FUN-Travel: Spectacular Scotland – Edinburgh

August 16, 2019 by · Comments Off on FUN-Travel: Spectacular Scotland – Edinburgh 

  • Arrive airport 9:15 am…

…& 10 am to “Room with a View”….

…Apex Grassmarket Hotel perfect location…

…& we get early check in!

  • Take nap – 2:30 suns out…

…take nice stroll in search of good wine store…

…turns into a hike to Valvona & Crolla.

  • 6 pm – Happy Hour Biddy Mulligan’s Bar & dinner Mussels & Steak.
  • 9 pm – Castle Alive with the Sound of Music…

…Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo dress rehearsal!

FUN-factEdinburgh is Scotland’s compact, hilly capital. It has a medieval Old Town and elegant Georgian New Town with gardens and neoclassical buildings. Looming over the city is Edinburgh Castle, home to Scotland’s crown jewels and the Stone of Destiny, used in the coronation of Scottish rulers.

FUN-travel: Scotland – Edinburgh – Day 3 & 4

October 11, 2011 by · Comments Off on FUN-travel: Scotland – Edinburgh – Day 3 & 4 

Day 22 – Wednesday, October 5 – Edinburgh – thick clouds, bursts of rain followed by big, long bursts of sunshine, much warmer, high 60’s

St. Giles Cathedral

WRTC (What R The Chances) – blue skies overnight (I saw stars) awake to thick clouds & sporadic rainDepart 10:30 for Park & Ride

  • Arrive 11:00 – walk to Waverly Bridge for Big Red Hop On, Hop Off Bus
  • 1st stop – Edinburgh Castle – 11th century fort sits high on top of solid rock – see Crown Jewels
  • Walk down Royal Mile – series of 4 different streets runs from castle to Holyroodhouse Palace – filled w/shops & pubs & St. Giles Cathedral – the Westminster Abbey of Scotland
  • 2nd stop – Holyroodhouse Palace – 14th Century Palace (originally 12th-century Augustinian monastery) – Scotland’s royalty preferred it to blustery castle – home to Mary Queen of Scots – currently the Queen spends one week each summer – lavishly furnished rooms
  • Walk back up Royal Mile
  • 3rd stop – Gladstone’s Land – typical 16th – 17th century restored merchant’s house – multi storied bldg had shop on ground floor & rented out the other floors
  • 4th stop – Starbucks for cappuccino & Lemon Drizzle Cake
  • 5th stop – Elephant House – allegedly where J.K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter books
  • 6th stop – back to Deacon Brodie’s Pub – Guinness, Tennent’s Lager & shot of Jura Scotch
  • 7th stop – Mary Kings Cross – 1 hr underground “ghost” tour – recently renovated underground network of hidden alleys & rooms where people lived & worked

  • Walk to New Town for dinner
  • FUN-food– Mussel Inn (suggested by guys we met at Deacon Brodies) – 1/2 kilo Moroccan Mussels – chilies, garlic, ginger,

    St. Andrews Cathedral

    coriander & cumin – 1/2 kilo w/ shallots, white wine, garlic, cream (we have a tie for best ones we’ve had so far – these from Loch Laxford, Sutherland) –  grilled sea bass on rocket, feta, warm new potatoes & roasted red pepper sauce drizzled w/balsamic vinaigrette

FF – (FUN-fact) – see Mr. Fox on side of road on way back into Dalmahoy

Day 23 – Thursday, October 6  – Day trip St. Andrews – wake to blazing sunshine – very windy & much colder, low 50’s – sprinkles turn to pouring rain in afternoon

  • Depart 10:45 -arrive noon – 50 mile drive
  • 1st stop – cappucinno/latte
  • 2nd stop – TI for map
  • 3rd stop – St Andrew’s Cathedral – built 1160 – ruins consist of walls & spires – able to see the gigantic footprint & bases of columns
  • 4th stop – Castle – overlooking sea –  built 12th century by bishop for entertaining
  • 5th stop – The Old Course – (they claim founding the sport of golf here) home of the British Open every 5 yrs

  • 6th stop – The Old Course Golf Shop
  • 7th stop – Starbucks
  • Takes 2 hrs to drive back w/pouring rain & traffic

FF– Roads in Scotland better than Ireland – still narrow but no thick bushes/branches next to road


FUN-travel: Scotland – Edinburgh – Day 1 & 2

October 9, 2011 by · Comments Off on FUN-travel: Scotland – Edinburgh – Day 1 & 2 

Day 20 – Monday, October 3 – Edinburgh – thick clouds, bursts of rain followed by bursts of sunshine, 50’s – blue skies at 6 pm

Marriott Dalmahoy Castle & Country Club

  • Rest
  • Relax
  • Recharge
  • FUN-food – still captive here – Caesar salad (not the same as US) med rare Scottish hamburger (unbelievably pure meat, not greasy & wonderful flavor) – Raimat Tempranillo, Spain (wine maker from Australia)

Myth – rooms are cheaper if booked on line rather than walking in last minute
FUN-damental truth – maybe in peak season but not now – but beware, they will show you the most expensive room & if you ask for a cheaper room or another hotel/B&B option they magically find a cheaper room (this has happened 3 X’s so far)

