Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Trip Recap- Part 2 of 4

Part Two - Edinburgh
Part One - Road Trip

After our three day road trip, we spent the next four days exploring the city of Edinburgh, where the girls live. Amy had to work most of the time we were there, so for the most part it was Katie, Logi and I. One day and one evening they were both working so Logi and I did some touristy stuff on our own.

On Saturday, Katie took us to see the Royal Mile. We were both in awe as we walked up and down the street. It is so different than anything I'd ever seen before. We also went for coffee and a sweet treat at The Elephant House which is the cafe where J.K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Of course I had to go there! We got a glimpse of the Palace of Holyrood, The Edinburgh Castle and lots of cute shops.

The new parliament building. The weird things outside the windows are meant to look like curtains.

Logi and I outside the Edinburgh Castle

I'm not sure if this Tollbooth Tavern has any significance but I must have liked it because I seemed to take a picture of it every time we went past.

Tea at The Elephant House

Then on Sunday we were on our own so we did a tour of the Palace of Holyrood (which is the official residence of the queen when she visits Scotland) and two bus tours of the city. At the palace we learned a lot of history of royalty in Scotland and saw the beautiful decor inside the palace. Unfortunately, we couldn't take pictures inside but we took lots outside, in the courtyard, the garden and of the Abbey ruins. On the bus tours, it was really neat to learn all sorts interesting facts about the city while also getting some great photo ops as we were on the top of the double decker bus and had less trouble getting pictures without people's heads in them. We also did some souvenir shopping, got some fudge and then made our way back to the girl's flat to make dinner.

Starting out the day

The Palace

The Abbey Ruins at the Palace of Holyrood (this was by far one of my very favourite things - I stood in here taking pictures forever)

The Abbey from the outside

The Balmoral Hotel - on the bus tour we learned that the clock here is always set 3 minutes fast so people will not miss their trains (it is close to the train station) except for when it strikes midnight on New Year's eve. That is the only time of the year that the clock is accurate.

The Edinburgh Castle

Us on the bus

The oldest high school in the city. Notice that there are no windows? It was built that way so students wouldn't get distracted from their lessons.

Arthur's seat - a big hill that many people climb to get a view of the city (we didn't - are you kidding? I think we walked enough).

On Monday, Katie, Logi and I headed back towards the center of town to the Scott Monument. This is a really cool monument that I had my eye on since we arrived in the city. On the bus tour we learned that the monument is 200ft 6in tall and contains 287 steps to the top. I decided that I would really like to climb to the top to see the whole city. So, on Monday I convinced the girls to go with me. Well, as it turns out, I have an extreme fear of heights and am also slightly claustrophobic. The steps are very narrow, windy and small. I.was.bloody.terrified. At the first lookout point, I was okay and managed to take a few photos. But as we got higher and higher, my heart was beating faster and faster, palms getting sweatier and sweatier. By the second to top and top lookout points, I barely even poked my head out from the staircase and just let the other girls take the photos. It is also extremely windy in Edinburgh and so, despite the fact that the lookout points are enclosed, I was fairly certain I was going to blow right off the top. I guess it wasn't the wisest choice to decide to climb to the top, but the view sure was incredible, if only I could have enjoyed it more. After climbing back down and finding safe ground, we did some more wandering and exploring, just stopping to take pictures of whatever we saw that was interesting. On Monday evening, Katie left for work and so Logi and I decided to treat ourselves to a yummy dinner. We went to a pizza/pasta place that Logi had been eyeing up because they offered many gluten free varieties of both pizza and pasta. She had a pizza and I had pasta (surprise, surprise). For dessert, she had a white and dark chocolate mousse and I had bannoffi pie. Mmmmm, bannoffi. Bannoffi is banana and toffee and is really popular in both Scotland and England. Keep your eyes peeled, I'm going to be making some bannoffi things soon.

The Scott Monument

The view from the top

This is me before I got really scared

Windy or what?

Back on solid ground

There are definitely two people making out on the bench in the background here

Dinner and Dessert

Tuesday was our last day in Edinburgh and it was rainy and yucky. This didn't stop us though, we still trekked the streets and parused the Royal Mile one last time. Well, we did this AFTER we found my credit card! Yes, that's right, I lost my credit card in Scotland. We went to the Post Office on Tuesday morning to get money exchanged to Euros for Rome and when I pulled out my wallet, I realized my card was gone. My stomach dropped. We raced back to the flat and searched the girls room with no luck. We decided to stop in at the restaurant we had eaten at the night before and, if no luck, we'd go back to the last store I'd used it at. Thankfully, when we arrived at the restaurant, the matrie d reconized me and immediately opened the cash register, producing my card. I can't tell you how thankful I was. And obviously, I was very careful the rest of the trip. That is not a nice feeling. We spent Tuesday afternoon picking up a few more souvenirs and taking some more pictures on the Royal Mile. We then went back to the flat to eat dinner, after which Katie left for work and Amy arrived home. This was our only time in Edinburgh with Amy since she had been working, so we used it to the full advantage and went to the movies!! We saw Ghosts of Girlfriends Past and had a great time. There's nothing like watching movies with the girls. Update: When I wrote this post I forgot to write one very important thing. When we were waiting for the bus after the movie, I got egged by a passing car. Yes, an egg came flying out the window and narrowly missed my head, hitting the side of the bus stop. The end.

Those are the main highlights of our days in the city. The time there was a little less action packed than the rest of the trip which was great because it gave us time to relax and just enjoy being together. The next day we headed to Northern England...

(To see more pictures of our time in Edinburgh, click here).


Brittany Ann said...

Did you get any inspiration hanging out in JK Rowling's old haunts? Should we expect you to write the next great children's series? I hope so! I can't wait!

That pizza looks amazing!

Becky said...

can you please post the rest of your trip info FASTER?? I am totally living vicariously through you...sounds completely amazing!!!!