Friday, August 19–Edinburgh, Lothian

Back up to Mailboxes Etc to ship some stuff home; back to the Festival Fringe box office; Emerson String Quartet at Queen's Hall; late lunch back at the Grosvenor; dinner at Wetherspoon's Alexander Graham Bell

Citryroomz Edinburgh



I don't have a whole lot to report from today since I only did part of what I had planned due to inclement weather throughout the afternoon and into the evening.

I left here shortly after 9 AM, when it was only grey and cloudy, to take my two shopping bags and my two canes up to Mailboxes Etc to have them sent home, keeping Mom's cane to use today and sending the one I bought in Fort William home. I also still have Chris's cane, which I can carry onto the plane when I fly to London on Monday and then on to Paris and then back home. Mom's cane folds and will go in one of my two checked bags.

I then needed to stop and pick up the ticket for the taiko performance tonight. The Fringe box office nearest here where I could do so, on Princes Street by the National Gallery, wouldn't open until 10 AM and I didn't feel like I had time to wait since I had the Emerson String Quartet concert at 11 and it would take me at least half an hour to get there. I knew that the Fringe box office over on the Royal Mile not far below St Giles' church would be open when I got there, so I headed on up the hill from the Gallery, past the Mound and on up to the Royal Mile.

After I got my ticket, I continued my walk over to the Queen's Hall which is a nice older venue that looks like it might originally have been a large lecture hall but their web site doesn't seem to have anything about the building's history. I was in the upper level, in seat D 30 with a good view of the stage. The building's so small that the acoustics are great wherever you are.

The ESQ were very good, and so was the music even though I have no idea what I was listening to or who the composers were since I didn't want to spend the 4 GBP for a souvenir program I'd leave behind immediately after the concert.

At the time I was planning on walking to the taiko performance this evening and decided to just catch a cab back here after the ESQ for lunch and to hang out for a while in my room before I had to leave again at 4:15 or so for the half an hour walk it would take me to get there early for the 5:15 PM concert. The weather had gotten a bit worse, with an extensive cloud cover but not yet raining. It turned out to be surprisingly difficult to catch a cab near the Queen's Hall, which is on South Bridge which is a rather busy street. It took between twenty minutes and a half an hour and I had to walk several blocks, seeing occupied cabs all the while, until I could get one to stop for me. It was a short and inexpensive ride back here. I went across the street to the Grosvenor (which I learned is pronounced as if the s wasn't there, or grove-n-or) for lunch and had a very nice steak and ale pie and a very good pint of cider.

I had a bit of a problem finding the location for the taiko perfomance on the map of Fringe venue locations for some reason. I've been having some problems with Google Maps on my Irish Android smart phone and wanted to make sure I knew where I was going and how to get there.

When I left to walk over to the concert the weather had really deteriorated even more. The temperature had dropped at least ten degrees and it was heavily drizzling. I really didn't feel like walking on over, and didn't want to have to stand around in the rain afterwards for however long it took to catch a cab to come back here afterwards, and decided not to go but to just stay here in the immediate area of my hotel instead. I had a bit of a wander around and stopped in at the Starbucks for an iced coffee before coming back here.

When I finally went back outside again around 7:30 PM it had stopped raining but was still rather chilly. I walked over around the corner and up to George Street and walked down several blocks but didn't see anywhere I really wanted to have dinner tonight, so I walked back up Roses Street in the other direction, and since I hadn't seen anywhere I wanted to eat more than I liked the Wetherspoon Alexander Graham Bell (who was born around the corner from the pub) I went there for their Friday fish & chips special, which was pretty good although I think their tartare sauce in a jar wasn't all that good.

So it's going to be an early evening for me, since it's only about 10:30 PM and I'm about done with these notes for today.

I have two performances tomorrow, a Fringe flamenco one at 6:00 PM and then the Tattoo at 10:30. I think I'll go to the National Portrait Gallery (a twenty minute walk from here), maybe stopping for a haircut at the barbers' right near the Mailboxes Etc (which looked like a decent place when I went past this evening), then come back here to Princes Street and the National Gallery (about a ten minute walk from the Portrait Gallery) and probably the Royal Scottish Academy right next to it. Then, depending on the weather and how much time I have left, I might go on over to Greyfriars church and its cemetery and the nearby Greyfriars Bobby's pub.

The concert tomorrow evening is at a place near George Square, about a half an hour walk from here. Afterwards I'll either look for a cab from George Square to somewhere on the Royal Mile or walk up, another half an hour, depending on the weather for dinner and a pint before the Tattoo.

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