Sunday, April 11, 2010

From near & far

Thanks to all who voted in the exciting "Where Should Lindsey spend her Spring Vacation" poll. There was a tie between Paris, France & coastal Mediterranean, but in the end, my Spring break has become something else all together: a fun month of visitors from home!

First, my "scholar sister" from Los Angeles, Cynthia, came up to Edinburgh from London. I hadn't seen Cynthia since our Rotary Scholar orientation in Leicester. It was great to host her and show off Edinburgh. We had a mellow day of catching up, strolling around, drinking coffee at the cafe where Harry Potter was written, shopping (I bought new wellies, and Cynth got a furry green Loch Ness monster hat) gossiping, and reminiscing, mostly about the Mexican food in LA. We ended the day cooking dinner at my flat with three other Rotary scholars. We carried on to a local pub and sampled a few whiskies, Cynth couldn't believe how strong the taste was! I guess I'm used to it by now. Cynthia aims to be in Geneve this summer, so perhaps I'll add Switzerland to my ever-growing list of places to visit in continental Europe.

A few days later, my best friend from 6th grade arrived from New York City. It's been such an awesome week. To keep things fresh and "stay-cation" like for me, I made an effort to find some things for us to do in Edinburgh that I hadn't done before. On Nell's first full day, which happened to be Easter Sunday, we went to Crammond Island.

Now, what makes Crammond so unique is the actual journey to get there. Crammond is connected to the mainland village by a narrow cement thoroughfare stacked with triangulated pillars. The causeway appears and disappears in accordance with the low and high tides- so there are only 2 points in the day when it is safe to cross and spend a few hours. If you happen to lose track of time, you're stuck on the island until the next low tide! Quite the flirtation with danger! I love it!

Crammond was once a vacationing island where well-to-do tourists could rent a small house. Then, it became a military defense base during WWI and WWII. Now it is simply a small, lovely island with beautiful views back to Edinburgh, peaceful trails, rocky beaches and the odd abandoned ruin to explore.

Lots of snails, but no sign of any Easter eggs : (

We circumnavigated the island, appreciating the views and open space, and crossed the causeway back to Crammond's tiny harbor. We stayed long enough for a glass of wine at the legendary Crammond Inn before catching the #15 bus back to Edinburgh City Centre. It was an easy little excursion. If you live in Edinburgh, spend your next free, sunny day exploring Crammond Island; it won't disappoint.

Back in Edinburgh, we took it easy the rest of the evening, mostly gearing up for an even bigger adventure the next morning, to the Isle of Skye! I'll sign off for now, but promise to write about that epic journey in the next post.

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