking for tartan scarves and tights; saw street performers; and marveled at the diversity of voices and faces in the crowds. We also seemed to have attracted a parade. My friend and I have a talent for this (see proof from our trip to St. Martin). The parade participants seemed to be all male and were affiliated with different religious groups – their drums pounding out a warning directed at all the sins in the world.
Was it a marketing ploy to get others to join their ranks, or a protest? I didn’t have time to find out since I had to leave for my Bed and Breakfast awaiting in Kelso. I bade my friend goodbye and was off.
Later, my friend told me she climbed to the top of Arthur’s Seat, a group of hills behind her lodgings. As the sun set, she was treated to a “peak” moment, listening to Sir Elton John who was performing in an amphitheater below. She danced up on the hill to “Candle in the Wind,” and “Crocodile Rock” – a fitting end to her magical Scottish journey.