Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
On the road again. After so long in one place it feels quite good to be on the move again. It’s not as if we don’t miss the lake, but we are supposedly travelling for the whole year. I’m sure that in two weeks time, we will pining for the creature comforts of home.
We arrived in Edinburgh and caught a bus into the city to be met by our two friends, Mark and Jane, that we met in Africa last year. They would be playing the role of tour guides and all around hostesses with the mostess for the duration of our stay in sunny Scotland.
Sunny you ask? Well not really. Like most of the UK, Scotland is cursed, by one of the nastiest climates. It is almost July and we are still quite bundled up. Now I know why there are so many Brits in Australia. No, I call it sunny Scotland because the sun really doesn’t go down until almost midnight and even then it is creeping up at around 3-3:30. It is a little bit surreal going to bed and having the sun still be up.
Our first day in Edinburgh saw us heading up to Edinburgh castle followed by a lovely bout of Scotch whiskey tasting. We have both developed a bit of a taste for whiskey and we might have to get into it when we get back home. Right after our whiskey tasting we headed to the restaurant for some delicious lunch. Joel took this as an opportunity to try the ultimate Scottish meal, haggis neep and tatties (turnips and potatoes). Haggis is a finely chopped mixture of heart, lungs and other animal parts wrapped in stomach lining. Sounds disgusting but Joel found it actually pretty tasty and ordered it a second time a few days later. After lunch jet lag reared its head and sent us home for a wee nap. It could have been the whisky, but who’s keeping track.
The next day our hostesses actually had to go to work so they left Joel and I to fend for ourselves. We braved some nasty rain and wandered around soaking up the sites. We strolled along the Royal Mile down to Hollyrood palace. We climbed up into giant hills that overlook the city for some cloudy vistas. We attempted to climb Arthur’s Seat, a dormant volcano on the edge of old town, but got lost on the road.
The following day, we took a tour through the queen’s boat, the Britannia. I tell you what; the royals really knew how to travel in style. This “boat” was as swanky as they come, but unfortunately for queeny, it was decommissioned in 1997. To experience a little touch of royal service we enjoyed a very British pot of tea and scones on board
Afterwards, we got to see Craigmiller castle on the outskirts of Edinburgh. This castle was so much fun. It is not that big, but there were no people there and they let you climb all over it and wander wherever you like. We spent hours playing like we were medieval nobility.
That night saw us having a delicious dinner and hitting up the local bar for a little taste of Scottish nightlife.
A night out on the town calls for a traditional fry up the next day. The Scottish variety includes haggis and blood pudding. Uck! Joel quite enjoyed it though. We were really looking forward to spending a relaxing afternoon catching up with Mark and Jane when the phone rang. It was the woman from the Mongolian consulate saying that she could issue our visa today, but we had to come to Glasgow. Joel and I made the trek over to get our visas and we are now officially done. We have all of our visas that we need to go on the Trans Mongolian trip in September. It was very stressful and we are so thankful that it is done.
Tonight we board a plane to Iceland so we must bid farewell to Scotland and our wonderful hosts Mark and Jane. Thank you!