Edinburgh 2005

up-dated: Feb. 7, 2005

Once upon a time there was a young widowed mother living in Scotland who began learning to fly. She joined an internet forum for pilots, PpruNe, and named herself "Pink Aviator" (she just loved the color pink). In this forum she would write about her training advances and all the trials and tribulations of attaining her pilots license.


Her writings soon became very popular. Her own forum was put online and her adventures continued. Like me, many other pilots and non-pilots became members of her forum.... and then came opportunities to meet some of them.


My first trip to Scotland was in September 2004. On this particular trip I was able to meet "The Pinkster", as we lovingly called her, in person. My report of that trip and more about her can be found in my flying pages.


As it so happened, one of her most loyal fans, "fin" from New York, was planning to visit Great Britain, originally to fly with "Pegasus" (or "Winged_Horse" as she is sometimes called) for a day-trip to Egypt. Since I had vacation already approved for that time, I thought about meeting the two of them before or after that. The trip to Egypt got canceled but fin decide NOT to change his plans completely, instead just go ahead with the flight to Edinburgh.


By the time the date came around more and more members decided to try to meet up with us ... in the end it was a marvelous meeting of new friends, brought together via the internet.... and a young woman who had had a dream of learning to fly......



Saturday, January 29, 2005



I got up as usual much too early. My suitcase was all packed and off I went to the train station to catch the train to the Frankfurt Airport. The weather was cold but crystal clear!! I was flying with Lufthansa for a change. We took off to the east with only a slight delay and soon after take-off made a left turn to the north, directly over Frankfurt downtown! It looked beautiful! And wouldn't you know it, my camera was packed up in the bin... grrrrrrrr.


The flight was uneventful and I landed in Edinburgh to beautiful sunny weather!


Pegasus was there waiting for me and together we waited for fin to arrive from his connection flight out of Dublin. We actually recognized him right away though neither of us had ever seen a picture of him.


This was the beginning of a great and memorable 4 days!!


Our first stop was the Bed & Breakfast which would be our home the next nights. Fin and I of course had separate rooms but each room had a single and a double bed in them, as well as their own baths, unlike the room I had had last September. As you can see, I was exaggerating about the nice weather!



Needless to say Fin was suffering from jet-lag, especially after he was dragged 3 hours through Dublin by another PpruNe forum member! But he enjoyed every minute of it. He decided to stay at the B&B and take a nap, Pegasus also decided to go home and rest, while another PpruNer member, "MD900", picked me up to take me out for a coffee and chat at a "typical" Edinburgh café. MD900 is a helicopter pilot and we had a very nice conversation about regulations and such (mixing a business and pleasure again heehee). Thanks MD!! Unfortunately he couldn't join in on the get-together the next day... he had "better" things to do, like flying a helicopter!

Sunday, January 30, 2005


Fin and I had a leisurely breakfast at the B&B then boarded the bus into the city. The weather was still great with relatively mild temperatures. Pegasus was picking Papa_Charlie and Mrs. Papa_Charlie up at the airport. We were to meet them around 11 at the tour bus depot, then Peg would return to the airport to meet Phoenix and French_Aviatrix.


Big "Hello's" as I met PC and Mrs. PC again (we had met in Inverness last September), then I introduced them to Fin. We decided to use the time constructively by taking a walk around the area.



Scotts Monument

We walked past the Scott Monument and discovered you can walk up to the top! 287 stairs!. After a short discussion, PC, Mrs. PC, Fin, and I decided to try it.

The higher we climbed, the more fantastic the view! The very last part was very narrow and I must admit, a bit scary. But it was worth it.


Mrs. Papa_Charlie and Papa_Charlie

At the half-way point

from the middle of the monument looking down at one of the turrets

inside the monument

As you can see, I didn't exaggerate about the weather. So far I have visited Great Britain about 5-6 times... and EVERY TIME I had nice weather!! It's beginning to get spooky!


Pegasus soon arrived with Phoenix and French_Aviatrix (Fifi for short) in tow and we all boarded a bus to get an informative short tour of the city and it's high-lights.

On the upper floor of the bus! Papa_C and

Mrs. Papa_Charlie


Prince Street


The bus took us up toward the castle where we disembarked. Since Phoenix, Fifi, and Fin had never seen it, they went on the tour. The rest of us walked down the High Street where we found a marvelous shop where lots of typical Scottish costumes were sold and you could observe how the cloth was woven. We then went to a typical Scottish pub and finally had our first beers!!

"OUR" pub

We wondered, if the helicopter that flew over us was MD900... it wasn't. He told me later, that he was in Newcastle. But check out that sky!!!!

