My last day in Edinburgh. Alas etc. I get up at a reasonable time (i.e. in time for checkout) and do the needful. My first port of call is the Traditional German Market, staffed as usual by Traditional German Australians. It's also as packed as usual, tucked as it is along the side of the Royal Scottish Academy. I invest in a cheese and a waffle before I tire of pushing through the throng of people and pushchairs, and head off down Princes Street Gardens.

As I walk past the Scott Monument, I notice that it's open and there's a wee man sat at the bottom. I never managed to get up it when I was living here, and right now seems an ideal opportunity.

There are four levels, linked by narrow spiral staircases with nothing like enough room to pass. The decks are all exposed to the elements, and particularly the higher ones, absolutely perishing in the wind. Once I squeeze out onto the top level, I'm rewarded with a fantastic view out across Edinburgh, spoilt only slightly by the overcast weather. I take the opportunity, on the top level, to take a big panoramic set of photos of Edinburgh for later stitching. Post-processing the 128 images is still ongoing, but it's fair to say that I was bitten by not knowing how to use my new camera.

I've carefully allowed myself enough time for lunch at the Halfway House (nom, Clipper IPA) before I have to be away, and after a tasty meal of good meat and good beer, I say goodbye to Edinburgh and leave on what may be the world's mankiest train. Another manky train and a bus later, I'm at Glasgow Airport waiting for the puttputt plane to Islay. I've never flown in a Saab before. Well, unless you count that time I took the hump-backed bridge too fast.

Half the flight appears to be approach, and it's pretty lumpy on the way in. Sadly it's dark as I fly over the Western Isles. The flight is short and otherwise uneventful. Islay Car Hire take a suitably relaxed attitude to my lack of half my driving licence, and I'm soon behind the wheel of a right-hand-drive manual for the first time in ages. It's a short hop over to Bowmore and my bed at the Bowmore Hotel.

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