A day in Edinburgh - old friends meet-upApril 21, 2016 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☀️ 55 °F
After being up till 2am, a bit tired when morning rolled around. Thought I was going to fall asleep over my breakfast!
Michael gave us the lowdown on Edinburgh this morning as we headed towards the castle overlooking the city. Passed the Elephant House cafe where JK Rowling wrote much of her early Harry Potter books while overlooking the castle. (www.elephanthouse.biz/) Once at the castle, we gathered for a group photo. Afterwards we viewed the Crown Jewels and the Great Hall Beautiful day again - stunning stroke of luck on the weather this week. Flawless - not a single raindrop. And for the British Isles in April - unreal.
After a few hours at the castle, back on the bus to head down for a tour of HMS Britannia, the Queen's Royal Yacht. Perfect timing as it is the Queens's 90th birthday today, so we were treated to a band, bubbly stuff and tiny little cupcakes with little chocolate disks on top end inscribed with B'Day greetings for the Queen. Neat presentation -felt like I shouldn't eat that little disk, but no food shall go untouched!
We were given audio headsets and proceeded to tour roughly 28 stops along the way. The ship sailed around the globe many times in its 40 year history. It was decommissioned around 1997, if memory serves me correctly. An amazing ship - the Royals had it good beyond a doubt.
Leaving the ship, we headed back to the hotel with a stop downtown for folks who wanted to do a bit of shopping. I stayed on because I was meeting Tamas.
Who's Tamas? Well he's a friend from my 2014 Uniworld River cruise in France . He was the night desk clerk who helped me out with ice packs the night I crushed my tooth on some hardened fruit pieces. We became Facebook friends and he happened to be following my trip and popped up online before I got to Edinburgh asking me if I wanted to go out for a pint Turns out he is at the moment doing front office work for the Raddison Blu in Edinburgh and had been there only a few months. How unreal is that?
So we met and strolled up town to a beautiful pub where we had a few raspberry ciders. Only 4% alcohol so nothing too dangerous :). Talked politics,economics, etc and then strolled down to see Saint Giles Cathedral, a beautiful soaring gothic church with amazing stone glass windows - the Mother church of Presbyterianism . (for some pictures of the inside , click here - bit.ly/1Np8Gfe) Afterwards we had to hoof it back to the hotel as Insight was putting on a little Bon Voyage party for us before we went to dinner. Said goodbye to Tamas and promised to meet again in some other far away place.
Headed over to the restaurant Iris for dinner , a rather hip restaurant with reputation for great food. Had mussels for a starter, fish stew for dinner, followed by raspberry crumble and of course two glasses of wine to go along with all this
Finally back to the hotel and goodbyes to new friends. Hung out in the downstairs bar, sipping an Apple cider and discussing trucking with Phil the bus driver (one of my former careers, somewhere back in time) and talking to some of the other folks on the tour with whom I had not had much time to talk to earlier. Made some good friends on this trip. Now to try and get an hour or two of sleep before that 2:30 am wake up call!Read more