We got back on the tour bus and continued seeing the sites. When we returned to the Prince Street, it was time to go to the restaurant where we had a reserved table. Finally we had time to talk and get to know each other. Another member, 10W, joined us at the dinner. Then it was time to bring Papa_Charlie, Mrs. Papa_Charlie, Phoenix, and Fifi to the airport. A wonderful day was over. I don't know when I laughed so much and enjoyed the company of so many nice people! Thanks to all for the wonderful day!! 

Sunset in Edinburgh



Monday, January 31, 2005

Monday was another "quiet" day. Pegasus stayed home to take care of some housekeeping, Fin worked on his computer, and I went downtown alone to take care of the always important shopping! In the late afternoon the next member had to be met at the airport, Thumpango. While Pegasus went to the airport, Fin and I went downtown again. We were all to meet at 20.00 at a "Ghost tour". Pegasus and Thumpango arrived on time and we all joined a tour of the "Old Town". The tour lady did a great job of telling the horrible tales of Edinburgh's past... they were a brutal people back in the middle ages. It was all very interesting, for example about the body snatchers.


After that it was back to the B&B for Fin while Pegasus, Thumpy, and I went out for dinner. Then it was also our turn to return to the B&B (Thump's was next door to ours).




Tuesday, February 1, 2005

I can only give praise to Pegasus' organisation talents. For Tuesday she had arranged a rental car for us and a drive to the village of Peebles was planned. Luckily Thumpy could do the driving... I didn't want to even THINK of driving on the (for me) "wrong" side of the road!!

Again we had great weather.... I'm considering giving myself a new nick, perhaps "Weather Fairy" or something heehee.

The countryside we drove through was very interesting. At times it reminded me of my home in California and sometimes of Germany. But what impressed me the most were the miles of barren, empty land..... no villages, no houses.

The town of Peebles was nice. We had lunch there and then drove on. Fin has a hobby of collecting pictures of himself at borders, but the border to England was still too far away from us.



Fin - me - Thumpy - Pegasus

not far, the weather looked worse... but it never reached us


Impressions of Peebles


Thumpy and Westy in Peebles


We wanted to drive a different route back to Edinburgh and ended up visiting the Loch St. Mary's. It was soooo nice there.


Our route back continued via Stow where we came upon a very fascinating bridge. Another "collecting" item of Fin's is pictures of McDonald's all over the world... and we drove passed on in Stow.... nothing special really, except the birds sitting up on the sign.



beautiful countryside

For some time Thumpy and I had "promised" a dance. Thumpy had read about my dancing in my homepage and had suggested we should do it together some time since he also dances, but more "social dancing". Pegasus had found only a Latin dance place that offered Salsa on Tuesdays.... hmmmm....  not quite what we were looking for but what the heck. She and Fin decided to bow out so it was just Thumpy and me.

In the mean time Thumpy had looked through the telephone book and found a place that sounded more to our tastes, so we got on the bus and went downtown to check it out. It turned out to be a type of disco, had 3 bars, a large enough dance floor with lots of lights above it..... and except for the disc jocky and bartenders, there was no one there! No customers at all! We asked the bar tender and he said that Tuesdays were always pretty dead. We decided to stay anyway, after all, how often do you get a dance floor all to yourselves?  The music wasn't quite our generation (or should I say mine, since Thumpy is 9 younger then me), too much rock-pop, but heck, it was danceable! And we're not THAT old... yet heehee.

After setting fire to the wooden floor, we decided it was time to go someplace to eat. It was 2200 in the mean time and the placed closed at 2300 anyway (and there were still no others guests there). We checked at near by restaurants and pubs where the menu's sounded promising.... no luck... they all had already closed the kitchens! So we ended up just getting on a taxi and driving back to our respective B & B. I had to get up quite early the next morning anyway since my plane left at the impossible hour of 0640!! Needless to say, after such an exciting day, I managed to fall asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.


Wednesday, February 2, 2005

Being afraid of missing my plane I set my cell phone alarm to what I thought was the proper wake-up time (it was still on German time, one hour ahead). When it went off and I glanced at the bed clock, it was 2 hours too early!! grrrrr... I had set it the wrong direction!   Well, I reset it and went back to sleep. Since Thumpy still had the rented car, he offered to drive me to the airport... oh thank you Thumpy!! It was still dry outside, but VERY cold and the next bus stop was a block away!

My flight was uneventful. I expected tons of snow in Frankfurt as on Monday it had reportedly been chaotic, but it was all melted.

Again I would like to thank EVERY ONE that attended for a marvelous trip!! Especially Pegasus for all her organising and help!!    I don't think I'll make the next planned get-together in July/August, but who knows?