Day 21 – Tuesday, October 4 – Edinburgh – thick clouds, bursts of rain followed by bursts of sunshine, very windy, much colder, low 50’s – Depart 9:30

  • 1st stop – Morrison’s grocery store (actually wanted Tesco but got lost) stock up on water, snacks & wine

Royal Yacht Britannia Dining Room

  • 2nd stop– 10:30 – Park & Ride – 3 miles from hotel only $5 – all day bus ride per person – takes 30 minutes (10 miles to city center)

    Sir Walter Scott Monument

  • 3rd stop – TI for maps & city bus tour (they have 4 options) opt for 2 day pass that includes use of all 4 buses plus entry to 3 attractions – Royal Yacht Britannia, Edinburgh Castle & Holyroodhouse Palace
  • 4th stop – Costa Coffee for cappuccinos
  • 5th stop – Hertz to fix removing the charges for extra insurance (cost is almost 500 lbs & Visa covers all of that) told we have to have Glasgow office approval since we rented there & no one answers the phone – try customer service & they say same thing
  • 6th stop – Waverly Bridge Hop On, Hop Off Bus – Mac City tour – 50 minute w/live local guide
  • 7th stop – Waverly Bridge Hop On, Hop Off Bus – Majestic tour – takes a slightly different & longer route
  • 8th stop – Royal Britannia Yacht – commissioned 1-11-1954 transported the royal family for more than 40 yrs & sailed 1 million miles (equivalent to once around the world for every year) w/a crew of more than 200 –  Prince Charles & Diana honeymooned on it & the queen said, “This is the only place I can truly relax.” (hey, I could too!)
  • 9th stop – back to Hertz – get Glasgow to eliminate extra charges
  • 10th stop – 5:00 somewhere is Deacon Brodies Pub for Guinness, Tennent’s Lager
  • FUN-food – Mamma’s Pizza in Grassmarket – spinach & cranberries salad w/light vinaigrette – pepperoni, sausage, onion, mushroom pizza – wonderful Australian McLaren Vale Shiraz (never a disappointment)

Deacon Brodies Tavern

FF – (FUN-facts) – Edinburgh is Scotland’s showpiece & a tourist delight! once the most crowded city in Europe – famed for its skyscrapers & filth – rich & poor lived atop one another

FUN-travel: Scotland – Glasgow to Isle of Skye to Edinburgh

October 6, 2011 by · Comments Off on FUN-travel: Scotland – Glasgow to Isle of Skye to Edinburgh 

Day 18 – Saturday, October 1 – Glasgow to Isle of Skye – rain but still not cold, low 60’s – Depart 10 am

Eilean Donan Castle

Hertz pickup – hoping for smaller car – booked mid size automatic & get VW station wagon (better than the Renault) – take off w/pouring rain

  • 1st stop – Bonnie Braes – bad coffee & scone (half way up Loch Lomand – no other options)
  • 2nd stop – Fort Williams – good cappuccino & grocery store for snacks & drinks
  • 3rd stop – Eilean Donan Castle – just too sweet! & Scotland’s most photogenic countryside castle
  • Rain has persisted much of the day w/low thick clouds & fog swallowing the mountain tops
  • 4th stop – town of Portree, Isle of Skye 5:45 pm – Almondbank Guest House – 72 lbs – Effie the owner suggests the Rosedale Hotel restaurant for dinner – drive 1.5 miles to cute harbor town of colorful store fronts & boats
  • FUN-food – dozen Loch Harport oysters w/tomato chili salsa, grilled goats cheese w/sun blushed tomato & rocket salad, steamed Arasaig mussels in white wine, garlic, parsley, cream – these could be the best we’ve had so far!

Portree Harbor

Day 19 – Sunday, October 2 – Isle of Skye to Edinburgh – clouds w/blue sky in west – sprinkles but still not cold, low 60’s – Depart 9:30 am

  • Actually got up early enough to experience exquisite dawn over the mountains and harbor!

Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness

  • Depart 9:30 for narrow, twisty (more single lane roads) of Trotternish Peninsula – stark vistas of  jagged rock formation
  • 1st stop – 11:30 – latte/cappuccino stop in Broadford
  • 2nd stop – 1:00 Loch Ness Urquhart Castle – too cheap to actually pay to go in so take photos from road
  • 3rd stop – 2:00 Inverness for snack & gas – horror strikes when on way back to car realize you have to pay to park at the grocery store! no ticket thank god!
  • Arrive Edinburgh 5:45 (takes 1 hr to find Dalmahoy Country Club) using the last of Marriott points – 5 days, 100,000 pts and free!
  • FUN-food – pretty much captive here but Club House food is decent – salad of rocket, crumbled goat cheese, apples, toasted macadamia nuts – Murgh Makhani –  butter chicken w/nan bread, chutney & rice (big Indian population here too)

Rare Blue Butt Sheep

Myth – you always get accurate directions on Google maps (or any internet provider)
FUN-damental truth – NO! & the reason is many old estates & castles have no real address & you’re better off getting directions directly from them

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