The February issue of the Drum is now up on the club website. It is full of information of upcoming events plus articles on the January club meeting and a night photography workshop.
We got to the Mary Kings Close tour office early so we stayed outside on the street for a little while taking photos on long exposures. Kim took a really nice shot of St Giles Cathedral with people walking in front of it but, they are blurred because of the slow shutter speed. She had no idea how she did the shot but, she was very pleased with the results. In the tour office/gift shop we spent some time hunting out what we would like to buy when the tour finished. That is where I came across Ronald the Rat. We also liked the music playing so we spied out the CD and got that later on as well. The CD was Lightweights and Gentlemen by the group Lau. These days when I hear Lau’s music, particularly Twa Stewarts or Gallowhill, I am instantly transported back to Edinburgh.
While we waited for the tour to start we were able to see the other people that would be on our tour. One particular person had a really bad wig on or a very bad hair cut. Kim thinks it might be a real hair wig that hadn’t been washed for some time. We also think that the man’s wife heard us talking about it as we think she was sitting to our right.
The tour was very good and our guide was wonderful. The guides dress up in period costume and present themselves as someone who would have lived there in its day. The Close use to be open to the air but there wasn’t much of an opening, only the gap between the buildings. Eventually they wanted to build another building there so they just covered the existing buildings over and built on top of them. The Close stayed in use however, as many people still lived there. Eventually it became a place for the sick dying of the plague. For the most part the tour was good, but there was one room that got under both our skins, Kim’s in particular. It was just a bad feeling in there that we both sort of picked up on. At the end of the tour we had our picture taken with the infrared camera mounted in the walkway (the original ally way). It was a good image except for the dust ball that seemed to appear over Kim in the shot.
The walk back to our apartment was fine, but Kim was a little worried about being confronted by someone as we walked past the pubs. I kept myself between Kim and the pubs as we walked but as we crossed the last road we had to walk between some tourists. That was the closest I felt to being in danger, and we weren’t in any danger at all.
It had been a long, but relaxing day, on the whale watching tour. This was our last night in Vancouver and for a change we were going out for tea. We were still tired from all the traveling from the previous days, so when I say “going out”, I mean only going as far as the hotel restaurant.
I can’t remember what the restaurant was called, but the hotel has changed its name since 2010. It was called the Cascadia Hotel and Suites. It is now called Marriott Residence Inn Vancouver Downtown. The restaurant is now called Cavino. I have no idea if that was the name two years ago, but I would hope it is still as good, or better now.
The weather was poor that evening. After tea we wanted to go visit the Vancouver Lookout downtown. We asked the front desk to call us a taxi, but the pre-season ice hockey match was getting out at the same time, so we were left to flag down a taxi on the street. That wasn’t hard, but our driver had no idea where we wanted to go. he had never heard of the Vancouver Lookout. It took Kim to show him a brochure before he figured out where we were going.
The lookout was pretty cool! We liked the elevator ride up. Well, Kim didn’t like the open air portion of the ride, but I thought it was good. The weather actually made for some interesting lighting over the city, with the low clouds and rain. There was one section near the gift shop that Kim really didn’t like, especially when a tour group came marching through. Their heavy footsteps made the floor move and bounce. Kim didn’t feel safe there so she made her way around to the elevators while I took photos.
As I approached Kim she was looking through a set of binoculars. She had them pointed at the apartment building across the street. She said, “there is a woman getting undressed over there”! I said, “give me a look”. Kim, “sorry, she has finished now”. My wife, the peeping tom.
On our first night in Las Vegas we made our way to the Bellagio. We didn’t gamble. We looked around and had dinner and then did some souvenir shopping. While in the souvenir shop the lady behind the counter eyed us suspiciously and when we went to pay for our things she automatically thought we were using counterfeit money. It was nice to be treated like a criminal on our first night in America.
One of the things I bought was a magnetic money clip. I put all my “non-counterfeit” money, cards and room key-card in the clip. Unfortunately the magnet in the clip wiped the hotel room key-card. Lucky my wife had another card. The clip wasn’t used again after that.
The shot of the Bellagio Fountains was taken as we left the casino. The fountains went off to the music from the Pink Panther, which we quite enjoyed.
Happy New Year everybody!! 🙂