Thoughts on the wild, the weird, and the romantic from author Joy Nash

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Joy Nash is a USA Today Bestselling Author and RITA Award Finalist applauded by Booklist for her "tart wit, superbly crafted characters, and sexy, magic-steeped plots."

» Friday, August 04, 2006

Into the books: Day 1, Edinburgh, Scotland

Okay, there are a few people on my case for slacking off on this blogging thing...(you know who you are--here I am blogging, are you happy now??). All I can say is--it's summer, it's freaking 100 degrees out, The Grail King has just been released, and my deadline for Immortals: The Awakening is getting closer and closer and closer... It's not panic time yet, but there's not much room for slacking off.

As promised, tho--I do want to share my experiences from my recent trip to the UK, where I dragged my family around the Scottish, Welsh and English countryside to settings from past and future books. What fun! Though my wonderful, patient, long-suffering husband, who put over 1200 miles on the car driving 70 mph on narrow roads--on the left side, no less!--might say the trip was just a little more stressful for him than it was for me and the kids.

So here it starts:

Day One: Edinburgh, Scotland

***Joy Nash Book Link

***Edinburgh will appear (briefly) in my August 2007 release, Immortals: The Awakening

We left the US on a Friday night and arrived in Glasgow on Saturday morning. Right away, I got the feeling that the Scots are a straightforward, no-nonsense type of people, not given to wordy euphemisms and equivocations. What gave me this idea? I don't know, maybe it had something to do with the cigarette machine I passed at the airport, emblazoned with the warning: SMOKING KILLS. All right, then. No wimpy Surgeon General warnings for the Scots.

It was about a 1-1/2 hour transfer from Glasgow airport to our hotel in downtown Edinburgh. (FYI, that's "Edin-burra" not "Edin-burg") Jet lagged though we were, we set right out for Edinburgh Castle, which floats over the town on a highly improbable-looking chunk of sheer cliff. A nice workout for the quads and glutes going up THAT hill, let me tell you.

We had an interesting tour around the castle, where I got to see my first real Scottish Man-in-Kilt! Actually, a whole bunch of Men-in-Kilts, (including bagpiper), ranging from a cute 2 years old baby man to a crusty 70 year old grandpa. They were all assembled for a wedding. How did the bride look? Hmmm, I don’t seem remember. Those groomsmen, however...

Hairy Scottish legs aside, my favorite part of Edinburgh Castle was the miniature "Cemetery for Soldier Dogs." Ok, I admit, it's kind of sappy, but I'm a dog lover. I got all teary looking at the flowers and thinking about "Scamp" and "Major" laid to rest by their grieving human soldier companions. Here's a pic of the tiny doggy gravestones:

Later, we walked down the Royal Mile, a long straight road that runs from Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood Palace. Lots of colorful characters there...street performers, bagpipers, students, tourists, et al... We met a Braveheart look-alike who was collecting donations for Leukemia victims. The guy is a professional stuntman, had a very sexy Scottish accent, and bore a more than passing resemblance to a young Mel Gibson. (Though given the recent bad press for the current Mel, the guy might well be lying low these days.)

Here's a pic of me and the latter day William Wallace:

That's all for Day 1! Next up: Edinburgh's Witchery Tour




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