After passing a very restful sleep in our B&B, we awoke to a grey (but no rain day) in Edinburgh. We were treated to an exceptional breakfast, the best on our trip so far. Deanna had Belgium waffles with heaps of fresh berries and I had eggs benedict. Fortified we headed out and walked to the Royal Mile which is the area of Edinburgh that links [### Sunday
After passing a very restful sleep in our B&B, we awoke to a grey (but no rain day) in Edinburgh. We were treated to an exceptional breakfast, the best on our trip so far. Deanna had Belgium waffles with heaps of fresh berries and I had eggs benedict. Fortified we headed out and walked to the Royal Mile which is the area of Edinburgh that links](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edinburgh_Castle) and Hollyrood Palace. In between, shops, restaurants, more shops and pubs.
We got our bearings and decided to purchase a Royal Edinburgh Tour ticket which includes admission to the castle, the palace and the Royal Yacht Britannia. In addition we get access to all five &8216;hop on/hop off’ bus routes that tour throughout the main city core. They aren’t particularly cheap at 50 each, but assuming we visit all the attractions and make use of the buses we end up saving a bit vs. paying admission at each of those three sites.
We hopped on one of the buses and listened for a bit as the live tour guide John explained about some of the history, sites and buildings as we rolled by on one of the double decker buses. Most of the major sites in Edinburgh are close to the old town but having them pointed out by a local does make getting around much easier.
We got off at Edinburgh castle and joined many other tourists making our way through this impressive structure. There are numerous military themed exhibits scattered about a few different buildings. These exhibits are more modern in nature (1600’s to present day). There wasn’t any displays or content of the castles early days which was too bad, but didn’t take away from the experience. The castle is high up on a hill and has commanding views of the city. We spent a good couple of hours wandering about.
Next up on the agenda was lunch. My good friend Andrew (who has patiently been answering questions from me about all things English and Scottish for the past 10 months) recommended a couple of seafood restaurants in Leith which is district in Edinbugh on the ocean. Fortunately one of our hop on/hop off bus routes stops right close to the restaurants so on we hopped and made the 30 (ish) minute ride where we had lunch at The Ship on the Shore restaurant. We both had fish pie, which were loaded with all sorts of really fresh seafood, topped with mashed potatoes and served with a side of steamed veggies (beans, kale and broccoli). They were fantastic. We split a sticky toffee pudding for dessert and left feeling very happy and relaxed. It was a great recommendation, many thanks Andrew.
We weren’t too far from HMY Britannia, which is the decommissioned royal yacht built in 1953 used up until 1995 by Queen Elizabeth and the royal family. It was very interesting to wander through, listen to the commentary and see this bit of royal history. The yacht played host to many dignitaries over the years and traveled over 1,000,000 miles in her lifetime. It’s well preserved, filled with photographs and artifacts from the crew and the royal family. All very interesting.
We caught the last bus back into the old town and walked back to our B&B. According to Deanna’s phone we put in over 17,000 steps in the day and I would believe it. We finished the night off by watching the first episode of the last season of Downton Abbey. It seems only fitting that we watch what we can while we’re in the U.K.
Rain. It rained for most of the night and was coming down quite heavily when we got up. Undeterred we headed out after another excellent breakfast. We decided to drop some laundry off to be done while we’re out and about today. We got some directions from our B&B hosts and decided to get on one of the municipal buses to take us into the city center today instead of walking. For 4 each, we can get an all day bus pass. There was an older gentleman at the bus stop who overheard Deanna talking with one of the other people waiting for the bus about stopping at the launderette. It turns out he was stopping two doors down from it and offered to show us where it was. It was very nice of him and having a batch of clean clothes for the rest of our trip will be a treat.
We picked up another bus that took us into the old city center were we wandered over to Waverly Bridge which is the starting point for the various hop on/hop off buses. This morning’s destination was Hollyrood palace, which is the official residence of the queen when she is in Edinburgh.
The palace tour is self guided with an included audio recording that details the various points of interest throughout the palace. The palace is steeped in history and contains the historic apartments of Mary Queen of Scots before she was exiled. The queen stays in residence at the castle one week a year and hosts many official functions including a large garden party that takes place in the beautiful castle grounds.
Unfortunately Deanna has picked up a bit of a cold so after a quick lunch of soup and toasties at Marks and Spencer, we headed back to the B&B for a bit of down time. Hopefully she’ll feel better soon.