Thursday, 26 June 2008

On the buses

We didn't plan it this way but we spent a fair bit of time on buses today. S has been doing this all week, though not on purpose. He just seems to hop on a bus that seems to be going in the right direction, only the bus driver hasn't changed the sign or hasn't told him that yes, he is going to Canonmills, but he's taking the hour and a half scenic route. Oh dear. Consequently he's spent more time on buses than he thought he would and seeing places in Edinburgh that he never expected to see.
This morning Jack and I went for a ride on one of those very, very touristy double decker buses that you see in places like Edinburgh and London. The ones that S studiously avoids. In our defence we did go on the vintage one with a 'live guide' which is preferable to a dead one I suppose ( I thought it would be a good way to spend some time seeing the city and I've been walking so far every day that I'm exhausted. I think you could start an exercise programme called the push that damn pram up a hill (or seven) in Edinburgh plan. catchy eh?
I was told that I had to fold up the pram because it would get very busy on the bus. Jack and I went to the top level and chose a seat right at the front. We met our live guide and it was at this time I realised that Jack had done a huge smelly poo and he was cranky. I had timed the tour so that it would be Jack's nap time, in the hope that he would fall asleep. Two more passengers, from Norway and as it transpires Ian Rankin or should I say Rebus fans, joined us on the top deck and that was it. We set off with Jack with a smelly bum (I know that's horrible but you try changing a baby on the top deck of a moving double decker bus with an audience and an uncooperative child), a tour guide with a microphone next to us and Jack starting to scream on and off for the next twenty minutes till he fell asleep. It started to absolutely pour and I was thankful that we were under a canopy till the water all gushed off the roof and swooshed to he front of the bus where we were sitting so I had to sit holding Jack with my legs in the air. The guide was good, but I have to say that his accent was quite strong. sometimes he would say something and I'd just smile and nod because I had no idea what he was talking about or should I say aboot.
I saw some good stuff and found out some info. Apparently Edinburgh is called the Rome of the north because it is built on seven hills like Roma. But then it's also called the Athens of Scotland because it has a lot of columns. Hmmm. I saw the place where Sean Connery modelled for art students before his movie career took off and saw where Sean stays when he's in town and heard the guide do a Sean impression. I think that was his parlour trick. He's probably been doing that impression since Thunderball came out. I saw a statue (and pub) for Blackfriars Bobby who was a wee puppy (not on the rug bobby!) who loyally sat by his owner's grave for twelve years. I hope he was nicer than Billy the dog who has a statue at Balmoral beach. Apparently he used to bite children.I also saw the palace of Holy Rood Castle, which is where HRH Cabbage stays when she's in town. It's been one of those days; reading that book about the Queen and then everywhere I go it's Queen this and HRH that. Close to the castle are the Salisbury crags which are the remains of an extinct volcano. You can walk up to the top but I think I might pass on that one. Apparently it gets so windy up there that people get blown off the side.
The guide also told us about the lovely little money spinner a few hundred years ago where people would rob graves then sell the bodies to the medical colleges for anatomy lessons. Apparently two fellows or rather blaggards called Burke and Hart decided that grave digging was for mugs and decided to start bumping people off instead to expedite the whole process. Unfortunately for them they killed a prostitute and half the medical profession recognised her on the slab and the jig was up. One of them ended up 'taking part' in an anatomy lesson and his skeleton is still there at the medical college to this day.
So it was a funny tour. I didn't take any photos though because I was either restraining Jack or holding him as he slept. Rather inhibits the camera taking opportunities I'd say. We scooted on back to the apartment (Jack woke up and he was not happy) as S had a half day and we were off to see the Royal Yacht Britannia (do you see what I mean about those royals?) and we had to catch the bus there.

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