Year 2004- My letter to Dr. Suraj from Edinburgh
As a child I always dreamt of soaking up the length and breadth of the globe whenever opportunity would be ripe. Fortunately, my profession has bestowed upon me the realization of my dream. I am writing from Scotland, to be precise from Edinburgh, the beautiful land of beautiful people and the land of Scotch. The weather was not at its best but the day I took my city tour, it held on and the sunshine allowed me to board the open roof top bus. As a matter of fact, buses are the most convenient and cheapest way to see Edinburgh in its entirety and the best part is that your ticket is valid for next 24 hours and you can hop on and off as many times as you may like.
We started with a visit to the marvelous Edinburgh castle where you can have a bird’s eye view of the city. The castle is well looked after and houses the treasures of the medieval Scotland. I followed it up with a visit to the traditional kilt maker, kilt is the national dress of Scotland and only thing you are allowed to wear with this is a pair of socks and boots. I basked in the pleasure of allowing myself to be photographed in this dress with a trifle inconvenience. My photographer was a beautiful girl in mid-twenties who dressed (she was smiling, and I was sweating) me in order to be presentable to the camera in the traditional Scottish uniform with a sword and armor.
The next visit was to the world of illusion, Camera Obscura, where seeing is not believing. The stunning display of illusions and coupled with glass and prism effect left me spellbound and when I came out of the illusions I had all the reasons to doubt my eyes.
The visit to the Royal Yacht Britannia was replete with grandeur and royal regalia, once royal family aboard this has now been turned into a museum, recently voted as the second-best tourist attraction in GB. A walk into the opulence and aura which surround the royal family even today was definitely worth visiting. Where else can you see feel the experience of walking on the same red carpet as the queen and some of the most powerful dignitaries of the world which includes, George Bush, Tony Blair, Rajiv Gandhi, Ronald Reagan etc. The beautiful picture of late Princess Diana hugging her two kids was the most captivating life size photograph on display on board. It is true the maternal instinct remains the same irrespective of the status, cast color or creed.
Next, I took a lesson in the production of the traditional Scotch whisky and tasted them too. The car ride took me to medieval Scotland as I witnessed the production of whisky and its meticulous journey from 1498 till today. Aqua Vitae, or they call it water of life, is their gift to the world. Every experience must come to an end and there is no better way to preserve them than to share it with your friends the joy which emanates from travelling, the wisdom it contains and the serendipity it envelopes.
I wish I were a travel writer or a correspondent with Discovery channel, but I do consider myself lucky any way. Next week I am returning to my homeland for the quest of putting my ambition into practical goals. Thanks for keeping in touch and Bye for now.