26 September 2013

Edinburgh #travelthursdays

Edinburgh holds a special place in my heart. It's funky, uncompromising, unexpected and friendly. It's also the place that hubby and I first travelled together. Not the world's most challenging trip - straight up on the train from London - but in some ways it was.
 
It's perfect for a long weekend/city break. We hired somewhere central and cheerful to stay and basically wandered the city, going wherever the fancy took us. 
 
Warning: these photos are a little old, and a bit grim, but hold a special if freezing cold place in my travel book. We live, we learn!
 

We couldn't miss the hair-raising, and beautiful views from the top of Edinburgh Castle. We went in October/November, and unluckily the weekend that we went it was freezing. Fah-reezing. It also meant that we didn't get to enjoy the full view expanse of the view, but it's still a beautiful city.



We took a good long wander around Holyrood Palace, and it was the first place (in my limited travelling) where you really felt a part of the history. Wandering through Mary, Queen of Scots bedroom (and over her 'blood' which I still think is the result of an over-enthusiastic guide but it's never been proven) it really gives you a sense of this woman who has such an impact on history.
 

The exceedingly mondernest Scottish Parliament is directly across from Holyrood Palace, a dichotomous statement. It's a really beautiful building & well worth a wander around.
 
(Borrowed from The Widows World)
 
Our favourite thing to visit? The Forth Rail bridge, mostly because we're nerds, additionally because it's internationally famous. Cool fact; the bridge was known as 'the bridge with neverending painting' because as soon as they finished, they'd have to start again. In 2011 a paint was deleoped that would last 25 years much to our disappointment.
 
The world famous Forth Rail bridge...

... and the graceful Forth Rail Bridge.
 
We enjoyed all of the local delicacies; neeps and tatties, black pudding for breakfast and tried Irn-bru (not for me I'm afraid) but chickened out on the heart attack on a serviette that is a deep-fried Mars Bar.
 
Too ashamed to do this in public in London, I Ninja'd in this country phone box.

On the flipside though, if you do try the deep fried Mars Bar, you can slough off the calories walking up the crazily steep street inclines. We did one uber-touristy thing (preferring just to laugh at the drunken idiots wearing tam o'shanters and kilts lurching with their drunken Aussie accents antics) which was visit Mary Kings Close, a set of rooms and streets preserved in their 17th Century condition. We didn't see any ghosts, but it was pretty darn interesting.
 
We've been back to Edinburgh several times and keep discovering more; sunshine, rain, hail and snow and I don't mind telling you that we missed out on Hogmany one year because I was too chicken (after recently breaking my wrist) to slip slide on the busy snowy streets. We love it.
 
15th Century Rosslyn Chapel is breath taking, and worth at least half a day's visit, in my humble opinion. If you like churches/the da vinci code/craftsmanship/conspiracy theories and has quite a good pub nearby. Ps. the photos is borrowed from Visit Scotland as my camera was rubbish.
 
My top tips for Edinburgh?
  • Take layers & a jacket for warmth
  • If you want to see the Forth Bridge and don't have a car, you don't have to go on a guided tour, just jump on the bus & ask the bus driver where to walk. You walk down a hillside, begin to wonder what the heck you've got yourself into, and then boom, there it is. There (at our time of visiting) is also a cute little pub nearby.
  • There are great free museums.
  • Try a deep fried Mars Bar, and let me know what you think of it.
  • Rosslyn Chapel is a must, again if you don't have a car there is a bus from the city centre, and it doesn't take too long.
  • Haymarket Station is about a 15 minutes wait and 5 minutes journey from Waverly Station on the train.
  • Take layers & a jacket for warmth.
  • If you're sick because you caught a cold as you didn't take enough layers, it's ok to eat Dominos in your hotel room. 

Would you try a Deep-Fried Mars Bar?

18 comments :

  1. I've got to agree - Edinburgh holds a special place in my heart - nearly every time I go there (usually a few times each year) the sun shines for me and I always enjoy the lovely city and its kind people. I'd say its my favourite UK city.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Scots are so friendly.
      More favourite than London?

      Delete
  2. Fried Mars Bar? Doesn't sit very well with my cowardice towards fried things :P Anyway, this is JUST the post I needed - I'm going to Edinburgh next weekend! Thanks for sharing, and let me know if you have any recommendatiosn on nice cafes and restaurants :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm absolutely the same with the Mars Bars. One day I'll be brave enough.
      Hmmm, let me think!

      Delete
  3. When I was in Scotland way back in 2005 my and about four other girls split one and one bite for life was enough for me!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love Edinburgh! Every time I go I find something really cool, it's just a fantastic city. The deep fried chocolate bars aren't for me, BUT I have had deep fried oreos with hot chocolate and they were DELICIOUS!

    Dannielle | Chic-a-DeeDee

    ReplyDelete
  5. I've only been once, for the Festival Fringe, but I have such fond memories- including only bringing shorts to wear because hey it was summer! and being cold the whole time. I really want to go back to explore properly. Love your tips

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's such a fun place - we haven't made it to the Fringe, yet! I'm well jealous.

      Delete
  6. We've only visited once for a weekend and I fell completely in love with this city. I loved the feel of it and everyone was so nice. For some reason, the lilting accent sounded so familiar and to my ears sounded like a Texas accent. Odd, but I loved it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, that's fascinating - did it make understanding the lingo easier?

      Delete
  7. This is great! I am hoping to visit Edinburg in the next few years! I've heard so many fantastic reviews from friends and fellow bloggers! The closest I've gotten was London so far

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a fab city - and only an hour and half flight from London!

      Delete
  8. Edinburgh is awesome! It takes a special place that can make you fall in love with it when your toes are about to fall off and your nose looks like you've been drinking whisky for hours. If you go back you have to do 'The Real St Mary's Close Tour' which shows you what life was like back in the 17th century. It was one of our favourite bits of it.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I've loved Edinburgh both times I've been and want to go back,

    As for the deep fried Mars bar, I've had one before but it wasn't in Scotland. It was back home in Wellington. A specialty of a fish and chip shop there. Along with deep fried ice-cream, but don't ask me how they managed that one

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Deep friend ice cream is actually something I'd like to try, did you try it?

      Delete

So, what do you think? Comments are blogging mana; short, sweet, long, loquacious, deep and meaningful...