Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Carlisle England to Edinburgh Scotland

Monday September 5, 2011
Hilariously, Ty and I skipped out on "Full English" breakfast at our B&B in Carlisle, only to find it the only thing on the menu at the breakfast counter in the market.

Crossing into Scotland, we drove north east on narrow country roads for about 80 miles stopping in Stowe for a break.  There, we found a dilapidated old church but missed the last service by 136 years.

By 2 pm, we pulled onto the dual motor way into Edinburgh and parked just off of Princess Street with its high end brand name shops and the jewel of its crown, the Balmoral Hotel (where one if the Harry Potter novels:  "Deathly Hallows" was written) 

Rooms were tough to find and twice the price at that so we ended up at a Travel Lodge with no internet and then for dinner we walked the Royal Mile where a visual smorgasboard awaited us in both the parade of human flesh and the historical architecture.  I bought a traditional Scots shirt and  Macintosh blanket.

 For dinner, at the Royal McGregor, I had a tower of haggis, neeps and taties with a delicious rosemary gravity. Ty had his favourite standby of cod and chips and of course, on this his 20th birthday, we had a couple jagerbombs and beers. 

After dinner, Tyler picked a fight with a highlander which ended in a draw.  They became buds.

Then we took the world famous Mary King’s Close tour

which is a tour deep into the bowels of the city far into the foundations of tenaments that were rented in the 1600’s.  Despite the theatrics (lights, computer effects, ghosts, costumes, etc), we found it fascinating to have a look at the engineering of foundations that held 14 story stone buildings, crowded with the poor, as well as the sick and dying during the bubonic plague. Also uses as bomb shelters in the 1st and 2nd world wars, these domed rooms previously held 4 families each in the space of a Canadian Living room.

We ended our evening wishing Tyler a very happy birthday with drinks and Cuban cigars at a pub on Rose Lane.

Happy Birthday Ty!!!

Tomorrow, we have a car rental due since its been 7 days, we have no clean laundry and we are hoping to find a nice place to hang out for a few days. We will have to either keep the car, see the sights (Royal Mile, Princes Street, Edinburgh Castle), marina, etc.  and then head for points north, or we will dump the car and carry our packs around town looking for the right place. Wish us well!

London Taxi