Tuesday, 26 November 2013

First leg of the Journey: Edinburgh

On Calton Hill in Edinburgh.

Well, Halloween/ All Soul's Day was certainly more memorable this year than it ever was, and, I hope, ever will be. I found out on the 1st of November that my father had died, late on Halloween night (technically early in the morning on the 1st). To say that this came as a shock would be an understatement. He wasn't ill, we none of us were expecting this at all. His father and grandfathers were all very long-lived, and for him to die at the age of 72 wasn't something my family thought would happen.

Of course, everyone wanted me to come home. I wanted to come home too, but didn't think I could, since the UK Border Agency still had my passport and visa (I don't think I've mentioned that fiasco on this blog - just that I had to apply for an extra year as the UKBA made a mistake and only gave me a visa for 3 years instead of the 4 that I need). My friends Janet and Lorie were inestimably helpful in getting ahold of the US consulate in Edinburgh, and helping me to fill out things I needed to fill out, etc. etc. I made an appointment with the US consulate and I persuaded Rachel to accompany me. I should briefly mention that the international student services at my uni had been no help at all! I would have despaired indeed without my Americans-from-home friends.

The people at the consulate were lovely. They issued me with a temporary/ emergency passport and the caveat that the UK might not let me back into the country. At this point I didn't care! I just wanted to get home!

After I had my temporary passport (in record time as well - under an hour!) I felt so relieved, and Rachel and I did a bit of celebrating - ie brunch and sight seeing - in Edinburgh.

Even though we ate brunch, we still got pudding - this is a sticky toffee pudding! Yum!

This is the Old Calton Cemetery

A unique statue of Abraham Lincoln, dedicated to the memory of Scottish-American soldiers! 

Sort-of opposite Old Calton Cemetery is Calton Hill. There are some interesting buildings and structures up on the hill, and we went for a wee wander. The real reason I wanted to go there, however, was because it was used as a filming location for the BBC "North & South" that came out a few years ago.

On Calton Hill.

Luckily I had a hat on, so I felt pretty old-fashioned, just like Margaret Hale in "North & South".

I apologise for the crummy quality of this photo, but it's the best I could find. This is a scene from the film. They've added in the angel and the headstones, but that is the same hill! 
We also took a tour down Mary King's Close, which was thrilling. Unfortunately they didn't allow photography, but here is another (open) close. Edinburgh is full of them. 

Rachel & I passed this statue. We think that rubbing the toe brings good luck!

1 comment:

  1. Calton Hill--so exciting! You and Margaret are almost twins! That sticky toffee pudding looks delectable!! So glad that amidst all the craziness of those days you got to enjoy some of Edinburgh!