Arrived to overcast skies, an easily navigable airport/customs system and the requisite taxi ride with a dour Scot. I believe he said 5 words. “What’re you after?” and “We’re here.”

And we are here at The George in downtown Edinburgh. I’m already charmed by the dialect, the stone edifices, and the tiny room in this classic hotel. The Wi-Fi is desperately slow, so no switching between sites, therefore I haven’t discovered anything about the hotel’s history. On a more practical note, we’ve learned from the kilt wearing porter how to get electricity (put the key card in the slot by the door) and that we can access the hotel server in 30 minute increments for free. I now understand Trip Advisor’s comment: use the Wi-Fi at the Starbucks across the street…. Speaking of the ubiquitous Starbucks…the downtown has some American representation but I was happy to note the businesses and signs dear to the heart of an Anglophile. There are places to let (rent) and walk-in surgeries (clinics); of course we took the lift to our room, enjoyed a biscuit, and inspected the WC. That’s elevator, cookie and bathroom to the folks at home.

Before we head out to explore I want to add to the Travel 101 lesson. It turns out that the middle seat in our airplane did not recline. Apparently this is universal and everyone but me knows this. Why is this? Isn’t it bad enough that you’re stuck between two people with no undisputed rights to either arm rest and a mandate to keep your elbows to your sides and never go to the bathroom? To say I was not happy with this reality is an understatement. When I realized that I was going to spend a 7 hour flight upright, I pretty much lost it. Mike decided to switch seats with me and thereby protect himself and others from the person I become when sleep deprived. Three hours of unconsciousness and I’m better. Much better.

So one more thing: I set up this blog, if that’s what it is, in 15 minutes in Newark when I could safely use the cellular data on my iPad. So as I write this travelogue I will hopefully figure out how to use the site and include pictures and maybe some better graphics on my home page.