Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Our Weekend in Edinburgh, Scotland

Happy Tuesday everyone! 

It's been a week since we've been back from our trip to Scotland, England, and Ireland so I thought it was high time to share my photos. First stop? Scotland!

Cam had a work meeting in northern England that started on a Monday, so we had decided that we wanted to take a few days beforehand to see Scotland. So the Thursday prior to his meeting, we flew out of Reno to Glasgow, Scotland. The tough part of living on the West Coast is that it takes so long to get from here to Europe! Getting to Scotland from Reno took a full day, and so we arrived in Glasgow bright and early on Friday morning. After getting our luggage, we headed out to get our rental car. I was a little nervous about renting a car since they drive on the other side of the road in Scotland, but Cam was convinced we'd be fine...and we were (I think after renting a car in Israel, he's confident to drive anywhere!).

 After traveling for 24 hours, we were happy to see a Starbucks in the Glasgow airport!

 It was weird sitting on the other side of the car at first, but Cam did a great job driving and it really wasn't too bad. We drove from Glasgow to Edinburgh, about an hour away, to spend a long weekend and headed strait to our bed & breakfast. We stayed at a Ramsay's B&B and absolutely loved it! The owners were so friendly and hospitable, we felt like we were staying with family. It was located very close to many of Edinburgh's attractions and very reasonably priced. I'd highly recommend it if you're ever in Edinburgh!

 When we made our reservation, they only had a smaller room left...it was a little cozy, but perfectly fine for us for the weekend!

 The dining room where they served us a full Scottish breakfast each morning, complete with haggis and blood pudding! (We tried both and they weren't bad)

 The entryway...I really loved the whole vibe

 After checking into the B&B, we headed out to do an afternoon walking tour. What we didn't realize is just how cold it was in Edinburgh. We're used to chilly temps here in Tahoe, but that damp Scotland cold is no joke--it cuts to your bones! We were underdressed for a 3 hour walking tour of the city but tried to stick it out as best we could. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable took us around to a lot of the city's sights, but it was just brutally chilly so it was a little hard to focus.

 
 Our tour stopped for a break at a pub called Frankenstein's (which was actually an old church, kind of cool!) and Cam and I decided that we were done with the walking tour portion of the afternoon. We tipped our tour guide and told him we were staying at the bar instead of continuing on with the tour because we were honestly so cold.

 This is what walking around all day in the freezing cold after traveling for an entire day prior looks like. Bleh.

 After warming up a little, we decided to check out the Scotch Whisky Experience! Scotch is a big part of Scottish culture, and this fun tour was a great way to learn about its history. 

 You got to ride in a whisky barrel to learn how it's made!

 There were lots of Disney-esque specials effects

 Then we got to try some Scotch whisky and learned how what part of Scotland it comes from influences the flavor. 

 For the final part of the tour, we got to see the world's largest scotch collection...it was pretty incredible! 


 After the whisky tour, we had dinner at a great French restaurant near where we were staying...and then proceeded to go back to the B&B and crash! We were pretty exhausted, but I've found the best way to fight jet-lag is to just try and get on local time and not nap when you arrive! 

After getting a good night's sleep, we headed out to explore Edinburgh on Saturday morning...in the rain. (I wouldn't exactly suggest March as a month to visit Scotland, just FYI) Fairly near our hotel was a giant shopping center with a huge department store called John Lewis. This store had everything! (And we conveniently needed to cut through it to get where we were going)

I love that they call craft supplies "Haberdashery"

 After walking through the store (which was so cute), we headed out to explore the city, equipped with our umbrellas and rain coats.

 This looks like a cartoon, but the weather was just that windy!
 Inside Jenner's, another big (and beautiful) department store

 The Scott Monument, which honors Scottish author Sir Walter Scott


Even though it was rainy, the city was still very charming and beautiful.

 Me with short hair...just kidding. Also, I didn't realize how cold it was going to be in Scotland so I ended up having to wear pretty much every layer I brought while we were walking around. Literally, under my rain jacket I have on a long sleeve shirt, a thick sweater, and a fleece, hence my rain jacket looking too small. I brought so many clothes on our trip, but if I had it to do over again, I would have packed a longer, warmer, and cuter jacket since it's basically what I'm wearing in every single picture! Oh well, live and learn. 

 I loved all the stone buildings, so pretty!

Next on our list of sights to see was the famous Edinburgh Castle. It sits up on a bluff and offered great views of the city.

 That hill in the distance is the famed Arthur's Seat, as in King Arthur

 Statue of William Wallace, as in Braveheart


There was a cemetery for soldiers' dogs, so sweet :)
 Scottish National War Memorial

 You couldn't take photos inside but it honors soldiers from various wars

 We also got to see the Honours of Scotland--the crown, sceptre, and sword, along with the Stone of Scotland, which was used to crown Scottish monarchs. The country has a really interesting history, so it was cool to learn more about it.

The main tourist drag in Old Town Scotland is called the Royal Mile, and it's the road that runs from Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood Palace. 

 
 We ate lunch at Deacon Brodie's Tavern on the Royal Mile; Deacon Brodie is an infamous figure in Scottish history that inspired The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

 The food was just ok, but the atmosphere was neat!

 I absolutely loved the way people in Scotland talked, they had the best accents ever! Also, they really do use the word "wee" to describe things that are small and it's adorable.

 After lunch, we visited the famous St. Giles' Cathedral on the Royal Mile. The church is significant for a number of reasons, one being the role it played in the Reformation in Scotland and it's regarded as the Mother Church of Presbyterianism.


