To start day 30 of our time away we discovered our airport Travelodge in Dublin wasn't actually that close to the airport, but paid the overpriced cab fare and moved on to our first flight with budget Euro airline Ryanair.By handballing (and throwing out) some stuff from her pack Elle managed to bring down the weight from near 17kg, under the strict 15kg Ryanair limit, to just 13.7!Coincidentally Barry's swells from about 13kg to 14.7, which in hindsight was hardly a coincidence at all!
The 6am flight had left us dog tired once we got to Edinburgh, but our eyes were soon open wide as we got a bus into the city and saw the amazing Gothic/medieval/Georgian cityscape, the focal point of which is Edinburgh Castle that sits high up on a cliff face at one end of the `old town`. Our hostel was almost directly under the cliff face near the beginning of the old town's famous strip, the Royal Mile.
The Royal Mile was true to its name when we first went for a walk along it, as hoards of tourists lined the area in front of St Giles Cathedral for what to us was a mystery procession of some sort. After taking some snaps of the military men wearing kilts and big wigs slowly marching out of the cathedral we walked off oblivious to the fact (until the following day) that we had actually just seen the biggest wig of all, the Queen!
The Royal Mile has a very charming old world feel about it, with many small alleys leading off it and into small courtyards and further shops and housing.In saying it has this charm, it has also become victim to being very tourist driven now, with plenty of souvenier, whiskey and kilt shops to drag in the foreign dollars.
We climbed a great hill overlooking the city in every direction and took some snaps. As we made our way back down, a much steeper shortcut was too tempting for Barry to pass up, while Elle chose the much smarter option of the way we walked up.Some morning rain turned the `shortcut` into a muddy, slippery long way down, leaving a clean Elle waiting at the bottom for the much dirtier latecomber.
After dusting off with some baby wipes we took out yet another Sainsburys combo lunch and gave into our first gallery visit at the Scotland National Gallery. I'm sure some people would've really loved this on a deeper level, but we just both liked the Van Gogh stuff, and that's about as far as our critical analysis went.
That evening the streets around our hostel were packed because rockin' Rod Stewart was in town for a show at Edinburgh Castle. Once the masses headed for the concert we managed to slip in without a reservation to a popular Thai resaurant, which while a bit on the spicy side was possibly the best Thai we'd ever had, and in Scotland, who knew?
Our next day in Edinburgh was spent mainly doing the popular, 3 hour `free` walking tour (payment made to the guide in tips) which showed us many of Edinburgh's best attractions including personal favourite, the statue of Greyfriars Bobby. Greyfriars Bobby was a small terrier dog who in the 1800s became well known in Edinburgh after guarding his late owners grave for 14 years until the dog, himself, also died.Awwww!We also tasted popular Scottish soft drink Irn Bru for the first time after advice from our comical tour guide, Irn Bru basically consisting of a ridiculous amount of sugar and caffeine, while outselling Coke and Pepsi in Scotland . All in all, it tastes just like Creamy Soda anyway.
That night we thought we'd adopt the whole `When in Rome…` idea and go to see an Edinburgh comedy gig over in the `new town`. While we went out on a limb, assuming it may be horrible with only us and the bartenders in the crowd, it was quite the opposite, with the small club packed out and 3 of the 5 comedians on show being worthy of anyone's laughs.