Fin's Comments

For Pruners, Pinkers, Others

posted 02/03/05 (edited Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 07:47)


My flight from JFK to Dublin airport deposited me there at 5:30  in the morning.   Imagine my delight at finding a total stranger, who had gotten out of bed at that awful hour on a Saturday morning and come to the airport to meet me and show me around his fair city.  His nick was Taildragger, and an interesting and fascinating man he was too, although initially it took all my concentration to understand his thick Irish accent.   He showed me the sights and we went – [Adventure girl skip this] to McDonalds for breakfast.

Back on the plane again, with next stop Edinburgh, and this time I was met by not one but two friendly faces…Pegasus and Westy.  Was taken to the bed and breakfast where I would stay for four comfortable nights, and soon we were on a double deck bus, sitting way up front and on our way to visit a European capitol which I had never seen.   Westy and I wandered around downtown Edinburgh and before long were joined by Papa Charlie and his charming wife.  We all climbed the Scott tower (287 steps) for a spectacular view of the city and the Firth of Forth in excellent weather.

Peg had made about four trips to the airport and she now returned with Phoenix and French Aviatrix and we all took the bus tour of the city and castle, followed by coffee and then a visit to a charming downtown restaurant where we were joined by Ten West who was up from Prestwick.  Eight of us thoroughly enjoyed a wonderful dinner with a beautiful sunset, good food and drink and friendly, warm company.

Following days events included a Ghost Tour of the city at night with stories of it’s somewhat gruesome past.   It ended in underground vaults which reminded me of the Roman catacombs.  Well done, professional job and enjoyed by all.   As this lot peeled off to return to their homes, we were then joined by Thumpango who hired a car and  four of us drove for a delightful day trip through the beautiful Scottish countryside which strongly reminded me  of parts of New Zealand – untouched, unspoiled, uninhabited largely.   Just beautiful.   Some fine flying songs were provided by Westy, (who also took credit for the splendid weather) and we were all sorry to have it come to an end.   My sincere thanks to all [in particular the Winged Horse] who went to so much trouble to make the entire visit so absolutely enjoyable.




Phoenix's Comments

posted: February 6, 2005

It barely seems possible that it is only a week since we were all in Edinburgh!
Fifi and I flew up from Heathrow with BMI. Quite an impressive trip all in all. Check-in was dead easy and we were given our boarding cards for the return trip then as well. We had exit row seats both going up and coming back which is a distinct advantage if you are 6'5"! 
We arrived at Edinburgh and met up with Winged Horse who was on about her fourth trip to the airport in the last two days! Any reports of a romantic liaison between her and the bus driver are pure speculation! 
Speaking as somebody who doesn't 'do' buses we had a very pleasant ride into the city centre passing the Murrayfield Rugby ground on the way.
We then met up with Westy, fin, Papa Charlie and Mrs Papa Charlie by the Scott Monument in Princes Street.

As you can see from the photo it was a beautifully sunny day if a little chilly round the knees for all those wearing kilts! Of which I hasten to add I wasn't one!!  
We then embarked on an open top bus trip around the city. The sensible ones decided to sit under cover in the warm but Fifi and I sat out, exposed to the elements, at the back... and I can safely confirm that it was cold!!
We stopped off half way round and got off to go and visit Edinburgh Castle. Myself, Fifi and fin who had never been before went for a visit around it whilst Westy, Winged Horse and Mr and Mrs Papa Charlie adjourned to the nearest pub!!  
Quite an amazing place Edinburgh Castle with some beautiful views from the top




After a fascinating visit to the Castle we re-joined the tour bus and continued on back to Princes Street. We then adjourned to a local coffee shop for a warming cup of coffee!!
After chatting for ages and discussing every topic under the sun it was time to head off to the restaurant for dinner where we were joined by 10W. A very enjoyable evening followed with nice food and pleasant company, there was even haggis on the menu although nobody actually had it!!  
And then, all too soon, it was time to be heading back to the airport so Winged Horse, on yet another airport trip, Mr and Mrs Papa Charlie, Fifi and myself said our goodbyes to fin and Westy and headed off into the sunset to catch our respective flights back to England!


All in all an excellent day. It was great to finally meet Westy, Winged Horse and fin and they couldn't have been better company.
A nice comfortable 55 minute flight back to Heathrow and back indoors by 23.00!  
Special thanks must go to Winged Horse who made all the arrangements, not just for our one day but for the whole of Westy and fin's trip and also for the arrival of Thumpango who unfortunately couldn't make the Sunday but who flew up the next day!
Edinburgh is certainly a city that I shall look forward to re-visiting, for a longer period, in the future.
I don't think that Winged Horse will be wanting to catch the airport bus for a while... unless of course the rumours about her and the bus driver are true...