Off to Edinburgh!! We miraculously found our Air BNB without a GPS or even a map! Luckily it was Sunday night, so the traffic in Edinburgh was light.
We stayed in a lovely artist’s flat in walking distance of everything. (Which was good since we took the car to the airport the night we arrived.) We met our Air BNB hostess only once. We figured she must move in with her sister when she rents her space. She IS an artist, after all. Probably needs the dough.
We loved this city. Cailin had run a half-marathon the previous year, so gave us wonderful recommendations. We only had two days, so we tried to make the most of it. Unfortunately, we never made it to St. Andrews. Next time.
To get our bearings, the first day we took a “free tour”. We’d experienced these in other large European towns. The guides work hard for tips. Ours was a software engineer on a lark.
We were wondering if a ram had had its way with this wall. (Confused? See the reference to rams wearing dye packs in the previous Lake District post.)
We visited Mary King’s Real Close. This tour, which was very interesting, allowed no picture taking. Put it on the list when you visit.
Me and a street bagpiper
We encountered countless single Asian women with selfie sticks.
We learned about Grayfriars Bobby, saw his grave, where people leave him sticks to chase, and his statue. Greyfriars Bobby was a Skye Terrier who became known in 19th-century Edinburgh for supposedly spending 14 years guarding the grave of his owner until he died himself on 14 January 1872.
Here was the grate under which they stored dead bodies until they rotted, so grave robbers would be less tempted.
Lunch at “Oink”. Melt-in-your mouth pork slathered with haggis. Yes, we ate haggis, twice! Delicious!
We climbed the not-to-be-missed Scott Monument. Round and round and round, we climbed up 287 narrow steps. The Scott Monument is a Victorian Gothic monument to Scottish author Sir Walter Scott. It is the largest monument to a writer in the world — 200 feet 6 inches.
The views of Edinburgh from the monument were spectacular.
We met the fellow who runs the place. When we told him the guy in the visitor’s center asked us to please “not jump”. The manager of the tower wasn’t happy. Apparently, it’s the Golden Gate Bridge of Edinburgh, but unfortunately the bodies don’t land in the water.
We saw The Elephant House where J.K. Rowling wrote much of Harry Potter.
We braved a pub crawl, where we were the elder statesmen, but we got into pubs we would have never experienced. And we met lots of interesting people, including Beatrice and David from Durham, NC. (Edinburgh was the only place we encountered Americans. I think the roads are probably too challenging for us in Cornwall and The Lake District.)
We saved the castle for last.
Inside the castle walls there is much to see. The most interesting were the Prisons of War museum, a cemetery for dogs who served, and a beautiful church inside the castle walls.
There were amazing displays of their prowess in war over the centuries.
Here I am in my sweater and vest on our last full day…much of it spent inside the castle walls.
Heading to our last meal of the trip, we saw this guy. Says it all about the usual weather in Scotland. (But, we were very, very lucky to have had such splendid weather. Only a couple of days of rain the entire 2 1/2 weeks!)
At Cailin’s recommendation we dined at the Whiski Room, where we got a flight of 4 whiskies and a luscious last night feast.
Here’s till next time, UK!!
This trip will go down as the most on-time of any. We never were delayed, missed a connection, or inconvenienced. Just lucky I guess. This, however, was our view the last day on the road.