Scotland Travel Blog› entry 1 of 6 › view all entries
Left home around 7.15am to beat the traffic. Dropped the car off at Q Park and got the complimentary bus to terminal 1 at Heathrow.
Went straight through to the gates after checking in and had a coffee and a sandwich then waited.
Had a good flight to Edinburgh and read magazines the whole way.
Arrived at around 1.30 and caught the airport bus into the city. Got off on a bridge and worked out where we were and went up some steep narrow stairs to the Royal mile.
Found our hotel , The Bank Hotel and checked in at the bar.
Our room was on the top floor of the old building.
We decided to go and see the castle which was about 4 blocks up the hill from our hotel. The wide street was flanked on both sides with tall dark grey coloured medieval type buildings housing cafes, bars, tourist shops and restaurants. Popped in to a few tourist shops looking for a McAlpine tartan scarf.
Arrived at the gates of the castle where, I realised, the Edinburgh Tattoo is held. The stands where the crowd sit were still being taken down. We ended up getting an Explorer ticket which allowed us to visit many places for one price.
Entered the castle and got a listening device. Walked up the stone road to the edge of the castle for a fantastic view over the city.
Entered a dark guarded room containing the crown jewels and the stone of destiny which the young guard told us all about. Went through the great hall and down to the dungeons and where the prisoners of war were kept. All very interesting and well put together, you actually felt like you were back in the past. I was impressed with the castle and the views across the city were stunning.
After leaving the castle we stopped for a late lunch in a restaurant between the castle and our hotel. Sat outside in the cool afternoon. A guy was playing the bagpipes across the road and looking around the old buildings and hearing the pipes gave me a real sense of finally being in a place I have wanted to visit all my life, a very proud and historic country. Had a club sandwich and a beer before heading back to our hotel.
Ventured out for a stroll after getting changed. Headed across Waverley bridge to the newer part of the city and walked along the main shopping street , Princess street, past huge monuments, parks and statues. From here we got a great view of the castle up on the hill across the valley. We turned up the street and passed by lots of bars and more restaurants. The street names in this area were the same as in Dunedin, we walked passed Castle street, George street, Fredrick street and Hanover street. Stopped for a beer in the Hard Rock café before heading back to the hotel bar for a few drinks. Had a late dinner from Pizza Hut in our room.