I’m back in Boston with sore legs and a few extra pounds, after a week exploring London and Edinburgh. Scotland was our second stop, but I wanted to share some photos with the trip fresh on my mind.
Instead of taking the ~1 hour flight from London to Edinburgh, we opted for the 5 hour “scenic” route via East Coast trains. The route was very pastoral with roaming sheep and cows, plus a few beautiful cathedrals and oceanfront views sprinkled along the way. The 60GBP tickets came with wi-fi and unlimited food & drink – by the time we diddled on our computers, chowed down lunch (chicken & leek pot pies were surprisingly piping hot with a flaky crust), and had a few glasses of cider and wine, we were already pulling into the final station.
Edinburgh is a quaint city split into Old Town and New Town. The Old Town streets and buildings date back to the 1500’s, with the “Royal Mile” street (pictured above) stretching through town to the Edinburgh Castle. The castle is small and admission is a relatively hefty 16GBP, but I enjoyed it very much as someone who is not a history buff.
^ The Royal Palace, which houses the Scottish Honours (crown, scepter, and sword) used in the coronation of 16th century monarchs. There were rooms of wax figures (terrifying in dim lighting…you can bet I don’t do well in haunted houses or wax museums) telling the story of the Honours, leading up to a room where the opulent treasures themselves were on display.
When traveling, I always try to sample regional specialties. Haggis (no need to click if you’re uneasy about innards) is hailed by some as the Scottish national dish, and was offered at almost every place we ate in various forms. Another common menu item was black pudding, which a waitress was hesitant to explain until I reassured her that I wouldn’t be grossed out.
After making our way to the New Town, we treated ourselves to overpriced afternoon tea at the Balmoral hotel. 25 GBP per person gets you: a little appetizer liquor, a tray of sandwiches and sweets, a course of warm scones w/ “clotted cream” & jelly, endless tea or coffee, and unlimited access to the cake trolley. I wish tea places would offer a savories-only option, as I usually wolf down the sammies but get nauseous from all the sweets. By the time the decadent cake trolley rolled around, Nick and I were ready to be rolled along home.