Land ahoy! Our first stop on this British Isles cruise is Edinburgh, the ancestral home of my husband's paternal great great greats. We spent a day and a half crossing the North Sea from Copenhagen, the ancestral home of MY paternal great grandparents. Every serious cruise should start with a blue water crossing to remind us that we are AT SEA, not sitting and sleeping in a land-based hotel...no lily-livered land-lovers us!
Granted, being at sea now is no hardship (I wonder the origin of the word "hardSHIP?) like our seagoing ancestors must have suffered. During our sea day I was especially cognizant of the conditions which my far-back ancestors must have experienced while crossing the North Sea in open vessels to invade and conquer my husband's ancestral land. Those sailors had no cushy lounge chairs to sit in with plaid blankets sheltered in the lee side of the ship, away from the salt spray. Nor waiters, nor pillow top queen-size mattresses and down comforters at night.
During our day at sea I attended an enrichment lecture entitled "Scotland-Land of Tradition, Home to Nessie", by Dr. Charles Richardson; read my book on above mentioned sheltered chaise (where Peter more than once commented he felt we were in a BBC mini series, and said he hoped we wouldn't be summoned into a drawing room by Poirot as suspects in foul-play!) I also attended a 45-minute course on the iPad given by Marcio from Brazil. Who knew what shortcuts two, four, five fingers were capable of? Not me!
We loved dining in the elegant Discoveries Restaurant. I had lamb sirloin, and my husband ordered the ahi tuna , preceded by consommé, and followed by creme brûlée and coconut sorbet. Hmmm, same fare as our ancestors on this crossing?
Once in Edinburgh City, we took the ship's free shuttle downtown. Lovely town, busy town! We walked the requisite Royal Mile to the Edinburgh Castle. On the way down the hill we found the perfect pub on a small picturesque triangular park, and popped in for a pint of Edinburgh lager...I didn't realize their pints measure 20% larger than our pints. Afterwards, we returned to the ship for dinner.
Stay tuned for my next blog post, "Cooking in the Kingdom of Fife"!