Time to open the bottom half of the suitcase. Goodbye Summer clothes and a very chilly hello to the Winter ones.
Sunday 22nd Jan … -1% Arrived into Edinburgh at 6.30 am collected the hire car and headed into the city centre as it was way too early to check into our B&B we had booked. Had a very long brisk walk trying very hard to find a coffee shop that was open. By mid morning lack of sleep was catching up with us and as it was a damp day decided a long lunch with a few reds was the order of the day.Checked into a great B&B and had an early night.
Day 2 …. Batteries charged we woke up to a beautiful crisp sunny morning. After a hearty Scottish breakfast (no Black Pudding for me ) we purchased a 4 pound all day bus ticket which was a task in itself. Got on the bus only to be told you had to have the exact change, Allen called out to a packed bus any one have change for a 20 ? Blank looks not a Scottish smile to be seen, so Allen sarcastically wished them a nice day and promptly hopped off the bus. Ok , let’s buy something from a chemist to break the 20…..7 pound later for a bottle of Magnesium (good for the body) 13 pound change we are ok, no it’s a ten pound note and coin and she won’t break it ! That’s all she has. Eek are you kidding me Al politely says… tablets we didn’t need (won’t refund) off he goes to two more shops until he buys something that we can pay 8 pounds exactly to get on the bus.
First stop Edinburgh castle, very quiet, no queues. Spent a couple of hours and throughly enjoyed it.
Walked the Royal Mile, full of colourful Cashmere shops, beautiful buildings, St Giles church, Gift shops galore and oodles of coffee shops that would have been very nice had they been open yesterday morning.Made our way down to Princess street where we bought our UK SIM cards. I am sure the young lad serving us was very thankful we had left after so many questions and not leaving the store before everything was confirmed to be working. Stopped at The Dome for morning coffee, a beautiful Georgian building and former bank where scrumptious high teas were been served etc but still full from breakfast opted just for coffee and a wee cake.
After taking in more of this lovely city, next stop was The Royal Yacht Brittania. Boarded another bus ( Edinburgh has some very swanky new double decker buses) Front seat upper deck, great spot for the views. What a perfect time to visit her Majesty’s (decommissioned in 2007 ) yacht. As it was late in the afternoon and January it was so quiet, we only saw a few other tourists on board. No wonder she shed a tear when Tony Blair decided to mothball it. Mrs Queen got very upset and even shed a tear in public over it.
We hopped back on the bus into town and ate at a traditional old pub, where a Scottish band complete with banjo and pipes etc played some great music….Al said the beer was great!
The next day we, meaning Allen drove up to Pitlochry in the Southern Highlands for a hike and lunch, it really is a pretty part of the world. We even called into an old village where Allens pal Arthur grew up. There was a Hydro station still in use so did the circuit and later in the year thousands if Salmon run but we are here too early. We then headed to Blair Castle but again it’s too early in the season to tour it.
After 3 greta days in Bonnie Scotland we drove down the Golf Coast Highway for a rendezvous with family in Newcastle and were treated to some great scenery and a cracking sunny day
One of the bridges at the Scottish/England border town Berwick On Tweed
A chilly day in Newcastle upon Tyne with Allens brother Noel and his wife Diedre, who have been looking after us for the past week or so.