"In my dreams last night, I remember fondly walking along with you in among a collection of very tall, very old buildings, some as tall as 6 or 7 stories. We were walking hand in hand as usual, the cobblestones and bricks underfoot clinking gently with each step. You were taking me on a tour of the area. It was so lovely. Some of the curved faces of the ancient buildings had signs and fire ladders on them, curving with the tune of the building. Bits of red or blue were painted on the faces of the buildings, but it was mostly stone work that towered over us. I marveled at the way they held their strength through the years, so proud and strong. Every here and there were modern touches, like an internet cafe or a tea house. One shop even had a giant nose with a pair of eye glasses attached to it over the door. That one made me laugh. We were walking up a hill when we saw that one on our left. I remember pointing it out and you making a comment about how it wasn't polite to make fun of someone's nose. I laughed more."
Apparently the biggest attraction in Scotland for American's is the city of Edinburgh. It seems to be even more popular with the people of the United States than destinations like Loch Ness and it's mysterious monster. Thousands flock to the country's capital every year for tours, visits and adventure. The history and architecture of the city are beyond compare, lending plenty of practice for want to be photographers on holiday, such as I was last summer.
We left the small town just outside Glasgow and headed for Edinburgh on Monday morning, the 26th of July. I hadn't even been in the country for a full 24 hours yet and already I was off for another adventure. Never did I imagine that this was the begining of realizing what dreams really do hold and the potential they had for changing lives.
We got to Edinburgh in the early afternoon and checked in to our hotel. Our room had a full view of the Edinburgh Castle and took my breath away as soon as I walked through the door. One wall of the room was made entirely of glass, making sure nothing obstructed the glorious view. I was in awe. We barely took the time to put down our bags before we were off again. I couldn't wait!!
We stopped off at a pub just across the street from the hotel for a quick drink - we were both parched after the drive. When we stood up again, he asked which direction I would like to go in. There were three options before me, but since I had never been to the city in my life and knew that he had, I left the decision up to him. I had no idea where I was, where I wanted to go or how to get there even if I did.
"Let's go this way then," he said, and pointed to the street that curved off up to the left. As soon as we rounded the corner I saw that the street curved slightly off to the right a little way up the hill. It seemed oddly familiar, but far away like a distant dream. I couldn't figure out what it was until I looked up above me. Suddenly a far away memory flooded my mind and I stood with my mouth hanging open, chills running up and down my arms. The hair on the back of my neck stood up on end and I couldn't believe what I was looking at.
"What is it?"
I couldn't answer. I just pointed up. There is was - something I had seen only once in my life, and that once was in a make-believe place I had imagined once in my sleep. There on the wall was the giant nose with glasses. I had thought originally that it was an eye glass shop, but it turned out to be a joke shop. Robert stopped and looked back at me. His mouth fell slack. He grew into a smirk, and then a wide grin.
"You knew, didn't you?"
"Knew? How could I know? You chose which way we would go, and I've never been here in my entire life! How could I know?" I was nearly frantic, trying hard to make him understand there was no possible way I could know about the nose on the wall.
"I know," he said, stunned. "That's weird! The hair on my arm is standing up on end now. Look!" Sure enough, we had matching arms. His smirk grew into a grin. "I'm not going to say it," he said. "It's too corny." We both laughed, somewhat nervously. He remembered my email to him as clearly as I did. Fire escapes draped across the walls here and there of buildings more than 4 or 5 stories high. Some were even higher than that! There were coffee shops and gift stores on the ground levels here and there, all spelling out my dream in perfect harmony. It was as if I had walked that street before. It was the first time I had ever known exactly where the feeling of deja vous came from and understood it completely. I knew it wouldn't be the last. I couldn't fight the impulse to take a photo.
Edinburgh was full of surprises for me, but that was a great away to start off the journey. It was my second day in Scotland and already I felt as though I was meant to be there.
TO BE CONTINUED...