After we arrived in Edinburgh, we spent a lot of time walking around and getting our bearings in the new town. We ended up at a cute little restaurant on Rose Street where we met a nice old man who showed us exactly where to go for some good authentic Lothian food. After having a nice meal (cranberry and brie stuffed bread... yum) we went to a local pub which had no name on the corner of York Place (which was the street our cute little hotel was on).
After a good nights sleep we went on a day full of running around. We started at Edinburgh castle which was so interesting. We did an audio tour so we could really learn about the history of the place. The things I remember the most about it were the dog cemitary (which was soooo cute) and the part about the Hanoverian horses. The castle itself was HUGE and we kept getting lost. We even got the chance to go into this really neat tower that was destroyed in some war in the 1500's but it has since been excavated and the rooms are still in tact. It's incredible to think that people actually lived here at some point. Of course, it was drizzling the whole time we were there, so it was a little chilly, but definitely a good experience.
After that we went to this all boys school called George Hariot's School. It's an active school so you can't actually go inside, but the buildings are incredible. After this, we walked back to little internet cafe called the Elephant Room which is the cafe where J K Rowling wrote the first edition of the first Harry Potter. It was a cute little cafe and they had great tea.
Afterwards, we went to the Palace of Holyroodhouse and the accompanying park which was my favorite part. The Palace is the place where the Queen goes to stay whenever she is visiting Scotland. The front gate was so beautiful and the palace itself was lie something out of your imagination. There were also some cute old houses in the park that you know had been there forever. We took a cute old cab back to the train station (it looked like a PT cruiser but older and way cooler - and it had fold down seats; 5 people could sit in the back seat facing eachother). From here, we took a train to Leuchars where St Andrew's golf course is (the course where the British Open Gold Tournament is and the place where golf was invented). It was beautiful. The golf course was SOOO cold but it was really cool. We found the place where Van Der Velde shot the ball into the water on the 18th and ended up climbing in to shoot it out and blew his shot at the British open championship title. It was really interesting. Strange though because we got to just walk right out on the course. There were no boundaries or fences, it was just a public course, right off the road.
After we got back to Edinburgh, which took about an hour, we went to a really neat little restaurant in Old Town called Doric. It was a really cool little pub right off the main street. You could see the ferris wheel, Sir Walter Scott's monument and the ice skating rink in the Loch from the front door. The food was also fantastic. We had a converstaion inside about how we had always heard that scottish, and all british food for that matter, left something to be desired, but this food was amazing. We had fish and chips where the breading on the fish literally melted in your mouth. The fish fell apart on your fork as you were trying to pick it up. After dinner we had this amazing desert with poached pear, in a raspberry sauce with clementaine and starfruit slices on a scoop of vanilla cinnamon ice cream from the local dairy. Needless to say, mom had to command me and Andrea to not lick the plate because it was so good, and believe me... we wanted to.
Afterwards, we headed back to the corner pub for one last local brew before heading to bed. Tomorrow, the train takes us back to London. I guess I'll give it a second chance!