Monday, August 29, 2022

Edinburgh 2022

After reading the Outlander series years ago, Edinburgh has been on my bucket list of travel destinations. Granddaddy was awfully generous to work it into our 2022 travel plans, which turned out to be quite a feat since it has to be the hardest European town to get in or out of. We were getting pretty worn out after our weeklong Irish adventures, but when we stepped out onto the Royal Mile and heard those bagpipes playing, we almost literally started skipping down the cobblestones! The adventures never stopped, and we had the best time exploring all the closes (minus the stairs- no one told it was so hilly) and ancient buildings. We took a walking tour one morning with John Mowbray, and I think he summed up the city's historical significance well. He was telling us about a building in Edinburgh that was originally built in 1300-something. "What was happening in America about that time? Oh that's right- NOTHING!" And then it was rebuilt in 1500-something- "Oh yeah, still not much happening in America then!" Enjoy a peek at our fun times in Scotland and see links at the end.

Leaving Dublin and excited for Edinburgh

Made it to Old Town Chambers. It was the perfect set up for us. Their rooms/ suites are available for short-term or long-term stay. We had two two-bedroom/ two-bathroom suites that had their own kitchen, den, and laundry closet, and we were just down the hall from each other. The staff were amazing and so helpful. It's in a dream of a location, right in the middle of the Royal Mile and directly across the street from St. Giles' Cathedral. The only downside was that there was no air conditioning, but the great front desk staff always brought these hot blooded Southerners fans when we couldn't stand the Scottish heat wave!

Cressey was super excited to remember all of our key codes for our rooms, and she often had to help us get back into our rooms. She carried this piece of paper in her pocket the whole trip.

This is the cute little courtyard between the buildings that made up our hotel

And the climb from the courtyard back up to High Street

Cockburn Street (pronounced Co-burn)

The Malt Shovel

Cressey was really not into our leisurely-paced dinner

There were two ways back to our hotel from Cockburn Street- walk all the way up a slow hill on Cockburn Street and then across High Street which was a lot more indirect OR a quick trip up these crazy stairs in Warriston's Close

Some sunset beauties

In July, Edinburgh Castle hosts a military tattoo, a performance of music or display of the armed forces. Just for this celebration, they construct this whole stadium that you can see on the top right of the below pic. They host big concerts and have the military performances, and then they take it down in August!

We had a great morning walking tour our first day there.

Very cool historic restaurants in the Grassmarket...The Last Drop

Victoria Street

Sticks left for Greyfriars Bobby

George Heriot's School which is thought to be the inspiration for Hogwarts

View of Edinburgh Castle from the graveyard

Rubbing Bobby's nose for good luck

JK Rowling wrote some of Harry Potter here (had had some fire damage recently so it was closed)

St. Giles' Cathedral

Cockburn Street and High Street

Back at our hotel, tired and ready for some food!

Outside our favorite gelato shop

Rocks from Red Strand are still being played with

Dinner at Divino

"You gonna limp back!"

Can you say exhausted???

I thought this place was so cutely named

One of my favorite Delta Darlins was in Edinburgh for the summer, so I got to meet Anna Grace for breakfast!

The Real Mary Kings' Close (note that Cressey was hiding over to the left because she was DONE with all the scary Black Death mannequins. She still talks about how much she hated it lol)

Lunch above Deacon Brodie's at Nicholson's


We loved the bagpipes!

We snuck in the Witchery for a picture, and it was just a little slice of flower heaven!

Touring Edinburgh Castle

I couldn't stop laughing at how John could see over the top of the wall, Cressey could see perfectly out the window, but HG was just out of luck!

Lots and lots of fun exploring

This chapel on top of the castle contains the Crown Jewels, and most importantly the Stone of Destiny. Granddaddy was so excited to get to see it here after seeing it in England years ago!

The oldest building of the Castle, the tiny little St. Margaret's Chapel, which was once the only part of the whole castle left standing after one particularly violent take over

As we walked up the Royal Mile to the Castle, the girls loved these crazy mirrors on the side of the building. As they tired out at the top of the Castle, they begged to go back to 'that mirror place.' I hadn't heard a thing about it but gave in and agreed. Lucky for all of us because the Camera Obscura was their favorite place in all of Scotland! A whole museum of optical illusions and a mirror maze!

It took me three attempts and a lot of peer pressure to get me through this "vortex." Never again, I'm done!

After the museum, we all had a little rest time, and of course, Cressey disappeared to her grandparents' room. When I got hungry and went to find her at dinnertime, I came upon this scene- all of her grandparents were in the den watching golf on tv and Cressey was snuggled up in Grandma's bed watching her show! Living the high life!

Dinner at Gordon's Trattoria


On our last night and last time up those dang steps, we rewarded ourselves at the Mexican place in our hotel's courtyard

Love Scotland's version of 'y'all come back now'- 'haste ye back!'

Back in the land of Doritos!

We stayed at the Old Town Chambers by Cheval which was perfect for our group (other than no air conditioning).

We toured the Real Mary King's Close to see the underground. 

Camera Obscura was the girls' favorite thing, and it wasn't even planned!

Edinburgh Castle was amazing. I would have loved to see Holyrood Palace, but the Queen had recently been in residence and it was still closed.

The Malt Shovel Inn was a cute pub where we grabbed our first Scottish dinner of fish and chips which landed us next to the best of the best gelato place, Artisan Gelato.

Divino Enoteca was wayyyy down in the basement of Vittoria on the Bridge

Cafe Edinburgh was a great breakfast spot.

We had lunch at Nicholson's above Deacon Brodie's Pub.

We were told to try the Witchery (hotel and restaurant), but it was booked out solid.

Gordon's Trattoria was a great Italian spot with favorites for everyone.

El Cartel was a Mexican restaurant in the courtyard of our hotel, and while we didn't eat there, I (sadly) found out on our last night that they had a margarita machine at the ready!

Angels and Bagpipes and Howie's on Waterloo were also recommended.

No comments: