We spent the morning playing with Emerson, repacking the suitcases (they’d gotten a bit out of order), storing our luggage, and checking out of The Glasshouse. It was approaching the lunch hour as we’d left. As such, we trekked back into Old Town to visit Oink, a cheap takeaway joint serving pulled pork sandwiches. En route, we missed seeing the Queen by a matter of moments, as she’d just finished attending a service at St. Giles.
As I said, Oink serves roasted pig. You pick the bread (white or brown), the filling (onion and sage or haggis), and the sauce (BBQ, apple, chili, or chili cheese). They then assemble the meat-fest of a sandwich.
I understand the rave reviews. It’s a lot of food for the money. But, it’s a bit messy to eat while walking around or even when sitting on a bench (Libby spilled some on her pants, purse and shoe). They ratio of pig to sauce is also wrong: there is too much meat or too little sauce. It’s truly a “meat sandwich.” Nonetheless, it was far more wholesome and enjoyable than eating takeaway fast food from a chain.
After lunch, we went to tour Edinburgh Castle. Once again, the Queen managed to foil our plans as she was having an event there in the later afternoon. The bad news is that significant portions of the castle were closed. The good news is that this discouraged many visitors and reduced the cost of admission dramatically. And, in fact, had we been willing hang around for an hour and a half or so, we could have seen the Queen up close, as there is only one car path up inside the castle. As it was we had a nice conversation with a captain in the Royal Navy, who’d been to Tampa on numerous occasions, disliked London and all the foreigners, was frustrated by the fact that army soldiers kept saluting him (as he said they don’t do that in the navy), and generally seemed bothered by the fact that he was forced to get there early only to wait around.
After the castle, we visited the National Gallery Scotland. Much like the National Museum of Scotland the day before, the collection was modest in scope and scale but very enjoyable to experience. I especially liked the Frans Hals, including matrimonial portraits of some dude and his not-especially-attractive second wife (he either really loved her or she was loaded).
Having cultured ourselves, we returned to Rose Street for a late afternoon snack of nachos, which we thought (rightly) would please the small one. We them strolled around New Town en route to The Glasshouse, where we picked up our luggage and took a taxi to the airport.
The airport transfer and check-in was easy, but our flight was delayed for nearly two and a half hours. No bueno. Fortunately, the airport had a good play area for kids. Emerson made fast friends and enjoyed herself thoroughly. Good options, especially for Emerson, were less good. But, we managed to get her a £8 ($14!) hot dog and fries that was actually rather tasty.
Our flight was on a little ATR 72 600… in other words a plane with propellers.
We landed in Ireland a bit before midnight and checked into our hotel by 12:30.
Today’s box score: +1 country (Ireland)