Yes, I’m several weeks behind as I’ve been in India for 12 days now and am still writing about my first week in the U.K. Hope to catch up in the next few days during my agenda-less time in Pondicherry.
The morning of the second day found us strolling down the Royal Mile, mostly in agreement that daylight had noticeably diminished its charming ambience. Still, its quite nice.
We stop for a while inside St. Giles’ Cathedral to admire the 13th century structure and its impressive stained glass windows. In an ornate ceremonial chamber in the back, Mehul and Manisha meet a member of House of Royal Stewart, who apparently is beamingly proud of the sheep-rustling past of his forbears.
Later, we visit the Royal Yacht Britannia which has been berthed in Edinburgh. I repeatedly recall feeling a sense of disgust at all the luxury that the Royal Family indulged in at the expense of the British taxpayer. The audio tour kept mentionining ‘state business’ that used to be conducted on the ship, but what business could that be? The royal family are figureheads and have no real state power. There were also dubious claims that the yacht more than paid for itself through all the business it generated for Britain. Even if I believed that, it would just make the yacht a big kickback to the royal family… hardly more palatable than before. I believe my inscription in the guestbook read “Down with Royalty!”.
Despite the nauseating extravagance, I did manage to stomach the delicious fudge that is made fresh daily onboard, and that almost made the trip worthwhile. As I savored the cool chocolately mint, I felt lucky to know people who I consider to be true nobility– selfless servants who work joyfully for the benefit of all.