On day thirteen, we took a shuttle to the Zurich Airport to catch a plane to Edinburgh, Scotland! We landed, met our driver, and arrived at our hotel: “The Old Waverly Inn.” This hotel immediately became one of our favorites, even though there were stairs right away that we had to lug our suitcases up (it counted as exercise, amirite?). It had a great view of the Scott Monument right out the window (big pointy thing in the pics) and was right in the heart of Edinburgh. The Waverly had these BOMB Scottish Shortbread cookies that came in the room. (We almost stole a whole bunch when we saw them sitting in the hall; don’t worry, we have some restraint. We also smuggled all the extras they gave us in our backpacks, so they gave us extras every day. Muahaha.) There were scenic stairs that wound all the way up the hotel, and our rooms had a view of the charming department store across the street, “Jenners.” Soon after arriving, we ran to find some food, and of course got caught in rain without raincoats. Are we tourists, or what? But we ended up at an amazing restaurant on one of the main streets called “All Bar One” which I would go back to in a heartbeat. When we asked our waitress about the spontaneous rain showers, she said, “I don’t mind it – I’m not made of sugar, I won’t melt.”
We headed back to our hotel to catch our “hop on hop off” bus right across the street. Fabulous double decker fun! We spent the rest of the day on the bus, really just seeing the city. And what a city! When JK Rowling has graced the streets and cafes, you know it’s going to be magical. We circled around the city in the bus, driving by all sorts of little pubs, beautiful architecture, interesting structures, and fun people (including lots of KILTS and bagpipes!!! We saw so many! Dreams do come true.) We saw barber shops and hamburger places, historic pubs and literary tours. The entire city seems centered around the Edinburgh Castle, which sits on a raised volcanic cliff, and has a stadium sort of thing built by it, the kind that looks like it holds the Quidditch World Cup. The city itself is on different levels, so you go up and down in the streets, and sometimes you go under a bridge. We stopped by a statue of a dog outside Greyfriar’s Bobby, and the story is that this dog visited his owner’s grave for 14 years. Tearjerker! It seems a lot of the pubs have stories behind them.
We learned by listening to our plug-in bus tour earbuds that there is a New Town and Old Town in Edinburgh, and we were staying near Old Town I believe. We found the skyline is truly amazing at night. Also, it stays light SO LATE and gets light SO EARLY, so our concept of time is really off. Good morning? Good evening? At this point, who knows! We ended up eating dinner at a pub, where we had some heavenly fish and chips. (PS, chips = fries and crisps = chips! Confused? So are we). We closed our blinds tightly and got some rest.