One of a miscellany of short observations from a trip to Scotland.
My head drops forward, hard, and then snaps up. I look around blearily. Separated for security reasons (I can only presume) into two middle seats in different rows, the Big Guy and I are on our last air leg to our destination: Edinburgh. Flanked by 40-ish businessmen who respond to every crew announcement with the snippy humour born of Too Much Air Travel, I am just trying to Keep Calm and Carry On. My mind certainly feels calm — not to say numb — but my body is now refusing to carry on. While I can’t quite stay awake, I can’t sleep sitting up either. Drop. Snap. Repeat.
Finally on the ground, we enjoy the tarmac for an additional 15 minutes, waiting for the bridge driver: a not unexplained but (according to my two new snippy friends) surely inexcusable delay. Then they set us free. Hurray! Free to look fruitlessly for an information desk that might advise us on transit options into the city centre. Boo! Free to pick up luggage that has somehow tracked us here from Ottawa. Hurray! Free to hunt amidst coffeeshops and delis for the completely obscure exit doors from this terminal. Boo!
But what’s this? Just as we finally catch sight of the cleverly camouflaged exit doors, we stumble past a brochure stand advertising what might be the decently priced airport bus of which I have read. A two-fer! Hurray!
Ten minutes later we are sitting on the upper deck of a bright blue double-decker bus, en route to the downtown Edinburgh terminus and, we hope, only a short walk from there along cobbled streets to our hotel. The Big Guy handles the blue job, planning our walking route by trying to align the guidebook’s teeny-tiny map with the more-legible but not very detailed map showing the bus route. I handle the pink job, pointing out cool signs and interesting scenes, and being tickled pink with our success in taking this final leg of the journey into our own hands. Hurray for us!
Friends, family and neighbours have told us impressive adventure-travel stories: going on African safaris, backpacking through South America, travelling to Nepal. So I am under no illusions: finding the airport bus at Edinburgh International Airport doesn’t rate. I know that it is, perhaps, absurd to feel satisfaction at not taking the easy way out — opting for a taxi direct to the hotel — when the bus option is, in retrospect, easy enough even for those suffering from jet-lag-induced cognitive deficit. That’s OK. In this as elsewhere in life, we can keep our accomplishments in perspective, and yet still enjoy them.