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The Vote Road Trip Day 14 Edinburgh


Bessie Watson


8/9 In Edinburgh,

August 15, 1964–55 years ago—was my first and only visit to Edinburgh. After two years of college, I got a six-week job as an assembly line worker in a frozen food factory in Helsingborg, Sweden, bought a one-way ticket on a student ship going to Southampton, England, packed a blue & white seersucker dress, underwear, and socks in a small backpack, got my passport and international youth hostel card, and took a small amount of money. Wearing a denim skirt, white blouse, and hiking boots, I boarded the M/S Aurelia in July 24th. (My mother was apoplectic & furious I wasn’t college bound. My father was thrilled that I was living out one of his fantasies.) From Southampton, I went to London, then took a train to Holyhead and a boat to Dublin, Ireland. I hitchhiked to Belfast and took the boat to Glasgow where at the youth hostel I met Loreen and Jean from New Zealand. Together we hitchhiked the long way to Edinburgh, getting rides in—a lorry carrying Ballantine whiskey to Dumbarton; a Ferrocrete lorry to Fort Williams (We talked through the night with the driver, although his Glaswegian accent was hard to decipher.); a lorry to Loch Ness; a newspaper truck to Inverness; a lorry loaded with 15-tons of granite to Kintore, a hay truck into Aberdeen, a car to Dundee, and a series of short rides in cars to Edinburgh. Amazingly the Women’s Youth Hostel I stayed in was beside The Vennel, the steps, that Linda and I walked up to find Bessie Watson’s plaque! Across the square were

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