Monday, October 21, 2013

Final thoughts on Edingburgh

It has been a great vacation. I expected lots of rain, and yes, we have received a fair amount of rain, but we have also had some sunshine, and warmer temperatures than in Sweden.

We have seen lots of things, but we have also had time for reading. I started reading a Swedish book on the flight to Scotland and finished it today. I can recommend it.

I liked Scotland a lot, but can't understand why they still have a cold and a warm tap in the sink in public restrooms. It's impossible to wash the hands without either freezing or getting burned.

Lots of music

We have spent a couple of days in the old town of Edinburgh, so we wanted to see something different when we took a hop on - hop off bus. Found one that went through the new town, and down to the harbour. There are a few different bus routes, but they all take about 1h. The first 15 minutes were interesting and we listened to the recorded audio guide.
The bus came to the first stop, a botanical garden, and most people got off there. The bus started to drive again, this time a bit faster and without audio guide, only annoying accordion music. I went to the bus driver after 40 minutes and asked if something was wrong. The bus driver looked like he just had seen a ghost, he thought the bus was empty when we left the garden. Well well. We got a free 24h ticket to all bus routes as compensation. Took 2 other routes, one with a live guide and one with a recorded one. The hop on hop off in Edingburgh is really good, but don't try to listen to the Scottish audio guide, it's impossible to understand.

Final day in Edinburgh

Flying back to Sweden tomorrow morning, so this will be the final day in the city.

Yesterday was relaxed. Went from the castle to Carlton hotel in Edinburgh. The hotel has a pool, a sauna and a relax area. The pool was cold, but still nice. Took a walk after that, and then had a dinner at an American restaurant. The reason to that? We wanted to have salad and that isn't something that Scottish restaurants have lots of.

We will now take a hop on/off bus to see the whole city.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Dinner and breakfast in the castle

We have now stayed one night at the castle. Will soon check out and go back to Edinburgh.

Had a very nice 5 course dinner down in the dungeon restaurant yesterday, and a Scottish breakfast in the Orangery restaurant. I've now tried haggis and black pudding. Not two new favorites, but still not bad.

Do note that we this morning had a blue sky and some sunshine for the first time in Scotland.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Dalhousie Castle

Wev are now at Dalhousie Castle. Is located on the country side. Very nice setting, and cool rooms.

We spent an hour in the spa and are now waiting for dinner. The room that we got has a bathroom with  jacuzzi, a livingroom and a bedroom in a dungeon. The bedroom is very cool, it has a well inside of it.

Lots of photos in this post.

Greyfriars and haunted places

Our hotel was located close to Greyfriars church. The church itself isn't that impressive, but the graveyard around it is very old and odd if you compare to what you normally see in other countries.
Lots of graves and tombs decorated with skulls, bones and other things that look macabre.

Everything that could be considered as haunted is also very popular in  Edinburgh. One section of the graveyard is only open during night time when a haunted tour goes there.

Leaving Edinburgh for a day

We have so far stayed at Hotel du Vin & Bistro in the old town of Edinburgh. It's a very good hotel, I can really recommend it, but who doesn't want to spend a night at a Scottish castle? We are now going to Dalhousie Castle on the countryside. Will spend one night there, and also try their restaurant down in the dungeons.

Friday, October 18, 2013

History vaults tour

There are some vaults under the south bridge in the old town. Sounds like they should be visible from the street, but they aren't since the bridge actually is built at the current street level. The bridge looks like a normal street. The vaults were used several hundred years ago.
First by the stores next to the street. The stores used them for storage, but workers were also producing goods down there. The vaults were however not water proof, so the storage owners abandoned them. Next to use the vaults were thiefs like body snatchers, but also homeless people. The city council got tired of the problems and filled the vaults with materials from torn down buildings. The vaults were abandoned and forgotten about for several hundred years, but were rediscovered in 1980. They dug them out, and opened for tourists in 1994. Very cool.

Edinburgh Castle

Visited Edinburgh Castle today. Rented an audio guide there, and it was well worth the money. Walked around for about 2 hours and listened to the history of the castle and Scotland. You will get a great view of Edinburgh from the castle since it's located on top of a rock/hill.

Arrived there early, so didn't have to queue much, but lots of people were queueing when we left around noon.

Strange things in Scotland

Naming a street cockburn is so odd. Aren't there any better names?

Another odd thing is that it looks like the people in Edinburgh are obsessed with Christmas. It's mid October, and lots of places are already  announcing that Christmas soon is here.

First day in Edinburgh

It was a while since I last blogged. Have done a few trips during that period, but was too lazy to blog about them. Might be some blogging during this trip.

Arrived yesterday. It's a short flight from Sweden but had to get up at 4:45 AM i order to catch a flight at 8 AM.

The forecast for Edinburgh was rain, and that's what we got during the first day. We had brought umbrellas, so it didn't bother us much.
We are currently staying in the old town, looks like a lovely place.

We spent a couple of hours in a huge museum that had a section on the history of Scotland and a section on technology, evolution and animals. Was awesome and could have worked with children as well.