As we were sailing toward Scotland I noticed how chilly it was becoming. I really had not thought about how far north Scotland is. It’s only land border is with England and it runs for sixty miles. The Atlantic Ocean borders the West coast and the North Sea the East coast. It was about this time in our United Kingdom and Ireland Cruise that we encountered extremely rough seas. Now I must confess that I was…to this point…extremely proud of my having never been afflicted with sea sickness. In fact I looked upon those unfortunate souls with the little white patch behind their ear as somehow not cut out for true sea faring. When the jostling began I greeted it with joy as it added some adventure to the holiday. However I did wonder when it became apparent that I could not walk without holding on to a solid objects and when the nightly Broadway type show was cancelled for two consecutive nights for the safety of the performers. As I lay in bed…on the first night of the heaving and swaying I felt the front of our little ship rise what seemed to me to be an interminable height…and then come crashing down with a tremendous jolt…time after time after time. It was about this time that it occurred to me that ships do sink…even small ocean liners. I reflected on the Titanic and Gilligan’s Island…and became extremely ill. Or, as Jonathon remarked the next morning…he woke up and was somewhat concerned for our safety…prayed and returned to sleep. The next morning I made my way slowly and carefully to the front desk for my free ration of sea sick pills or patches. The somber attendant told me flatly that they were out and that I might try the on-board hospital. As I entered humbly a stern nurse from South Africa instructed me that they were not a store and that if they gave me sea sick pills I would have to pay for their medical services…I replied whatever it takes…and thank you.
So, we landed in Scotland and were greeted by a wonderful jolly appearing gentleman in his kilt and playing a bagpipe. As we made our way into the port shops area we again were greeted with very happy Scotsmen in kilts and rosy cheeked and offering us free whiskey. As the Russian actor said on an old television commercial, “What a country!”
As we were entering one of the lovely shops the proprietor welcomed us in while he continued a seemingly passionate discussion with another patron as I heard him say, “I do not care what the Pope says…I have never believed that religious stuff…I am a pagan.” I was reminded of the well known movie the Wicker Man…and thought what an interesting country this would be to have a lengthy stay in.
We walked Edinburgh’s Royal Mile and toured Holyroodhouse which is the Queens’ official residence when she is in Scotland. I was also fascinated by the ruins of Holyrood Abbey.
The Ocean was especially beautiful as we made our way toward Scotland. The combination of the clouds, the chilly temperatures, and the sunlight shining on the water gave a special air of mystery to this enigmatic land.