In exploring the city on Saturday, we saw was the famous statue of Greyfriars Bobby. Supposedly this dog guarded the grave of his owner for 14 years until he died. It's really a cute little statue, and a very popular thing to see in Edinburgh.


We were getting kind of tired of walking around in the cold so we decided to check out the National Museum of Scotland. It's enormous and filled with so many interesting things. It not only chronicles the entire history of Scotland, but also features many other cool exhibits as well. Plus, admission is free so it's definitely a great place to explore on a rainy day.


After the museum, Cameron had to stop by Cadenhead's Whisky Shop to get some of his own Scotch Whisky. The store was something we saw on the Rick Steves' episode we watched about Scotland (because we are huge nerds and LOVE Rick Steves). 

 For dinner, we decided to try out The Cafe Royal, a beautiful Victorian pub and restaurant. We had to wait for a long time to get a table on the restaurant side, so we hung out in the pub while we were waiting. The weekend we were in town, Scotland was playing Wales in rugby so there were a ton of Welsh people in town. We got to talk to both some Scottish and Welsh people in the pub and everyone was so friendly and talkative. 

 We finally got seated in the restaurant side of Cafe Royal and it was worth the wait. We had a great dinner, but our waitress on had a little bit of trouble with our DSLR.

 Sunday we headed out of Edinburgh, but I had to snap a photo of these U of M colored doors first--GO BLUE! Edingburgh is such a charming city and the people were so so nice! Everyone was super talkative (I literally couldn't get a word in edgewise and that's saying something!) and everyone was just very friendly. I'd love to go back, but I'd definitely like to go in the summer next time!

 After leaving Edinburgh, we headed out of town towards northern England. On the way, we stopped at this really interesting church, the Rossyln Chapel. It was featured in the book the Da Vinci Code and some of the movie was also filmed here. The stonework inside the church was absolutely incredible, but unfortunately no photos were allowed inside.

 Also, it was snowing when we first got to the church...

 ...but by the time we left it was super sunny!

We headed south from Scotland towards northern England and the countryside was so gorgeous. Rolling green hills, quaint little towns, and sheep grazing everywhere. We should have stopped to take some photos, but honestly at this point the jet-lag was really catching up with me and I spent a good part of the drive dozing! 

By dinner time, we arrived in a town called Thirsk, which was the home of James Alfred Wight, a famous country veterinarian who had a series of beloved books about his life and who is better known as James Herriot. These books are some of Cam's favorites, so it was neat to be able to check out the little town. Unfortunately, we arrived after the little museum was already closed but we were able to get dinner at a local pub before heading to our hotel.


It was snowing by the time we finished dinner, and absolutely frigidly cold! But luckily we had no issues getting to our final destination in England, a town called Warrington, which is halfway between Manchester and Liverpool. I actually didn't take one picture with our regular camera while we were there as Cam was in work meetings all day and I was working from the hotel the entire time we were there. I did snap a few Instagrams while we were there (which you can see here) but other than that, it was kind of nice to have some days to just work and relax. Our hotel was great, we had some good meals, and rested up before heading to Dublin, Ireland for St. Patrick's Day! I'll have those pictures soon! Xoxo

PS: I'm linking up with Helene in Between for Travel Tuesday!

21 comments:

  1. The Michigan door picture made me laugh..super cute. Go Buckeyes!

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  2. I love this! the trip looks so fun! Starbucks in Glasgow :)

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  3. I love Scotland! you got tons of wonderful pictures! It makes me miss it so much! I never drove though, or had my family drive! that would be so weird!
    thanks so much for linking up!!

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  4. Such gorgeous pictures!! What an incredible trip. My husband never seems to want to go to Europe, but maybe if I show him the Scotch tour in Scotland he could be convinced!! :)

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  5. Amazing pictures! The UK is top on my list of places to visit!

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  6. Love your photos! I've always wanted to visit! What a cute place you stayed too!

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  7. I love all of these, makes me super jealous!!!

    xxS

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  8. Looks like such a great time! Your photos have officially made me want to go there! :)

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  9. Wow! Your pictures are amazing! I would love to visit Europe one day. And omg the room you stayed in?! How did you not feel claustrophobic? So cute though :-)

    New follower from the link up today. So glad I found your blog!

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  10. This is SO beautiful -- I've never been to Scotland, but I've always wanted to visit. IT looks like you had a fantastic time!
    xo Josie
    www.winksmilestyle.com

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  11. I want to go! I want to goooo!!! Everything about this has me just itching to travel! I especially love that you ditched your tour guide for the pub ;) andddd your pink rain boots!
    xoxo

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  12. These are great photos! I LOVE that entry way...I need to do something like that in my apartment!

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  13. you two are such world travelers!! man i want to tag along on your next trip :-) your pink hunters are so cute and very appropriate for the weather you had while you were there. great trip re-cap jane

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  14. Great pictures from Edinburgh. I visited there in the fall a few years ago. I loved it! It was pretty chilly then, too...but luckily no rain! Look forward to seeing your Dublin post. I did Edinburgh and Dublin on the same trip as well. Both great cities!

    Andrea
    alhadventures.blogspot.com

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  15. Looks like a fun trip! I visited Edinburg years ago and loved it, charming place and people!

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  16. New to your site and totally stalking your Edinburgh and Dublin posts... I'm planning our trip there in the Fall! :)

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Your sweet words make my day! :)

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