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Day 9

I'm not in Paris. Check out the Reality section on day 7 for more info.

Today, I meet up with my great friends Doug and Janet who just happen to be in Paris at the same time I am.

I am really looking forward to doing whatever they want to do in Paris. My list of "Must Dos" is short - just a few museums. But I'm sure that we'll see all the sights and maybe do a little eating too.

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See complete itinerary.

Paris Weather

Well, I'm still in Scotland. Today I did some sightseeing in Glasgow and Edinburgh via ScotRail, the national train system.

I caught the train this morning at 9:30 in Troon and was in Glasgow by 10:30. I walked from Central station about 6 blocks to Queens station where I caught a train for Edinburgh, where I arrived around 11:30.

On the way back, I left Edinburgh at about 17:00 and got back to Troon at around 19:20. Total round trip cost: 13 pounds - about 20 bucks.

My round at Brassie (a local course where my host Geoff is a member) didn't happen. I called last night to make sure I was on the schedule and they had no record of me. I didn't have the heart to tell Geoff (so he's reading this for the first time), but it was really not a big deal because it allowed me a day to play tourist. Looking forward to Turnberry tomorrow at 09:00.

In Edinburgh, I bought a ticket for the "hop-on, hop-off" tour bus. This is a fleet of topless, double-decker busses with tour guides. The make a circuit to all the sights in the city and run about every 10 minutes. First stop: Edinburgh Castle.

This photo doesn't do the place justice. It looks from the city like it's a mile in the sky. It commands the area with 100's of cannon and could house 15,000 people. The rock has been inhabited since 600 BC - and probably before that. There are several great museums in the castle, but the place I spent the most time was the "Black Guard" museum. The Black Guard is the Scottish regiment in the British army. Now the relationship between Scotland and England is a little bit tense to say the least. The Black Guard has been seen as "dispensable" by the English, and has consistently been given the toughest, most dangerous duties in battle since the 16th century. They have, as a result, some amazing stories of heroism and bravery in battle ranging back over 400 years.

It rained most of the morning, but it was a gentle rain and I had my rain jacket on, so I stayed on top of the bus. It was pretty warm, so I was comfortable. By early afternoon however, the sky was blue once again.

The Royal Gardens in Edinburgh is really impressive. I was very surprised to see palms and ferns growing in places. It turns out that the temperature in the valley where the garden lies rarely drops below 40 degrees (F). This is because there is a natural inversion created by the steep rock walls on both sides (with the castle on top of the south side) and the fact that the valley floor is actually about 100 feet below sea level. This led to an interesting talk with Mrs. Awes, one of the volunteers at the garden about the weather in central Scotland in general. It seems that the ocean currents keep the temperatures moderate year-round. It very rarely (maybe once a year) falls below freezing in Edinburgh, and is usually 40 F or above. This was a surprise to me, because they're about the same latitude as Traverse City, MI (a place where it is below freezing more than occasionally).

Next stop: the Scottish Whiskey Museum. Free samples at the end! The sad thing is that I don't have any taste for whiskey at all. It was a fascinating tour though - the stuff smells much better than it tastes. I bought a sample pack of Glen Fiddich 18 year old scotch. Chances are I'll have it for years, so there's another reason to visit me in Colorado. I also bought some Cuban cigars - genuine Cohibas - for 5 pounds each ($7.50). Both the liquor and the cigars will go through customs in my golf bag. If I end up in prison, please forward my "Sports Illustrated" subscription.

Tonight is my last night with Mrs. Tweedy (no, she doesn't make chicken pies) at "The Cherries."

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