Trip Start Jan 26, 2013
Trip End Mar 07, 2013

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Flag of United Kingdom  , Scotland,
Tuesday, February 19, 2013

After much contemplation, I decided I needed to see a piece of Scotland while I was on the island. With plans already in place for travel after London, the only time I have to go is this last week. I booked a same-day return flight to Edinburgh for myself, & once I arrived to city center, any regrets were out the window! The morning sun behind the Victorian gothic architecture was absolutely breathtaking! Instead of trying to navigate a whole new bus system, I just got one of those hop-on hop-off tours but spent a good deal walking around on my own- Edinburgh isn't too big. With only about 8 hours to sightsee, I bypassed most of the museums so that I could spend time in Edinburgh castle and Palace of Holyroodhouse.

The airport express bus dropped me off conveniently by Waverley Bridge. The first thing that caught my eye in Princes Street Gardens was the Scott Monument in the forefront of The National Gallery of Scotland & Royal Scottish Academy. I hopped on the big green double-decker, which headed toward Charlotte Square before doubling back to Edinburgh Castle. My guided tour of the castle conveniently ended at 10 'til 1 so I stayed to watch the One O'clock Gun. 

 Walking back from the castle, I decided to stop in Grassmarket for some lunch.  I chose the White Hart Inn, supposedly the oldest pub in Edinburgh, over Maggie Dickson's, named after the woman who survived public hanging. Although I'm usually a brave epicurean, I couldn't make myself try the Scottish classic dish: haggis, neeps, & tatties, nor have a drink of whiskey. My choice of Mull of Kintyre (scottish cheddar) Macaroni Cheese was a good one!! After lunch, I caught the bus toward Palace of Holyroodhouse, one of the Queen's official residences. From here I walked back to the starting point, along Calton Rd admiring the Calton Hill Observatory & Nelson Monument above me. I somehow underestimated my remaining time so did not go up the hill to get a good look at the National Monument (maybe my next trip?).

I didn't get back to my London Bridge flat until midnight, incredibly exhausted after a whirlwind 19-hour trip going off no sleep from the night before. I was out cold the minute my head hit my pillow- I didn't even need my earplugs or headphones!! I'm so glad I went to this beautiful city, & would love to come back, perhaps to play some golf?!
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