A Travellerspoint blog


Murphy’s Law


It’s the hot month of August ... when the Fringe Festival and the Military Tattoo take over Edinburgh! I’ve done my homework and have a to-do list of things we’d like to see on our first day in town. The old charm of this city pulls you into the street...so they say but “Murphy” sometimes throws out a challenge every now and then and today is one of those days.

Long story short our shuttle to our international flight is cancelled and there is no way we can make the connection to catch the flight to Scotland today! No other flights are going out due to weather conditions at our connection. The best option I can get is to be rebooked from Newark Liberty International tomorrow evening! I decide to take it as I still have a chance to catch up with our tour. We are disappointed about missing the first day in Edinburgh but determined to get there for the Tattoo. We call every number for every mode of transportation to Newark we can and everything is booked. We go to bed without knowing if we can get to the airport ...sadly I start thinking we may have to cancel this trip.

At 4:00 am after a sleepless night I get up and call several more numbers for different car services and viola!!!! The gent on the phone tells me there will be one car available after a drop off and could come to get us and bring us to the airport....".. at the bargain price $390. "You gotta do what you gotta do” right???!!!

Our car arrives and comes zigzagging up the driveway, stops midway and exerting much effort our driver gets himself out of the vehicle. Rick and I look at each other and I instantly feel like I’m about to cry...I’m not feeling confidant that this will go well. I take a deep breath and tell myself to have faith. He loads our luggage, we hop in and we are finally heading toward Newark! Our driver .... Joshua. Age: prob. 85 dapper little man...black suit, white shirt, little spectacles...and a Fitbit (sky blue) turns the corner down the road and our luggage goes flying out the back of the car. “What’s that noise ?” he says. “Oh I forgot to close the back of the SUV!” We hear 2 loud thumps and as I turn and look back I shriek...”our luggage!!!” as it lays approximately 300 feet from the car in the middle of the road! I jump out and start running for the luggage. Rick comes to help me screaming “lookout! he's backing up! “ As I look back I see the SUV with the back up zigzagging backwards toward us. Rick and I put the luggage back in the car, shut the back door and off we go zigzagging toward the thruway! So far it’s a bit of a shaky start but I’m still holding out hope that we’ll be on the plane on time.... but....time will tell.

Ok...so I’m making idle chit chat with Josh...

me: where do you live
Josh: Newburgh/POK
me: do you drive to Newark often?
Josh: yes, my kids travel a lot
Me: Have you been doing this long??
Josh: No
(Off to another great start as I keep glancing back to make sure our luggage is still in the vehicle. )

We’ve arrived! ( Tears of joy!!! ).

A word about Newark Airport..it’s a very busy place...as is every airport but very well organized! Organized chaos! And...no cash is used here. Anywhere. Everything is done on tablets. Tablets are screwed to tables and all kinds of food and shopping, movie and game selections are available. You pick up your order, it is scanned with a barcode at self checkout.

This flight to Edinburgh is also delayed by almost 2 hours. Technical problem.
They bring in a new plane and off we go! Our ride in Edinburgh is at the airport waiting for us and gives us a little commentary on our way to the hotel! Our guide has left a note for us to contact her when we get in, she said to catch a cab to the castle. When we arrive there we ask a woman who works in the gift shop to call our guide Michelle so we can meet up with the group! And so...although we’ve missed last evening which was a big miss, and the morning tour and part of the castle tour — more big misses... we are here! Hallelujah!

Edinburgh Castle...A few fun facts:

-The Castle sits on Castle Rock ... a volcanic rock 250 ft above the city
-Research done in 2014 identified 26 sieges in its 1100 year-old history
-It is THE most besieged place in Great Britain
and one of the most attacked in the world
-It is Scotland’s most paid tourist attraction @ 2.1 million visitors per year


On to the Royal Yacht Britannia:

The Royal Yacht Britannia sailed over one million miles on a thousand Royal visits during 44 years of service. World leaders like Nelson Mandela, President Bill Clinton and celebrities like Elizabeth Taylor and Frank Sinatra were entertained here.


Oh look...!!! Anyone you know???


The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

Definition: Military Tattoo:
“The term comes from the early 17th century Dutch phrase doe den tap toe ("turn off the tap"), a signal sounded by drummers or trumpeters to instruct innkeepers near military garrisons to stop serving beer and for soldiers to return to their barracks.”


We really enjoyed the Tattoo...definitely a highlight...!!!

Fringe facts:

“The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is the world's largest arts festival, which in 2018 spanned 25 days and featured more than 55,000 performances of 3,548 different shows in 317 venues”. Everyone is invited, any art form accepted. The idea of this festival is to provide little bits of free art on the street in hopes people will enjoy it and then come to their venue and pay to see a show. There are shows going on in every establishment in Edinburgh from art to music, dance, comedy etc.

What I love in Edinburgh:

Our hotel “The Waldorf Astoria” formerly The Caledonia a.k.a The Callie

The continuous refill of the candy dishes in the lobby ...buttery caramels all you can eat!

The pens

The porters and hotel staff dressed in plaid

The old architecture in the city

All the chimney tops on every building

The Scottish brough

The friendly smiles

Meeting the people on our tour group



The heated towel racks and trying to avoid flooding the bathrooms (some of these shower stalls !!??!!)

we're glad to be here and looking forward to our trip!

Posted by Linda Fluckiger 02:55 Archived in Scotland Tagged edinburgh festival tattoo yacht royal britannia fringe miliary

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What a great blog. Looking forward to reading more so I can review and remember all we did and saw.
Thank you, Linda

by Carol Williamson

Love the blog and the photos. Mostly I'm just happy to see you and Rick were able to make your journey! Hope you are both well!!!!

by teethetrav

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