Friday, February 28, 2014

Edinburgh... I got a wee crush on you.

Recently, we headed out for a 3 day weekend in Edinburgh. Just the two of us. Scotland was on Husband's to-see list and our anniversary was the perfect time to check the place out.

Wow! 

Where to start...First off: Let's speak English!!! I was starved for the small talk all you English speaking folk take for granted on your home turf. And when the language is bedazzled with that delicious Scottish accent, I'm even more enchanted! I had to stop myself from over-yacking everywhere I went just because I could and also to hear that Scottish burr. The anticipation of chit chat in my language put a spring in my step and I was out of bed at 6 am (which was actually 7 am in Italy) every morning driving my husband nuts. He likes to sleep in.

Let's go, let's go. I'm ready to go.
The weather, although rainy, windy and cold, warmed this Pacific Northwest girl's heart. One minute the sun would peek out and we would bask in it and two seconds later it would be pouring -windy with horizontal rain. A lot like home. I also love it when the sun shines and you still freeze your ass off. In Italy, the minute the sun comes out, no matter the season, you want to completely disrobe.

All was well because the Scots know how to keep warm and it's not just all the wool everywhere. They are experts on their whisky - I've decided I prefer the Hot Toddy whisky dose They also have a billion ales at a decent price and good coffee on every corner.

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Edinburgh was small enough to walk, safe, beautiful to look at, delicious food in restaurants of all types and price points, lots of history, shopping, tons of well done museums (most for free), tours like crazy (some for free) and lots of young people everywhere. Funny enough, I was thinking we would be with a bunch of old people on our tours but we were actually the oldest two on both tours.



Beautiful mountains in the Highlands
On our first tour, we spent a very entertaining 12 hours on a small bus to the Highlands. Our guide was knowledgeable and easy going. He sang us songs and told us the history of the areas. Although it poured rain through most of it, I was damp but happy spending all that time with my man by my side and enjoying the gorgeous but soggy vistas (through the bus windows). The stark and snowy mountains lining our path painted with a very different palette then I'm used to. Husband took lots of photographs at the various stops, drank beer and followed in my swath as I browsed and bought out the gift shops. He also provided an excellent shoulder nap pillow when the scenery got a little too gray and rainy for me.


We Rick Steve'd the whole trip and followed a lot of his advice... all of it very wise. I highly recommend it. On his advice...

...we drank at Leslies. A bar that's split down the middle by a wall where men would take their mistresses and hide on one side and the other side where the rowdy would drink ale.

...we ate at the Elephant House where J. K. Rowling wrote the first Harry Potter book.


Who's Harry Potter? All I know is beer at the Elephant House is good!

We ate at Hewatt's Restaurant and enjoyed the early bird special (at 7 pm LOL). It was an excellent dining experience. You have to BYOB to this one but we had just been at Leslie's and were already boozed up.
The lovely (but rainy) Loch Ness




We saw Loch Ness but not Nessie, the highlands, and saw where they shot the movie Skyfall and the Harry Potter train scenes.


We took a free downtown tour of Edinburgh:
Free but very excellent tour of downtown Edinburgh. Our tour guide Kiel (Mr Beardie)  was from Australia... go figure.
We didn't make it to Edinburgh Castle but we're okay with that. We are castled out.
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And we laughed a whole lot. And smooched a whole lot. After all, it was our anniversary...
This smooching photo is guaranteed to gross out our children who think we don't do that sort of thing.


My love affair with Scotland isn't over yet... I want to come back and walk a 5 day trek on a Scotland's Great Trail for my 50th birthday next year. Who wants to come?

This clip below is a P.S. for my daughter C-Bear, who plays the ukulele... inspiration, huh?








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