When our time in London came to a close, we headed north to Scotland.
To travel to Edinburgh, (Ed-in-bura) we took the train from London Kings Cross to Edinburgh Waverly station. The four hour trip was delightfully picturesque.
Scotland is breathtaking. And (no offense citizens of England) the people there are much… jollier.
The token question – Yes, I ate Haggis. I knew it was some type of organs (turns out it’s lamb liver, lungs, and heart), but it was actually pretty good. Maybe that’s stretching it. Let’s just say it wasn’t bad.
We also enjoyed eating other Scottish fare like stovies, oatcakes, neeps and tatties. When in
We stopped at a local candy shoppe and got traditional Scottish candy (can’t remember the name). It is a brick of compressed confectioners sugar with a cinnamon coating. It packed a punch, but was tasty! (The candy clerk was kind enough to tell us that only old people like this candy. I guess we’re a couple of old souls.)
We walked out of town and hiked up Arthur’s Seat, in Holyrood Park. This was the most “adventurous” plan we had during our trip and by far was one of our favorite activities.
The trail is a little rough, but the views are totally worth it.
I had read a few other blogger’s mention what a trek this hike was, and, to be honest, I totally brushed it off. It’s only 3 or 4 miles! I thought. How bad could it be? Well, we almost quit halfway through. And we are supposedly in the prime of life. We persevered. And it rocked!
We hung out for a while (a.k.a. caught our breath) on a very green plateau (which is actually an extinct volcano) and enjoyed the views – amazing! You can see the North Sea and a 360 degree view of the whole city.
We stayed at the Travelodge Edinburgh right on the Royal Mile and the location was perfect! The Royal Mile is a fun place to stay, and is surprisingly quiet in the evenings. The Royal Mile is comprised of pubs, restaurants, and shops. There are approximately 857 places to buy a wool scarf, sweater or kilt on the Royal Mile.
The Royal Mile stretches from Edinburgh Castle at the top of the hill, all the way down to Holyrood House (the Queen’s official Scottish residence).
Next to Edinburgh Castle there is a Tartan Mill and you can go in for free. They have several machines weaving tartan fabrics. It’s crazy how many spools of thread are connected for just the one fabric!
We bought our trip “souvenirs” in Edinburgh – a Barbour jacket for the dude and a wool tartan blanket for moi. We were just barely able to fit them in our backpacks!
While we spent most of our time in Old Town, we spent one morning cruising, and by cruising I mean running away from the rain, in New Town walking past the modern shops, taste-testing teas in Willards (hot pink lemonade tea is delicious! who knew?) and, lastly, visiting Jenner’s. Jenner’s is the Harrod’s equivalent, and not too much to write home about if you ask me. (It is, however, a good place to use a free bathroom. I still think it’s so funny you have to pay to use the “loo”.)
Our favorite part of New Town was the Princess Street garden. It was immaculate. Not a leaf out of place.
And then we did a bit of exploring in Grassmarket, which is made up of fun shops and restaurants.
Lastly, while the food in the UK was better than I was expecting (based on the advice of friends, we came with low expectations), we managed to find some good restaurants. We particularly enjoyed Deacon Brodies Tavern – Deacon Brodie being the man who inspired the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
via Flickr – Bob the Lomond. I forgot to photograph this!
We got the Wild Boar and Chorizo burger. Yum. And the staple British dessert, Eaton Mess, was delicious too. (Can this become an American staple? Goodness it’s tasty.)
We loved Edinburgh and definitely hope to go back again someday!
Next stop, St. Andrew’s, Scotland – the home of Golf… and Wills&Kate!