20 February 2015

A Couple Days in Edinburgh, Scotland

(still waiting to be chosen-matched-picked by an expectant mother who wants to make an adoption plan for her baby...)

The title is descriptive enough.

After a couple of brilliantly sunny days in ol' London Town, we hopped a train to Edinburgh, Scotland.

Americans: Hear ye! Hear ye! Did you know there are four countries inside the United Kingdom?

England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.

In case you were wondering why England has it's own national soccer team, that's why. Though I have no clue why the Olympics isn't done that way. I refuse to Google it, and instead plan to ask a Brit.

So, here we are, aboard the train to another land.

For our first trip, we decided just to stick to the Old Town in Edinburgh.
Cool old buildings.
The castle where legends like Robert the Bruce and William Wallace (aka-Braveheart) roamed.
The streets and nooks and crannies where uber famous writers stalked, drank, and wrote and failed and succeeded.
The well-preserved brownstone buildings stacked one after the other lining the steep and soulful cobblestone streets.Even the touristy and obviously stereotypical, but ever-so-charming, Scotsmen dressed in full kilt and colors playing away on a bagpipe are there waiting in Old Town Edinburgh. {sigh}

Travel Tip: Old Town Edinburgh is not stroller friendly. We used ours to help haul our luggage from the train station and back again. Otherwise it was useless.  

And the place we found to stay was beyond wonderful and smack dab in the middle of Old Edinburgh with views that couldn't be beat.

If you go, stay here:
Blackie House 

It was MORE than big enough for our party of 7. A delightful "Sir" owns the flat. He lived there as a student at the University of Edinburgh and later bought the place. You won't be sorry.


Edinburgh Castle.

 Heaven help me I have hardly been so torn in my life.

My mind was blowing apart to be walking among something so old. A place I've read about in history books and a place so flipping cool that Hollywood makes movies out of it. It was every BIT as romantic and dramatic as anyone could hope an old castle would be.

And then there was the physical side.
I'm from Florida and live on the equator in the tropics.
My blood is apparently weak and thin and bows down in abject surrender to the slightest of chills. I had a jacket and scarf. I thought I was prepared.
It was July. JOOO-LIE.
When else are you supposed to go when it can be warmer? You can't. It's Scotland and its chilly and breezy. Even in summer. (though it was still twilight at nearly 11pm so I forgave the wind later)
I caved, y'all. And my warm, thin-blooded children caved too. It was all we could do to walk outside in the chilly breeze to take in the sights that Kings and Queens and warriors have beheld.  We stayed indoors to inspect all we could, then would dash outside to the next room. It was NO way to see a castle. But you can't fight the misery of your children whining about the cold wind when your own teeth are chattering.
Still. Here are some of the photos we managed.
I love this first one of Birdie and Mom. The smiles say, "Yep. I'm in a castle. I'm a princess!"

 That face. Full of angst about the war within. CASTLE! vs COLD!

The top left shield in this window is William Wallace's. It glowed with Scottish sunshine and pushed my history nerd buttons, simultaneously.

That dude is King James I. I stood in the room where he was born. nbd.

This concludes the castle portion. There's not a photo of the dungeons... Americans and Spanish were kept in it's dungeons people! H-I-S-T-O-R-Y-R-O-C-K-S.

Travel is totally for kids.

Camera Obscura. An old "illusion" interactive museum that is literally neighbors with Edinburgh Castle. Encased in brownstone it is an unassuming fun-wonder waiting for you and your kids.

More tricks with mirrors and lights than you can fit into a morning. Modern and some great classics.

While we went to the top to see the actual "Camera Obscura" a rare-in-a-lifetime thing happened.

WE SAW THE QUEEN! (and by "we" I mean Mom, Ivy strapped to me, and I...the boys were running around and Anthony was with Birdie in the bathroom dealing with some sort of epic poo mess. We tell the truth.)

See that teeny row of about 7 guards in black next to the statue? Her car is passing by them...when she rounded that corner, we saw her wave (because of course she had on gloves). 

And since Old Town just can't disappoint, here's another view from on top of Camera Obscura.

This next portion is the eating section. It's not that extensive, but it does have haggis.

Thumbs up on the Haggis! We didn't know what to expect, but turns out it's like a smushy sausage.

Some sit in the grass time at the Scott Memorial. Tallest memorial for a writer. Apparently the Scottish are passionate about a good story!

Is it any wonder that J.K. Rowling got her inspiration for the look of Hogwarts while writing the first Harry Potter novel in Edinburgh?

The next morning it was back on the train to London.

These last two photos are NOT from Edinburgh. After the train, we hit up the Princess Diana Memorial Playground in Kensington Gardens. It was PACKED. But it was also fun! On our walk to the playground we passed the "Peter Pan Statue."

 The next morning it was back on a plane to Miami. See you next time UK!

1 comment:

  1. WOW!! Such SUCH cool beautiful history-nerd-heartmelting pictures!! I'm with you on the cold though - it's hard to enjoy anything when it's that cold!