The doors of the Airlink 100 bus from Edinburgh airport hissed open at what we thought was the stop nearest to our hotel. The desk clerk I’d emailed said the stop was directly in front of the hotel, which was supposed to be close to the city center. As the bus pulled away, we did not appear to be either opposite the hotel or near the center of anything, except a row of low-rise brown stone structures and a four-lane road.
We set off walking in the direction of the right stop, we hoped, dragging carry-on bags behind us as buses and cars whizzed past the narrow sidewalk. Just as I was settling in to the familiar hopeless mind-set of Day 1 in a new foreign city, jet-lagged, sleep-deprived and, more or less, lost, I glanced off to the right.