Don’t you love trying to get back on schedule after you change a bunch of time zones. I do…NOT! Awake this morning at 1:00 am, laid in bed until 2:00 and then gave up and came in the living room (I love AirBnBs for this very reason…we have a living room) and posted and did some other stuff before noticing the sun was going to come up at 4:44. So I was dressed and out walking at 4:30. I love taking early morning golden light photos and I was thrilled to get some great ones. Walked a little over five miles all over Edinburgh’s new and old towns. And as you can see, by the end of the day, I had walked even further.
I want to take a moment here to brag about Kathleen and her walking yesterday. She did more than 7.3 miles and more than 16,688 steps. WOW! I walk miles and miles each week but this is really something for her. Those are our respective walking tallies for yesterday above. Hopefully we wore off some of the food we ate.
I have to admit to you faithful readers that I started this post last night at 9:00 pm or so when we came back from our food tour. Between the long day and the great food and drink, I fell asleep right at the end of the first paragraph. It’s now almost 7:00 am on Thursday and I have already climbed Arthur’s Seat (more about that tomorrow) and I am working on this before I go get breakfast.
After my early morning walk, we had planned to go down and tour Holyrood Palace. On both our previous trips we had skipped the Palace for some reason. But when I had walked there on my pre-dawn photowalk, I discovered the the Lord High Commissioner of some such was in residence until Sunday and that the Palace was closed to tours. Damn! Guess we will just have to come back to Edinburgh again.
So after a quick breakfast, we walked up the Royal Mile and grabbed our Saturday rail tickets at Waverly Station and did a quick “Rick Steve’s Wee Tour of New Town.” It’s a tour from his Edinburgh Highlights book. We could have skipped where we ended up going on the “Wee Tour” as we wound up walking much of the same route on the food tour later but we had a nice morning. Made it back to the Canonsgate area in time to grab lunch at the Tollbooth Tavern where we had eaten three years ago. Still great food and great beers. It ought to be for a place founded in 1820. You would think they would have their act together by now. 😜
Then it was back to home for a short nap before our 5:00 pm food tour. We had booked this through a company called Eat Walk Tours and we met our guide Anastaziya (Scottish of Russian heritage) at our first restaurant at the base of the castle in the Grassmarket area. Anastaziya was AWESOME! It was her first tour (she had been on a bunch but this was her first one as a guide) and aside from having to check her notes from time to time, she was wonderful. Our tour was called the Old/New Town Tour and it did just that. Took us through the Old Town, around the Royal Mile and then over to Princes Street and the New Town. Along the way we stopped for five bites and three drinks and had a lot of splendid conversation. We were amazed that we were the only people on the tour, which I guess is a big benefit of booking on a weekday, so we got very special treatment.
The food and drink started with smoked salmon (farm-raised Atlantic, no further comment needed) and our next tastes included mash potatoes with some braised beef and blood sausage (good) that was accompanied by some outstanding raspberry gin and Prosecco (great). Then on to the Scotch Malt Whisky Society where we sampled a private label Scotch along with the haggis we had been expecting all day long, served with neeps and tatties. It was surprisingly good. Then on to what looked like from the outside to be a faux-Tudor cheesy, bar. Once inside it became a gorgeous and classy wine bar and quickly became my favorite stop of the day. The food included a plate of cheese, cured meats, carmelized onions accompanied by oatcakes and some wonderful bread. All that washed down with a super good Scottish lager. We finished at a very stylish place for dessert where we enjoyed an upscale version of a traditional Scottish desert—Cranachan. It’s raspberries, whipped cream and chocolate. Wonderful.
That’s our first full day and it was full. Weather was outstanding as it looks to be today. More tomorrow. Here’s some pics but there will be a lot more on my Flickr account linked at right. And just in case you didn’t realize it, you can click any individual picture in the collage and it becomes a slide show.
Eating good food is my favourite thing in the whole world. Nothing is more blissful. —Justine Larbalestier