Walking a significant part of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, up to the castle and down, and through many of the major attractions (up and down very windy staircases in every attraction), we thought we’d give our legs, knees, and feet a little rest today and take the bus. My Fitbit still buzzed in at over 10,000 steps, and we still came back to the hotel exhausted, but it did help to hop on a bus for the longer treks.
But first, let me tell you about the bagpipers in town. When we first arrived on Sunday, it was enjoyable to hear them playing in the background. They were all around the town. Day two it was okay, day three the sound got to be a little irritating, and by today, I was looking for the earplugs the airline gives you when you fly to help muffle the noise. It was just grating on my nerves so we decided to go out of town, get away from the crowds, and see what the outskirts of Edinburgh looked like.
On our way out we stopped into the Museum of Childhood. It was fun to take a trip back into the days of tinker toys, erector sets and such. There were places in the museum where you could stop and play with the toys. We resisted the temptation.
Next stop was the Royal Botanic Garden of Edinburgh. These are beautiful gardens that you can walk through for hours, bring a picnic to lunch on the lawn on benches, and just enjoy the serene beauty of the grounds. They had a series of “glasshouses” which we call greenhouses but come to think of it, our greenhouses are not typically green. Hmmm, I guess they are really glasshouses. Well, we can sort that out later. Anyway, it was a beautiful walk through the gardens on our way to the ocean/canal area for lunch today. While we were in the gift shop area Dick asked if this was the Al’s Garden Center of Scotland. (Al’s Garden Center is a local garden center in Oregon we visit a lot and has lots of plants and cute gifty things.)
We picked up the next bus and headed for the sea. Where the driver dropped us off was an inlet waterway. I don’t think he quite understood us, nor we him. That Scottish brogue plagued us again. However, we had a delightful walk down to this area.
Lunch was at the Finn & Bear right on the waterway. It was a beautiful day outside so everyone was getting a bit of sun in the outside eating area. I ordered scallops topped with hazelnuts and Dick ordered fish and chips. Do you see the size? It doesn’t even fit on the plate! Mushy peas are a “thing” that is served with a lot of meals here and they are actually good. I’m going to try to make some when we get home. Dick and I both have quite enjoyed them.
We spent a good deal of time here enjoying the sun, food, and drink. It was just delightful being away from the busy city. When it was time to catch the bus to return to the hotel we both looked at each other and realized no one had left bread crumbs, or paid attention to the streets we had just walked down. After the look of panic left our faces (well, the look of panic didn’t really leave my face until we got back to the bus stop), we started walking in the direction we thought we should be headed. Google maps didn’t work because I wasn’t hooked up to WiFi.
Dick took the lead and turned this way and that with confidence while I was looking for main streets where I could yell for help. Miraculously he found the bus stop. I have to tell you I was gobsmacked because I would have never found it on my own. Kudos to Dick! He earned an extra Ale this evening when we got back to the hotel.
All in all, it was fun riding the bus. Each time we got on we would say to each other – this is an adventure and inevitably it would be, no matter how well we read the map or thought we had planned it.
Before we leave the Hilton Hotel, I had to show you the hallway to our room from the lift. What you don’t see is that the floor is very uneven, it goes up and down, then down two stairs, and up a half flight of stairs then kind of like a skateboard park, only the ramps are carpeted. It was a real challenge getting down the hall sober, let alone after you’d been to a pub or two. Just saying.
Packing tonight – tomorrow we travel to Wales!