Blogs from Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland, United Kingdom, Europe


Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh September 16th 2021

Another day, another breakfast. I decided to go for the Vegetarian Full Irish and was happy that I didn't have to wait as long as the day before. The breakfast was really nice and there was a lot of choice on it. There were poached eggs, baked beans, veggie sausages, vegan haggis, vegan black pudding, mushroom, spinach, tomato, potato scone, and soda farl. I'm tired just typing it all out. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the vegan haggis, it was utterly delicious and had a tasted of Worcestershire sauce to it, which couldn't have been used as it contains anchovies, so I would love to know what herbs and spices were used. The soda farl was really dense and filling and I enjoyed the potato scone as it was different to ones I've ... read more
Scottish National Portrait Gallery

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh September 15th 2021

After a good night's sleep I was ready for breakfast. The hotel we were staying in didn't provide breakfast, but had a deal with the adjacent pub, so we headed there. I was rather surprised at how busy the pub was as most of the tables were taken. We were shown to a table and given menus to peruse. I opted for the Eggs Royale. It didn't take long for our drinks to turn up, but we waited about 50 minutes for the food. I know the pub was quite busy, but most people appeared to have already eaten. One poor couple ended up having to cancel their order. I did really enjoy my meal when it did arrive, but I wish there had been some salad or something with it as the Eggs Royale looked ... read more
Entrance Basin
Royal Yacht Britannia

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh September 14th 2021

After a lovely journey up the coast on the train, we arrived at Edinburgh. It was a short walk from the station to where we were staying. Check-in was smooth and I loved the view from our room across the Grassmarket. I have only really briefly been to the Grassmarket before on previous trips to Edinburgh, so was looking forward to spending more time here. After getting sorted, it was time to head out and reacquaint myself with one of my favourite cities. I have been to Edinburgh numerous times over the years and there is always still more to see and do and revisit. The first place I wanted to visit was The Vennel Steps, which I had just come across online while looking for things to do near where we were staying. When I'd ... read more
View from the Vennel Steps
View from the Vennel Steps
Flodden Wall

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh August 23rd 2021

I started planning this trip to find Linda and my Scottish ancestors in October 2019, but due to the Covid pandemic the trip had to be postponed from June 2020 to June 2021 to August 2021 to August 2022. Many changes were made to my original planning blog as I found out more about our Scottish ancestors. Consequently, I cancelled that planning blog and am now publishing what I hope is the final version. I've been in search of ancestors for quite some time. In May 1995, before returning to the States after living 18 years in Europe, we visited Norway to find my paternal Carlsen ancestors who came from the island of Notteroy on the Oslo fjord (see ). More recently I've resumed my search. In May 2019, I visited Devon, England to visit the ... read more
Scots in full regalia in Glen Coe
Urquhart Castle and Loch Ness
Firth of Forth Bridge

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh August 7th 2021

Heygo are promoting special garden tours this month so on a very wet afternoon in Edinburgh I joined Paul for a lovely stroll around the Royal Botanical Gardens & I didn’t need a brolly although poor Paul did get a bit wet. Paul is Invisible Cities's first tour guide to offer tours on Heygo. An Edinburgh local himself, he is passionate about making people discover his city in a unique way. He is also a mentor to other local guides helping people who have experienced homelessness become walking tour guides of their own city. Invisible Cities is a multi-award-winning social enterprise that trains people who have been affected by homelessness to become walking tour guides of their own city. read more

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh July 23rd 2021

Dear All Yay! Greetings from Scotland! I’m afraid this doesn’t add to my country count, I’m still on 81, as I count England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as one country: the United Kingdom. But I am in Edinburgh, this is my first time in this city, and it also means I have now visited each of the UK’s four capital cities– London, Cardiff, Belfast and Edinburgh, in that order. It is wonderful to be here, and to be back on the travelling road again. Crossing over the border from England to Scotland on Tuesday afternoon was a breeze, as the train connected me directly from Doncaster, not far from Sheffield, to Edinburgh in a mere three hours, but the landscape did seem to change significantly. Pulling out of Doncaster, the train passed first through the ... read more
View from Calton Hill
Forth Bridge

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh January 31st 2021 31st January - Edinburgh The Good, The Bad & The Ugly. Today’s tour was quite inspiring because the tour guide Paul was once homeless! Now he is member of Invisible Cities, a social enterprise that trains people which have experienced homelessness to become walking tour guides of their own city - These are in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester & York with Cardiff being added shortly. On the Virtualtrips platform any tips are donated to the Invisible Cities projects. The tour did not disappoint as we learnt about The Good, The Bad & The Ugly of Edinburgh. We could include Excellent, that would be for Paul. We started high on the hill in front of Edinburgh Castle, geographically Edinburgh is located in the ring of 7 volcanic hills. The castle is perched ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh January 28th 2020

28th Jan: I have been to Edinburgh several times and it is a place I really, really like. I have seen and done quite a few of the major sights in the city, so I searched for some new or different (to me) things to do. Since I would be arriving in the early evening, I decided to do one of the ghost tours that go into the vaults under the city later in the evening. The tour I booked started at 9:30 pm. The meeting point was a short walk away from where I was staying. There were only about ten people on the tour so it wasn't too busy. First, we walked around to the back of St. Giles, which had been a graveyard. I think most of the bodies had been removed, but ... read more
Edinburgh Castle
Street Art
Surgeons' Hall Museums

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh October 23rd 2019

A Royal Scot – Edinburgh, October 2019 It’s been a few years since I last tramped over the uneven cobblestones of this ancient royal city, dodging the almost constant rain drops and sampling an excellent Shepherd’s Pie and a shot of smoky-peat whiskey in a local pub. I didn’t have the time during that last visit to really explore the alleyways, museums, hole-in-the-wall cafes or even Holyrood Palace – time to correct those errors. Edinburgh is a city that begs to be discovered, filled with quirky, come-hither nooks that tempt a visitor to explore just that little bit further afield. I began my latest adventure on a Virgin Atlantic nonstop red-eye flight from Las Vegas to Manchester in northern England, where my brother and I grew up, went to school and made the decision to emigrate ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh September 12th 2019

Today was the last day of my 2019 trip. It was a nice relaxing choice to put Edinburgh at the end. Today I visited a couple of minor museums and took a short guided tour. The tour was through “underground” Edinburgh although technically it was through some old alleyways, houses, and shops that had been built over and forgotten. Seattle has a similar underground tour. Edinburgh‘s tour is called The Real Mary King’s Close and it was part educational and part entertainment with some actual history, some ghost stories, and some humorous anecdotes. I also visited a museum about the history of the city of Edinburgh and found it more interesting than I expected for a free museum. I didn’t take many pictures, but I did take one of a brick that was made in the ... read more

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