As I viewed Dundee from Dundee Law yesterday it struck me just how much technology enables travel today, and how very different this trip is, even from five years ago and certainly from Don and my first trip to Europe over 20 years ago. I had just video chatted with Don via Facebook messenger - who could have imagined being able to do that with such ease, and in the outdoors, even ten years ago.
Some other examples:
I went on an Edinburgh castle tour with Jen, an entertaining geek-girl type. Good way to see things, I think you can just end up wandering about not really understanding anything without someone telling you and the sorts of stories she had are much more entertaining than the standard audio guide. In the small group was a woman from Japan, a guy from Portugal and a young woman from Italy called Chiara. I particularly loved seeing the little dog cemetery which is in one of the photos below.
I visited the Royal Yacht Britannia in Leith. This was an interesting and well-organised experience. It's called a yacht but really it's a mini cruise ship. Fun to see in real life some of what has been on display in The Crown TV show. Decent coffee in the tea room - yay!
On the bus on my way to The Bailie Bar it was getting dark so it was odd to see lollipop people manning school crossings but then I realised it was only 3.40pm after all. The Bailie Bar was very busy for the time of day. I had a cider but didn’t approach the staff to tell of my namesake. They seemed too busy and I felt awkward...and I’d decided I really didn’t need a mug to cart around for the rest of the trip, even though it would be nice to have. From the bus on the way I saw Anderson’s bar but was too slow to grab a picture.
In the evening I had dinner with a teacher friend who I first met online but had met in real life last year at a conference. Always lovely to spend time with locals although he is originally from Glasgow and his wife, Caroline, from Newcastle. They spent many years living on the Isle of Islay where there are 9 whisky distilleries and not much else!
I'm going to stop there for now - it's time to get out and about for my only full day in Dundee.
Things are not feeling quite real just now...not only am I about to fly on my own to the other side of the world, but yesterday was my last day after five years working at The King David School. Intellectually I know full well that in 36 hours or so I'll be in Scotland where the temperature is predicted to be 6C (a nice change from the high 30's of the past couple of days here in Melbourne) and in six weeks I'll have been home for a week and about to start my new job at Trinity...but, you know, it wouldn't surprise me if I just had dinner tonight, got up tomorrow and did the usual Sunday things and then headed to KDS to work on Monday. I am excited to bits about all of it...but it doesn't feel real just yet.
I am just about ready to go. My main pack is packed and zipped up and ended up weighing just a smidge over 12kg. Not quite as good as I hoped but bearing in mind it has my two heavy pairs of boots and my heavy coat in it, not too bad.
I have scans of documents in multiple 'cloud' locations; I've printed out the key itinerary sheet from my spreadsheet; I've written (yes, by hand, with a pen!) important document and card numbers into a notebook; I've given Don a printout of my itinerary with the addresses of where I'll be staying and emailed him my travel insurance details; I have my passport, a credit, debit and travel cashcard in my wallet (which has a strap to wear across my body, like a neck pouch), and a secondary credit and debit card, and some Australian cash, stashed away in a secret spot in my pack. I've made a list and checked it twice (and no, I don't have delusions of Santa)...what have I forgotten?
I think all that's left is finishing packing my carry-on bag (once my kindle is charged and I've finished writing this) and calling my mum...oh and maybe coming up with a better title for this blog - any suggestions?
What's happening here?
I'm off on an adventure to Europe, on my own for 12 days and the remaining 3 weeks with my 17 year old daughter. This is where I'm going to share my adventures.
On the map
See a bird's eye view of the trip on Tourbuilder
Heather Bailie ePortfolio by Heather Bailie is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.