Before my flat is ready for move-in, I am spending my first few days about 25 miles east of Edinburgh, in the town of Dunbar, in the region of East Lothian. I am staying with the lovely and generous Alan and Elizabeth Burchell. Alan is a first year Rotarian and as my host counselor, I will work with him and his club to arrange projects and partake in local service. Particularly, I am hoping to link Dunbar and my sponsor club, LA5, in applying for and completing a project with the help of a Rotary Foundation matching grant.
Alan and Elizabeth have given me an incredibly generous welcome. They met me at the airport in my most jet-lagged state, and didn't mind that the first thing I wanted to do in Scotland was take a nap. World travelers themselves, they knew where I was coming from. They have been cooking tasty food (salmon, roasted chicken, exploding apples!), preparing many pots of tea, and showing me around this coastal region that they know as their own. Dunbar is actually the birthplace of John Muir. I can see how starting out here would inspire a life dedicated to the natural world. Gorgeous is an understatement.
Laundry Day in North Berwick
Tantallon was considerably more preserved, and we were able to climb to the top of it- something I figured would have been off limits because it is so ancient. At this castle, I purchased a Historic Scotland pass which grants free admission to some seventy more during the year. Store discount too -- now taking orders for fine whiskys and anything plaid...
Something interesting I learned from Alan is that if part of a historic site in Scotland crumbles, it is against the law to put it back together AT ALL. Guess this comes from fear that it might be re-constructed improperly, or that touching it would make it fall down even more.