No adventure today, I fear, just colors. People who don't like flowers can jump right off again because this day was dedicated to the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. We wouldn't have thought of it, but my online friend Milica recommended it after having seen a report about it on TV. Thanks, Milica, we had a fabulous time!
After breakfast (and still the tall guy was too chicken to go for the "full Scottish" from the menu even if Peter - remember, he was the driver from day 2 - had praised how healthy it was, followed by stats about heart attacks *grin*) we left for the Botanic Garden. The weather was still fine although a few small clouds followed us. We had mostly recovered from the day before, but didn't walk very fast anyway, enjoying the little surprises to the left and right. Ducks on a little brook, some beautiful little gardens (I still wonder about the one with the absolutely impeccable lawn, why would you want to have something like it, but no space left to put a chair and table outside? I doubt anyone was allowed to even come close to this grass with chair legs), a cricket field and a park.
Finally we reached the West Gate. That was the one that was closed, due to construction work. We were too early anyway, but we already got a slight idea of the Garden's size because it took quite a while to get to the North Gate.
Whoa, that would have been an area to have a house! (Later we were told for how much small apartments go in this area and we had to swallow very hard) I don't know if it is stupid of me and I would have loved to show you some of the houses, but I always feel it's not right to take pictures without asking. Not even of the gate with the fox and the hare on top that we loved so much. While we had to wait for the Garden to open up, we at least strolled along the street and admired everything.
Squeaky sound - opening hour!
First we went into the Queen Mother's Memorial Garden. What a pity the labyrinth was not really one yet. The plants didn't even come to our knees, so it wouldn't have been to difficult to find the way out. But the roses were beautiful.
I won't mention every flower bed we went by, but believe me they were amazing and even more amazing was that there were not too many people around yet. A friend living there later told us it is not considered a big tourist attraction.
Now we came into a small wood with typical plants and Bruno, the swimming slug. Don't ask me why, he just looked like a Bruno to me.
Back out of the wood we saw this extraordinary beech hedge, over 100 years old and more than 20 feet high! To show the height I made the tall guy stand in front of it, but he wouldn't let me publish the picture. He mentioned my own obsessive way of staying out of photos, that did convince me ;-) So here is the hedge without him.
Because it started drizzling a bit, we chose to go into the glasshouses entering through this building.
Entering the Garden itself is free, but here you have to pay a small fee, it was more than worth it. Maybe I should mention that I myself am a terrible gardener. I can kill a cactus by saying Hello to him, flowers grow legs just to escape me and instead of a green thumb I have at least ten black ones. Still I love to see what others can do and that is the reason why I might have gone a little overboard taking photos of flowers and plants. As non-botanist I also have no idea what they are called, I really couldn't remember it all. The pictures have names like RedPlantWet or GreenAndHairy. I'll just let the pictures speak for themselves. Picture overload coming ahead!
I love (some ;-)) sculptures in gardens and zoos. My favorites here were a lizard and the meep meep, ehm, the roadrunner.
Funny were also these dino footprints.
Just when we wanted to leave the glasshouses, it showered down, really heavy, but as quickly as it had come, as quickly it went.
We got something to eat and walked around some more. There were rarely tourists around it seemed, only a few German hardcore gardeners passed us by, deeply concentrating on discussing garden themes.
Time went by faster than I thought, so we slowly made our way back, but not before I had checked out the gift shop. I can't help it, whenever I go places I have to go to the gift shop there. It's funny how the tall guy is trying to steer me around it sometimes, even though I don't always buy. I just want to look. This time I would have loved to buy something for my Mom, but I doubt I would have been able to bring the huge plant home safely ;-)
We took the way out through the East Gate.
Feeling that we hadn't walked enough for the day and passing Stockbridge anyway, we decided to hit the charity shops, at least a few of them. No finds, though :-( But I got myself a book at Oxfam at least. And then the tall guy reminded me that the bead shop was open now. Don't you just have to love a guy who tells you stuff like this even if he knows he's going to hate waiting while you play with little beads and try to decide what and if you want something? As the lady in Nuremberg's bead shop put it when I told her I had to hurry because my little brother was waiting outside and already looking very unhappy: "Yes, sometimes I wish there was a hardware store around here for the men!" *lol*
He didn't have to wait long. The bead shop was not that exciting. Mostly seed beads, very small choice of semi-precious stones and no extraordinary findings. I looked at a strand of matte onyx and asked the tall guy if I should buy them. He grinned, said No and I think he was right.
This time going uphill was easier than the day before. We just got back in time for tea. The sandwiches for him, the scones, clotted cream and jam for me. Mmmh, it was so good!!
No adventures in the evening, I am sorry to say. Even if the day didn't seem very long, the walking in all that fresh air had made us tired. We are office people, not used to walking that much. It's a shame, but we decided to hang out at the hotel. At least I finished another pendant. Yes, I did come prepared, I know us *grin*