Speeding toward Edinburgh

August 2, 2016 - Edinburgh, United Kingdom

After a tough night on a hard mattress it was lovely to get a cooked breakfast plus cereal and toast and good cofee. Margaret dubbed our chef Manuel and it was difficult to get a handle on his quite fluid accent. He greeted people with Hola but was sometimes more Italian, sometimes a little French and sometimes just very Manuel. The bacon was good, the poached eggs popped in to glorious, runny, golden yolks and the toast had the crusts cut off. A good way to start the day. Oh and did I mention the plunger coffee was good.

We walked around to the station and even took the short cut now that we know York so well. We had plenty of time for the train but Margaret had seen on the internet that some train services had been delayed by a bridge collapse in Barrow-upon-Soar so we thought there may be some problems for us as well. Beside that, there was no point in hanging around the guest house now that breakfast was finished, our bags were packed and the rain had stopped.

We sat in a waiting room and watched the departure information until our train appeared and was shown to be on time. While we waited I went off to find a Royal Mail box to post a Thank You card to Will and Bex. I thought they would be easy to find but in the end I asked a Bus Warden who sent me to the War Memorial square, not that far away, and there was the red cast iron box. Mission accomplished. We read for a while before making our way to Platform 10 and the train soon arrived. This time our positioning was much better and we were right at the door of our carriage when it stopped. Good, we were first on board and had a place for our luggage and reserved seats. I sat and typed up our journal entry for York and Margaret flitted about to vacant windows to catch snaps of the passing countryside and towns.

We saw a little glimpse of Newcastle and a flash of Berwick on Tweed as we headed to Scotland and in two and a half hours were rolling into Waverley Station in Edinburgh at 2:10pm. It was only a short walk from the station around by Waverley Bridge and back along Market Street to Jeffrey Street and the Jurys Inn. A short but bumpy walk with the suitcases as there were building works, traffic barriers and blocked footpaths all making the wheeling of suitcases difficult, particularly on Jeffrey Street. Check-in was no problem although we thought after that opting for the room with a view (looking towards the station and Calton Hill) may have been a mistake especially as we were warned that it would be noisy. To exacerbate that problem there was no air-conditioning so the windows would probably need to be open to sleep under Edinburgh weight quilts.

A few minutes were taken to unpack and we walked back to Waverley Street to catch the Big Red Bus. In this case it was a Big Green Bus as we had been on the Red Bus Sightseeing circuit in 2013 and thought the route of the Green Bus promised more for us this time. The tour covered some of the same areas, of course, but a slightly different route and we enjoyed Ann's commentary in a fine Edinburgh accent.

The second last stop was near Rose Street and it was getting close to dinner time (a long time since Manuel's breakfast) so we alighted from the bus there and walked off in search of Rose Street Brewery, a drink and a meal. My choices had to be put aside for fear of garlic poisoning so we both ended up with the same meal; Haggis, neeps and tatties for a starter (not the full haggis but rather just a spicy meat and oat mixture with no skin), followed by lamb rump with mash, asparagus, peas and beans, washed down with two pints of the Stewarts 80/- dark ale. Yes that was two pints each, but it was luverly.

After dinner and coffee we walked back to Hanover Street and caught the Green bus back to Waverley Bridge where we were just in time to jump on the last Green Bus of the day and do the complete circuit once more. This time we thought discrimination was the better thing and sat downstairs out of the wind and drizzle. This bus was completely open on the top deck so that was only for a few hardy souls and Alistair, the guide. He made the final tour interesting and amusing and he really knew that no-one was getting off unless it was a stop near their hotel.

It was only a bit after 8pm when the circuit was complete but we had to be catching the 5am Airport Express tomorrow so we thought we should try to get some sleep before our long day of travel home. Just doing the calculations is frightening. I will set my alarm for 3am (that's just my madness) to aim for walking out of the hotel at 4:40am for the bus. So wake here at 3am Edinburgh time and land at 5:30pm (8:30am Edinburgh time) the day after so that is 29.5 hours plus and 1.5 hours for customs and to pick up the car and 1.5hours to get home .... mmm lets not think what that adds up to.


A glimpse of Newcastle
On the way to Edinburgh
Arthur's Seat
Gryfriars Bobby
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