After settling into our rooftop Airbnb apartment outside of the hustle and bustle of old town Edinburgh, we picked up a few groceries and enjoyed our meals in for a change. We loved the bed and breakfast locations the last few nights, but it was nice to get back to lighter fare. We stayed in Edinburgh for 3 nights. It was one of our scouting trips for further adventures in Scotland, and a good place to fly out of when we continue traveling to the continent after this stay. We happen to be here during the Edinburgh International Festival, which is really a combination of many arts and cultural festivals going on during August. And you know what that means? A few more people were in town!
We finally dropped the rental car! Relief for me and much more relaxing for D. We find larger cities are not the place to have rental cars because not all apartments have parking and it is difficult to find parking in tourist areas as well as old medieval cities. I applaud D for his driving prowess and a big thanks for seeing us to Scotland without a mark on our new rental. It was easy for us to hop a bus from our apartment in Edinburgh and see the city from a different viewpoint. Depending on route, it would take us 30-50 minutes to get into the Old Town.
While doing research prior to arrival, I was surprised to see Scotland sharing the same latitudes as Norway. I think of general locations of countries, but like many people, I don’t know the particulars until actually traveling. It was also interesting to find out that there are only about 5.3 million people living in Scotland and around 500,000 in Edinburgh.
Here’s a recap of our visit:
Edinburgh Castle – We joined a quick tour showing us the layout of the castle then followed a self-guided tour. We did not go to the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo (think military bands, formations, marching, fireworks, and whatever else for 1 hour and 40 minutes). It sells out in advance and since we did not know we would be coming here until a few weeks ago, no tickets.
We walked the Royal Mile from the Castle to Holyrood Palace.
We walked up the slopes of extinct volcano Arthur’s Seat (elevation 822 ft.) to lovely views looking out to Edinburgh and beyond to the farming lowlands.
This puts a wrap on our first visit to the countryside of Great Britain. Here’s a few things I’d like to share:
Weather – As one would expect, Bath in the south end of our trip was the warmest area. Temperatures ranged anywhere from upper 70s in Bath to a 60s range most of the rest of the time, and winds were frequent. While we had periods of rain, most were quick showers that would move through rapidly. We were able to plan our outings as we looked at the hour by hour rain forecasts each day. I must say, weather changes quickly here.
Food: As with our last visit to London in December, we enjoyed great food and thoroughly loved the pubs. Ale changes from pub to pub even in the smallest of villages, but I found all to be good even though I'm not used to drinking room temperature beer. While staying in bed and breakfast accommodations, a proper English breakfast was a fairly similar layout, although there were variations from English to Welsh to Cumbrian. A typical very hearty breakfast included local sausage, slabs of bacon, eggs cooked to order, baked beans, hash browns, fried mushrooms, fried or grilled tomatoes, toast, and coffee or tea. On occasion, black pudding (blood sausage) was also included and quite tasty, I might add. This type of breakfast is not eaten daily, but a holiday/weekend indulgence.
In closing, we had a jolly good time in Great Britain and look forward to spending more time exploring. From what we have seen to date, we love it here.
Thanks for joining us on our journey.