First day in Edinburgh

Believe it or not, after only sleeping about three hours on the plane, we didn’t then take a nap. Instead, we went to a two-hour-long Palm Sunday mass. If we had known it would be THAT long, maybe we would have rethought it.

Since Michelle and Paul had to be at their respective churches rather early, Dave and I had a bit of time in the morning to gather ourselves, shower, etc. However, that meant that we had to get ourselves to church, which meant a hike through the city (all of which is uphill) to get to Michelle’s church down in the center of the city. It took a lot of energy that we didn’t really have, but it was quite nice, and it was great to see the city so quiet – apparently Scottish folk don’t get up that early on Sundays.

Michelle works at an Episcopal church called Old Saint Paul’s, and their church service is undeniably “high mass”. Of course being Palm Sunday, this was taken to the next level. The church service started with incense and a hymn, and then the entire congregation (which was impressively large) processed down the block, around the corner, and back, singing hymns all the while. This wasn’t too bad for us, because it kept us awake. We didn’t fare as well during the rest of the service, even with the variance in sitting, kneeling, and standing. There were a couple of instances where each of us almost fell down while standing up because we were nodding off. Most difficult was the lengthy singing of the passion (instead of reading from the Gospel of Matthew about Christ’s death). We finally rallied during the communion time, which was quite nice. After the service we helped Michelle clean up the kids’ area, then we managed to get Paul to pick us up, so we didn’t have to walk home.

After we got home we went back out again in search of lunch. We ended up at a pizza place called Pizza Express, which was quite tasty. Then we got coffee (very necessary for Dave and me at this point), then drove out to the suburbs to visit Paul’s family. We had a thoroughly enjoyable visit with Paul’s mom, dad, and brother, and they also gave us a home-cooked dinner. We were all completely wiped out by the end of the evening (Michelle and Paul having gotten up earlier than normal in order to pick us up at the airport), so we were glad to get back and go straight to bed.

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