How long we visited: 3 nights
Where we stayed: a flat booked through airbnb.ca
Best breakfast: Urban Angel
Fond memory: the Real Mary King's Close tour
Tuesday April 8th
The last time I had the chance to write we were on the train to Edinburgh. I'm happy to say we made it to Waverly station without incident, and neither of us worse for wear.
The true trial began when we left the train station in search of our accommodation.
And search we did.
We wandered the streets of Edinburgh for over an hour, hauling suitcases weighing close to forty-five pounds.
I really shouldn't use the term 'wander' - Mark had us traveling at a grueling pace (grueling for me at least) and it was quite a warm afternoon which made our trek feel like a vigorous workout instead of the ten minute stroll it was supposed to be.
After searching for an hour and realizing our searching had brought us an hour further than necessary, we decided to satisfy our ravenous hunger at an Italian restaurant we stumbled across called Vittoria, where I enjoyed the best calzone I have ever consumed (it was the size of my head and I ate the whole thing).
Having filled our bellies, and with renewed strength and determination, we set out once again.
I'm happy to say we found our destination and got inside without much further incident.
We marveled at the size of the flat, especially in comparison with our room in Oxford. We settled in and we were just getting ready to call it a night when we heard to people come through the front door.
It turns out there are three rooms in the flat where people can stay during their travels. We were unaware of this upon booking but it's turned out fine so far.
In fact, as we were getting ready to sleep, I went to go get Mark and I some water from the kitchen... and our door wouldn't open. We both tried several times but it was no use! The doorknob was broken from the inside and we were trapped.
Fortunately, there was another couple in the flat who we were able to call over to rescue us.
We survived but our door could not be fully closed (until the next day when the owner of the flat came to fix it).
I'm happy to say that our night was afterward uneventful.
Wednesday April 9th
We are back on the train bound for King's Cross station in London (and yes, I will be keeping an eye out for Platform 9 3/4!)
Yesterday, our last full day in Scotland, was fantastic! We went on a day tour with Rabbie's to St. Andrews and surrounding areas.
There were eight people and the tour guide on the tour which made the excursion quite enjoyable.
Our tour guide's name was Rolland and he was a delightful storyteller and extremely knowledgeable about Scotland and the areas we were traveling through.
Our first stop was to see the Forth Bridge - a gigantic train bridge running parallel to the Forth Road Bride (which is newer and, interestingly, slowly deteriorating and falling down).
We then crossed the Forth Road Bridge and enjoyed the beautiful Scottish countryside and coastline until making our next stop at a small Fife fishing village. We had an hour to explore so Mark and I visited the beach and a small pub.
From there it was on to St. Andrews - a coastal university town boasting a famous golf course - where we had time to explore and have lunch.
Mark and I visited the ruins of an old castle and went underground to see the tunnels armies had built in order to lay siege on the castle.
We were blessed with beautiful weather and the coastal views were fantastic.
The great weather lent well to our visit to an old cathedral and graveyard where we were able to climb a long way up to the bell tower. We enjoyed a panoramic view of the city and coastline at the top.
From the cathedral we went for lunch at a small pub, then used our last half hour to wander the shops.
We were then taken to Falkland Palace where many royals and nobles (most notably Mary Queen of Scots and her family) spent hunting holidays.
My favourite part of visiting Falkland Palace was seeing the world's oldest tennis court where Mary famously played tennis in her undergarments. Go Mary!
Thanks for stopping by and reading about our time in Scotland! If you have any questions about our experience, please leave a comment - I would love to hear from you!
Have a beautiful day,