The Rest of the Story...
(Continued from yesterday's blog.) We hopped on a different bus from our originally planned chariot and stepped off at the end of the line in a small village called Cramond. Once again our lack of planning took us to a gem. Cramond is a suburb in the north-west of Edinburgh, at the mouth of the River Almond where it enters the Firth of Forth (a firth is a narrow inlet or estuary of the sea).
Archaeological excavations at Cramond uncovered evidence of habitation dating to around 8500 BC, making it, for a time, the earliest known site of human settlement in Scotland according to Wikipedia. The Romans arrived around 142 AD, and using archaeological research a reasonably accurate reproduction of the site in Roman times was built up.
Ky and I only skimmed past that area however, wanting to get to the waterfront and Cramond Island. Wikipedia describes it best: Cramond Island is a tidal island about one mile (1.6 km) out to sea, which is connected to the mainland at low tide across the Drum Sands. A paved path, exposed at low water, allows easy access. This causeway runs at the foot of a row of concrete pylons on one side of the causeway, which were constructed as an anti-boat boom during the WWII and are one of the most striking sights in the area. At high tide the path is covered by several feet of seawater which cuts the island off from the mainland. It is safe to walk along the raised causeway to the island at low tide, but only if visitors ensure that they leave enough time to return to the mainland before the water rises."
We had such good timing with our lack of planning ;-) We were able to cross and return without needing a rescue. A local walking near us told us that nearly every week someone has to be rescued. That would have been an exiting, but embarrassing blog post! We had to scurry back though, not due to the tide, but due to a meeting that I was keen to attend.
After getting back to our place, I almost immediately had to head out the door to get on a bus to downtown Edinburgh. I followed directions to 62 - 66 George Street. Upon entering the grand old building and through the entrance to an English language school, the meeting area was abuzz with a lively group of Toastmasters. I was a member of Toastmasters in Bellevue Washington back in the early 90s for many years and then again in Phoenix for about five years (currently on hiatus while traveling), and if you want a wonderful way to get involved and improve your speaking and leadership abilities with some of the most interesting people you will ever meet, join Toastmasters.
The Capital Communicators is one of those special groups. I have visited many clubs over the years and it is always fun to see how clubs operate, their differences and similarities. This one does it all extremely well and they have had quite a number of other clubs descend from their ranks which is also a very good indicator of their success.
After a two hour meeting many members of the club go to a very cool pub called The Queens Arms, That was the icing on the cake! Sorry that I can't recommend a Scottish ale or lager to you since I'm not a beer drinker, but I can assure you that although Ireland is thought to be the first distillers of whiskey, the Scots caught up! I was really sorry to have to dash out, but I checked to see when I should be catching a bus, and it was soon. I knew it wouldn't wait for me. After a hasty goodbye, I left hoping I would get to attend a Capital Communicators meeting at some point again in the future.
I'm a full day behind now and today was another big one. Tomorrow is a busy travel day. I might need a vacation to get all caught up ;-)
Hugs from Corstorphine, Edinburgh!