Day Sixteen: Edinburgh

April 5, 2007

The Slacker returns! Now back to our regularily scheduled program…

Our trip to Edinburgh began very early in the morning. Mark offered to drive us to the station so we wouldn’t have to lug our bags there. Our train left around 7 a.m. It was still dark outside, and Drew slept for the duration of our four hour trip. I read a bit, then enjoyed the scenery out my window as the sun came up. To pass the time, I also kept track of our journey on a map, drawing a line from each stop we made to pick up more passengers. Passing through the Lake District I caught quite an eyeful of beautiful landscape and what seemed like a bazillion sheep. I tried to take a picture of the area from my window and this was the best that I got:

Drew and I were hoping to get the Lake District during our trip, but even with three weeks, we just didn’t have enough time, energy, or money. Hopefully we’ll get there next time!

We arrived at Edinburgh’s Waverley Station around 11:30, and made a caffeine stop before checking out our guide books to see which direction we should head in. Outside it was a perfect day: warm, though windy (50s) with plenty of sunshine. It was a pleasant break from all the doom, gloom, and rain we had almost everyday in the Stockport/Manchester area. Our caffeine levels replenished, we began our 20 minute trek to our B&B, the Ardenlee Guest House. Edinburgh is quite hilly, so thankfully our walk to the B&B with our heavy bags was primarily downhill. This is the first picture we took, heading down Hanover Street to Eyre, where the B&B is:

At the Ardenlee, we chatted with our host, Alasdair, who was extremely helpful with our questions and got us all settled in our beautiful room. Since I didn’t sleep on the train, I wanted to spend an hour or so there to relax and clean up before beginning our exploration of the city. On our walk back up Hanover, we found an Italian restaurant with good lunch specials and ate there. The food was great, but the service was attrocious and our waiter completely ignored us. Granted, service in the U.K. is much different than that in the U.S. in that the servers don’t rely on tips to make money, but this was ridiculous. What seemed like hours later, we finally got our check, and we headed out to explore.

We had a good idea of what our main agenda would be for the next few days, but for the first day, everything was up in the air. There was a winter festival going on, which we decided to investigate later in the day. I took some photos of our surroundings while we made our way to the Royal Mile:

In the heart of the mile, we found The Writers Museum, which I had heard good things about. Located in Lady Stair’s House, it focuses primarily on Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott, and Robert Louis Stevenson. And like the majority of the great museums in the U.K., it was free with a suggested donation (and yes, we always throw in a pound or two each – we’re not that cheap!). Drew and I really enjoyed The Writer’s Museum, and Drew even bought himself a book of Burns’ poetry to read on our flight back home.

Our next stop was Deacon Brodie’s Tavern, a popular tourist spot on the Royal Mile, but still a decent pub. What better thing to do during the middle of the day, than relax with a pint? After all, Edinburgh has more pubs per square mile than any other city in Europe. The Scots have high priorities! Back to William “Deacon” Brodie though…he inspired Robert Louis Stevenson to write the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. He was an esteemed businessman during the day, and at night he was a crook. His duel personalities are on display on the pub sign outside the tavern:

After spending time with Edinburgh’s infamous crook, we went back down toward the winter festival. There was an ice rink, and for the 100th time since we’ve beeen dating, Drew tried to get me to go ice skating with him. Everybody who knows me is aware of how klutzy I am, and me + ice skating in a foreign country = really bad news. Since I don’t have medical insurance, I don’t even want to try ice skating at home. After all, I’m the one who suffered a badly sprained ankle and knee this fall after tripping over boxes while unpacking things in my new office. Yeah, I’m that bad. We watched others skate though, despite the rain that began to fall:

We spent a bit more time wandering around the festival, before we decided to find some dinner, then get a good night’s sleep.


One comment

  1. A place that seems quite interesting well done.


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