We split our time in Edinburgh over two weekends. Not deliberate, just the way it worked out with booking accomodation. The first weekend we had a day in Falkirk which I wrote about, then we spent a day in the city exploring the old town. We walked up the Royal Mile to Edinburgh Castle (where it was heaving with tourists) so we decided not to go inside. Instead we went to Camera Obscura and World of Illusions. The camera has been at this site since 1852! It’s like a large periscope that reflects views from the city onto a stone. The guide gives an entertaining tour of Edinburgh as he rotates it around. It’s amazing the level of detail you can see, just like a high resolution 🎥. The others rooms are filled with all different illusions, the favourite being the vortex which was a walkway through a tunnel that spun around. You really felt like you were moving and ending up leaning to one side. Loralei and Holly went through a number of times, while Grant and I felt a bit ill after one turn.
Thanks to Tripadvisor we found Oink, a pork roast place that carves from the roast as you order and puts in buns with stuffing or haggis and choice of sauce. It’s so popular that there was a line down the street but it moved fast. Grant attempted and nailed their biggest bun, the Grunter. They get through about eight pigs 🐷 in a day.
We spent the rest of the afternoon walking around the Old Town, listening to bagpipes playing, watching live music 🎶 and soaking up the atmosphere.
The next weekend, after our detour to the Higlands and Lake District, we ended up staying north if Edinburgh at an Airbnb. It was a lovely train 🚂 ride there along the coast. The apartment was right in the village and near the sea. On the Saturday it was pretty wet and cold, so we stuck around the village and did jobs like getting haircuts!
On Sunday we took the train into the city and a bus 🚌 out to the Ocean Terminal where the Royal Yacht Britannia now is. This was an excellent self guided tour through the yacht where everything has been left as it was, although they have replaced some walls with glass so you can see into rooms. It’s amazing how modest it is, I guess it may have been quite luxurious in the 50s when it was built. We enjoyed tea and scones on the tea deck. There were corgi toys hidden throughout the yacht which kept Loralei and Holly interested.
That afternoon we walked the other end of Royal Mile to Holyrood Palace, the Queen’s Edinburgh residence. Then we walked up Calton Hill. The dark clouds were hanging around and it poured down, so we were pretty wet for the train ride home!
We loved our time in Scotland and would love to spend more time there. However after two weeks of not much sun, we’re looking forward to some warmer weather in Southern England.