After our whirl wind day in London we hopped on the overnight train, Caledonian Sleeper, to Edinburgh at 11 50pm. It was a tight fit for Quinn through the hallway and through the doorway to our sleeper with the big backpack on. He got momentarily stuck in the doorway to our bunks, but managed to get through with a little extra oomph. It was tight quarters, but actually pretty fun to sleep in bunk beds for the night! It was a peaceful sleep for the most part and we arrived in Edinburgh, Scotland at 7:30am.
Our early arrival turned out to work against us a bit as it was still dark out, cold, and everything was closed. No worries though, we hung out in the train station until a lovely breakfast place opened up! Quinn tried the full traditional breakfast which was an interesting combination of a fried egg, toast, bacon, sauage, black pudding (blood sausage not in casing), portobello mushroom, and beans in a tomato sauce. Everything was good, except the beans!
After breakfast, we proceeded to discover the wonderful city of Edinburgh. We bought a ticket for a hop-on-hop-off bus tour and went around the city; we got a good lay of the land and decided what we wanted to explore some more. We decided to spend our afternoon checking out the Edinburgh Castle: it was incredible! Its difficult to grasp that the cliff this castle is built on has been inhabited since the bronze age, or approximatly 900AD. Parts of the castle we saw were built in the 12th century, and are still standing strong.
We explored the prison, royal bed chambers, main hall, court yard, external walls with canon set up, chapel, tower, and the crown jewels. It was all very awe-inspiring and unfortunatly the pictures dont capture the vastness of it all. It was our first castle experience and we spent over 3 hours exploring the castle in the snow -- it was amazing.
Our second day in Scotland we covered a lot of ground, we embarked on a Loch Ness and Scottish Highlands tour. We made many stops to take in the sites along the picturesque winding road that took us through the snow covered highlands. We took a multitude of pictures, which dont do it justice, but will have to suffice. One this tour we got to see castles, lochs (lakes), glens (valleys), small towns, Trossachs National Park, Cairngorms National Park, and the famous Nessie at Loch Ness ;). We heard all about the history of the areas we travelled through, took lots of pictures, got snowed on a few times, and got to take a boat ride out onto the very vast Loch Ness.
On our way back to Edinburgh on this tour we stopped at the most inland town in Scotland, Pitlochry, and sampled some whiskey ice cream, it was lovely. After our tour that night, for supper, we got adventurous and tried haggis! Quinn and I both really liked it and we even got some again the next day.
Day three, our last day in Edinburgh, we decided to take in more sites by walking around town and by getting a birds eye view of the city from Arthurs Seat. After delicious pies for breakfast, yes thats a very popular thing and they're delicious, we started towards Arthurs Seat which is on top of a large hill/cliff thing in the middle of town. There are multiple paths to climb this rocky, sometimes steep hill, and Quinn picked the extra long, steep path to the top :). It was a fun climb up, only broke my ankle once ;), and the views of the city and the Irish Sea from the top are incredible.
We finished off our last day exploring the National Museum of Scotland, which housed so many interesting exibits. We explored it and took in what we could before it closed for the day. Fun fact: the step counter/fitness tracker on my phone says we logged 14.17km of walking today, so thats the record to beat!
Scotland was amazing; the views and the history are astonishing and cant be captured in a picture, but we did our best with the pictures at the link below:
Until next time,
Quinn and Shelby