Monday, January 28, 2008


“But to see her was to love her, Love but her, and love forever”~Robert Burns

The only thing I didn't like about my visit to Scotland was that I couldn't stay at least two months. Heck, I could have spent that long just in Edinburgh! What a beautiful city. So rich in history and such beautiful people.

We spent two days on the Royal Mile, a feast for the eyes, the senses, and taste buds! It is one Scottish mile long and is the main thorough fare through historical Edinburgh. You will see shops of all kinds, many Scottish souvenir stores complete with men in kilts playing bagpipes, dress shops, Kilt makers, woollen mills, wonderful eateries and pubs.

Of course, my weakness is history. I have a permanent crick in my neck from looking up at the beautiful architecture. It is a good thing the mile is pedestrian friendly because I didn't watch where I was going.

If you love history you will want to spend a lot of time at the castle. This place is amazing. It is like a little town of it's own and if you have an imagination as big as mine, you will want time to recreate what life must have been like there. Be sure and take advantage of the audio tour guide, better yet the guided tours. When I return I think I'll for that. It has great historical information. I had to laugh when I heard about the One O'clock Gun that is fired Monday through Friday. The reason it isn't shot at twelve, as one would think it should, is because of the famous frugality of the Scots. After all why shoot twelve shells when one will do?

And the Crown Jewels! Don't miss them. Don't miss any of it.

Walking in Edinburgh is a lot like walking in San Francisco. It seemed that we were always walking up hill, climbing steps, and walking up another hill. All that walking made us hungry, so we stopped in a pub called BUDDY MULLIGANS PUB. It was really roomy for a pub and the food was great. They have a soup of the day, jacket potatoes (we call them baked potatoes) fish cakes, Sandwiches, salads, all day breakfast, steaks, Irish Stew, Steak and Guinness Pie (yummmmmm) and, of course, haggis. I hadn't worked up my courage to try that yet.

We like Buddy's so much we went there for lunch and for dinner. It just so happened that the World Cup Rugby championship was being played that night between South Africa and England. We stayed to watch. I didn't know what I was watching, but it was exciting! Also try a place called The Malt Shovel. Ask for their Butternut Squash Soup.

Be sure to visit the National Art Gallery. My favorite painting was of Hagar crying. I could feel her emotion, her pain for her child. It is an incredible work.

Since we decided to extend the same courtesy to Scotland as we did in England by not driving, we walked everywhere. Being on a tight budget prevented us from taking taxies. This limited our tour of Edinburgh, but we managed to fill our days on and around the mile.

After a couple of days of city life, we escaped to the Firth of Fourth. I've already described our hostel experience there, but not the long, quiet, walks along this beautiful shore. The one thought that kept running through my mind was, I can't believe I'm here. We walked about a mile to a little harbour village called Cramound. On the way I noticed a building to my left. It was a Roman bath built centuries ago. It wasn't open to the public, but still, to see something built so long ago right there. What fun!

While we walked about Cramound we found a pub called Cramound Inn. We had fresh tomato soup, fish, fresh bread, oh, so good. The staff was friendly and went out of their way to serve us. We had a great experience there.

After only only four days in Edinburgh, we had to leave for Glasgow. Some day I want to return and prowl to my hearts content. Until that day arrives, I will relive my days there remember how much I love the town of Edinburgh.

Next up, Glasgow!

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