Thursday – Edinburgh
Knowing it was our last day in Edinburgh, we made a list of things to do and off we went.
Mail my brochures home, check! Buy small carry-on for Brian to take home some of the clothes from my suitcase and lighten my load, since I’ll be traveling solo, check (John Lewis, a UK department store, had an awesome one). Report missing car park chit (which Brian left on the table at breakfast and was thrown in the rubbish by our server), check! Ok, now off to find Jackie’s pub! On the way over to Rose Street, we popped into the Scottish National Gallery and toured a few rooms, including the lower level which houses paintings of Scottish artists. We walked through a market on Castle Street, turned left on Rose St., and there we found Dirty Dick’s Pub, check. Our friends, Rob and Lorraine’s daughter Jackie worked there while she was traveling through Europe. So we stopped and had lunch and e-mailed photos to Rob (and as you can see by the photo, lunch was delicious), check.
After lunch we headed to The Royal Mile and straight up to Edinburgh Castle. We caught the guided tour, then looked at the Scottish Honours (Royal Jewels) and went through the Royal Apartment, including the room in which Mary, Queen of Scots, gave birth to her son. The ceiling in that room, painted with the Royal insignia, which Mary no doubt was looking at at the time, was still intact! We got out of the chilly and blustery wind and warmed up in The Red Coat Cafe with coffee and some fantastic shortbread.
We returned down the full Royal Mile, which contains dozens if not hundreds of tartan shops, to Holyrood Palace, where Her Majesty stays whilst in her Scottish domain. The Palace was closed, but at least the gift shop was open, so I picked up another Christmas tree ornament, this one a bear dressed as a Scottish Dragoon, check.
There still was one thing on our list, though, a gift for Echlin. We made it up a winding road back up to Princes St. and North Bridge Road, through a demonstration in support of the opposition to a British intervention in Syria, past some petitioners against the Bed Tax (whatever that is) and found some trendy shops on Georges Street, check!
Back to the hotel through the mist for dinner at Elliot’s to make use of our £10 coupon (both food and presentation were fabulous). Then to the front desk to arrange a bagged breakfast and a 4:30 AM cab to the airport for me, check!