Well, we said goodbye to all of our friends in Northern Ireland and hopped on Ryan Air to Edinburgh.  Talk about cheap flights...It felt like all of us passengers were being herded like cattle.  They had us line up to board before the plane even arrived!  Once it pulled in, they herded out the old cattle in record time and probably within 20 minutes, we were in the air!  Also, there were no reserved seats.  So, Nick and I kept wondering why everyone was freakin out to be the first in the plane.  But once we figured out there is only so much bag storage and you choose your own seat, we understood.  Survival of the fittest.  Without even realizing it, got ourselves great seats beside each other and great overhead storage:)  I've never seen anything like it in my 20 years of flying!  You seriously couldn't even get a cup of water unless you paid for it!!!

Our Scottish friend, Malcolm McGregor picked us up and brought us to his home where his wife Liz was already getting dinner ready...

Scottish Meat Pie...yum.

We were shown to our luxurious guest room and couldn't get over what good hosts the McGregors are!  There were little snacks, teas, coffee, cups, bottled water, fruit and a hot water heater in our room!  

Even the bathroom had a little basket of goodies:)

Also, the room is decorated with photos and paintings from all over the world.  There is even a drawing from this artist in Florence SC...you've probably never heard of him...Wick Jackson?

It's crazy to be in Scotland and see a drawing from my own daddy!  

I don't know if I explained this, but the McGregors lived in Ethiopia at the same time as us when I was a little girl.  So they have Ethiopian decorations all over their house...even a drawing of the church and seminary that my daddy built while we lived there!

So we had a good sleep, then woke up to this:

Yea...this is their view...

We had breakfast and headed out for a day in Edinburgh.  We got off the bus on Princess Street and walked up the Royal Mile to the Edinburgh Castle.

And we confirmed that we are royalty...the Stewart name is everywhere!

We had Haggis Tatties and Neeps for lunch:). I don't even know what the neeps were.  The tatties are mashed potatoes.  And the haggis is supposed to be lamb mixed with spices and oats and stuffed back into its own stomach...who knows?...it was good!

The most interested parts of the castle were the outside, the Crown Jewels and the prisoners barracks.  The Crown Jewels had been buried and hidden under a toilet for over a hundred years until they were found again!  And the prisoners were rationed 2 pints of beer and a pound of a half a bread per day, among other things!  I thought that was weird to give them beer and not water!  And that was a lot of bread!

We finished up touring the castle and walked down the Royal Mile to the Queens Palace.

Here are some things that have stuck out to me:

The public buses have free wifi!
Everyone over 60 has free public transportation throughout the entire country!
There are lots of homeless people!  And they all were sitting on the ground, covered in a blanket and cuddling a dog while begging!
The "new city" area of Edinburgh is older than the USA!
The entire city is completely stone and cement!
There are lots of handicapped people in wheelchairs...I've never seen so many in one day!  Nick and I decided that you see them more here because they are using public transportation and city sidewalks...?
It's colder than Northern Ireland!
The buildings have beautiful architecture!
There is whiskey everywhere!!!!!!!!  Seriously!!! And wool clothes:)

So we are wiped out and heading to bed...

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