Now that many of the competitions are over or nearing conclusion, the thoughts of the Team are turning towards making the very most of their experience in Scotland. This has included shopping (for a surprisingly wide range of eclectic items), spending nights in the hot spots of the City, and of doing a tour to Edinburgh.
There was some apprehension amongst my fellow Volunteers about driving to Edinburgh on the Friday of the opening of the Festival Fringe, but my recent experiences of negotiating my way around the nether regions of Glasgow had filled me with enough confidence to give it a go. I’m fairly familiar with one route into Edinburgh, to the house of some friends, hard won knowledge from several roundabout trips over the years, but that is hardly a tourist hot spot, so it was a combination of following my nose, and allowing the onboard sat nav to make occasional suggestions, that led to a spot on the Royal Mile where I could stop long enough to let out my passengers.
Their main objective was to visit a Scotch Whiskey museum while absorbing the general feel of the city, and thought that a couple of hours would be enough. I had tried to explain what the Festival would be like, and what would be happening in the streets, but I could see that they I hadn’t convinced them that they might need more time.
In Glasgow, it is the people not wearing a Games lanyard around their necks who are the odd ones out. In Edinburgh, I was most definitely a curiosity. Even taking off my accreditation, I still stuck out like a sore thumb in my red and grey get up. It is a measure of how unremarkable I have grown to find this uniform that I simply out stared the people who paused to look at me while I was waiting in the line at the bank machine in Hanover Street. The Games marked car also attracted some attention when I parked it for a short while (the cost of parking there precludes anything but a brief respite), but I didn’t benefit from the indulgence and kindness of other drivers that I have experienced in Glasgow on the many occasions I’ve found myself in the wrong lane. Despite the fact that the Diving competition is being held in the City, Glasgow 2014 didn’t seem to have made much impression in Edinburgh.
The street theatre my Team saw in the Royal Mile made a big impression on them. There is everything going on in the street, they said. We didn’t have enough time…… but there’s not much here about the Commonwealth Games, is there?