We have spent the past three days in Edinburgh and today we are heading back to the ship.
It was very easy to get to Edinburgh. We took a train from Greenock to Glasgow and then Glasgow to Edinburgh. When we got here we found a tourist information center right outside of the train station where we got a map and decided to walk to the hotel. We probably should have taken a cab, but it was a beautiful walk down Princes Street and we had good weather and only a duffle bag. We arrived at our hotel around 1:00 and luckily our room was ready. We splurged and are staying in a beautiful hotel, The Sheraton Grand, recommended by my voice student Julie Ames. It is a beautiful modern hotel with hardwood floors, beautiful white linens and a glass enclosed bathroom with shower and tub where the lighting changes colors with the touch of a button. As you walk in there are several buttons you can push to choose different "scenes" for the lighting in the room. Very theatrical! We have chosen red lighting as our favorite color in the bathroom. At night you can touch a button beside your bed for a nightlight. This turns on a tiny light beside the toilet and a tiny light under each nightstand. Really cool!
We explored the cool room, dropped of our things and headed to Edinburgh Castle. The castle is just a few blocks from our hotel so we walked and we were just in awe the entire time. Edinburgh is so breathtaking. The architecture, the pubs, the castle are all WOWs! It is hard describe the beauty. We stopped in a pub and shared a plate of fish and chips and then climbed the hill to the castle. We bought a ticket for and spent about 2.5 hours there. The views of the city are amazing. Of course there is so much interesting history there, but one of the sweet things we saw was a cemetery for soldier's dogs. We left the castle and walked down the Royal Mile a bit. We were getting a little hungry so we stopped for afternoon tea. We had a plate of beautiful finger sandwiches along with a delicious plate of teacakes and other desserts. Perfection!
We decided to head back to the hotel, use the WIFI and get freshened up for dinner. I got to FaceTime with Mom and Dad, Cathy, and Colleen and caught up on a few emails then we headed out to dinner. Dean David and his lovely wife Jana were also in Edinburgh and had invited us to join them for dinner at the most amazing restaurant, The Atelier! Dean David is definitely a foodie and he had researched this restaurant and made a reservation several days before. We had a beautiful window table and the food….oh LORD….I cannot do this food justice in a blog, it is just not possible. The food was fancy, delicious, reasonable and beautiful. It was a perfect evening with great food and fantastic company.
Our second day we woke up a little later and headed out, grabbed a quick bite and coffee for breakfast and headed down the Royal Mile. This is the mile between Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Holyrood House The streets are lined with shops, restaurants and sights. We visited St. Giles Cathedral, John Knox house, Mary King's Close (an underground tour) and the Palace. Once we got to the palace we saw that we were close to Arthurs Seat which is the highest peak in Holyrood Park and we decided to do the hike.
The hill is about 822 feet high and has a beautiful 360 degree view of the city and the coast. We hiked up the largest of the three parts of the Arthur's Seat volcano site. It was formed by an extinct volcano and is about 350 million years old. One of the cool things about this hill is that it is often mentioned as one of the possible locations for CAMELOT. It was about 40 minutes to the top, but it was definitely worth the trip.
We were worn out by then so we got a cab home. This was the first time we had been in a cab since London (we are too cheap to take cabs). We came home, took a rest and then went downstairs for our complimentary cocktail. We headed out for dinner and then came home so I could enjoy the bathtub before we had to leave.
We have seen so many beautiful things here and we have really enjoyed this treat of having a hotel room. Now we have one teaching day on the ship and then we are in Dublin. This is moving so fast.
-today while we were hiking we counted the countries we have been to. Geno is at 28 and I am at 27.
-Clara (our dog) had to have a broken toenail removed. My parents are taking such good care of this sweet girl. THANK YOU!!!