Blogs from Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland, United Kingdom, Europe - page 2

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Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh June 16th 2015

...and no, it's not Sam and I stumbling into furniture after too much whiskey ;o) Day 3 in Edinburgh - we've had a blast here! We are excited to be moving on toward St Andrews tomorrow, although a bit nervous about picking-up our rental car and learning how to drive on the opposite side of the road. Today was a great day - but very busy. We started out by visiting the Britannia, the former yacht to the Queen until it was decommissioned in 1997. Highlights of the yacht include the state dining room, the Queen's bedroom, and the Queen's office. We spent about two hours exploring the yacht, and enjoyed lunch at the tea shop on board. Very exciting - how often do you have the opportunity to explore a former royal residence and see ... read more
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Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh June 15th 2015

Monday was a fun and very busy day! According to Fitbit, we walked about 10 miles and 100+ flights of stairs. We started off by visiting the Palace at Holyroodhouse - the Queen's official Scottish residence. The Queen spends one week a year in residence during the summer. Fortunately this was not the week in residence, so we were able to tour the palace and grounds. Very pretty, especially the grounds. After Holyrood House, we moved on to Arthur's Seat. At about 822 feet, Arthur's Seat is the main peak in a group of hills in Edinburgh's city center. Although the walk was a bit challenging, the view at the top was well worth it. It's a perfect panoramic view of the city, and it felt good to sit for a while before beginning our hike ... read more
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Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh June 14th 2015

We successfully made it to Scotland this morning! Very low-key flight, although neither of us slept much on the plane. We were able to drop our bags off at the hotel (awesome location - pretty much walking distance to everything tourist-y!), and then went exploring around Edinburgh. My first priority was breakfast, because I was super hungry/near hangry. We found a cute Café on the Royal Mile, and had a traditional English fry breakfast and a latte. Much needed! We wanted to take it easy-ish today, so we decided to activate our 24 hour hop-on, hop-off bus tour pass this morning. Also very helpful to begin learning the city. Unfortunately, we stayed on the bus longer than we anticipated because we both took impromptu naps during the first tour loop. We finally hopped off the bus ... read more
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Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh June 9th 2015

Good morrow from across the pond. I am currently in Edinburgh, Scotland. The "we" that is to be mentioned in the subsequent blog posts is comprised of me, my mom and dad, my lovely girlfriend Abigail, and my brother David, who lives here in Edinburgh. I just finished my first year of medical school on Friday, after which I drove home (arriving at 12:30 am Saturday morning), and we flew out from O'Hare at 3:50 pm. It's all been a whirlwind. Aside from the minimal jetlag, the travel went smoothly and David met us at the Edinburgh aiport. (If you recall from my previous visit to Edinburgh a year and a half ago, my Edinburgh airport experience was not very pleasant - it consisted of me walking from the airport toward the city at 2:00 AM ... read more
Pork belly and ribs and Ye Olde Golf Pub
Inside Edinburgh Castle
Calton Hill

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh June 2nd 2015

2 June what a night the wind just stronger and stronger and neither of us slept well - the van was shaking for the wrong reasons. Still very windy but dry as we packed up to move onto Edinburgh We liked Whins though and look forward to returning there on the way back south. Journey to Edinburgh was easy enough with a following wind we averaged 36 mpg. The road through the Borders and Midlothian was lovely (A702) arrived at caravan park amid strong winds but sunshine. Decided not to put the awning up until the next day when the wind will hopefully have dropped. However this was the start of a number of problems beginning the car making a Strange noise, then the TV packed up followed by a long drive around Edinburgh looking for ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh May 29th 2015

Our last day of the tour began around 9am again. We headed South towards Edinburgh, stopping first to see a rather unusual church (or kirk), St. Conan's Kirk on Loch Awe. This was a church mostly built by one family, the Campbells, so they wouldn't have to travel so far to the church in another town. One of their sons was an architect, so he decided to design it himself. If you look at the photo, you'll see how weird the design is. There seems to be little in common between one section and another, or even one tower and another. Also, it has the only rabbit gargoyles I've ever heard of. Rabid Rabbits? I'll admit I like the inside. It was elegant but simpe, without all the gaudy gold and stuff often found. Shortly after ... read more
Outside (back) of church
Kilchum Castle
Great Hall of Doune Castle

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh May 26th 2015

Hi Everyone, This past weekend was Edinburgh, Scotland. Haggis - Scotch - Deep Fried Mars Bars - Iron Bru Scotland is truely a wonderful place for people who don't care about heart disease. Otherwise, it's a nice place to visit. I wouldn't recommend making a trip solely out of Edinburgh. Renting a car and putzing around the Highlands would be much more fulfilling. Cheers, Joel... read more
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Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh May 24th 2015

Today our two main goals are a free walking tour of Edinburgh and possibly a tour of Edinburgh Castle. After a short but fairly decent night's sleep, we woke up around 8am, and after a confusing shower, we headed out to join a free walking tour that started in front of Starbucks at 10am. Okay, the confusing part of the shower was figuring out where to put what while taking a shower in a mini-shower, and not parading around naked, since it was a co-ed bathroom. Now, back to the tour. The tour is offered by Sandeman's New Europe and is free because the guides work only for tips. Supposedly, that makes them work harder to earn your tip. Our guide, David Maitland, was from the Highlands of Scotland, had a definite Scottish accent, but was ... read more
Crazy Dave
Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle 2

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh May 23rd 2015

Well, first of all, we made it to Edinburgh Scotland, tired, but in one piece. We left Pensacola around 11am, had a quick flight to Charlotte North Carolina, and made it to our departure gate for over 5 hours before our scheduled departure time of 6:10. Unfortunately, there was a problem with our plane that was coming from Dublin, and we didn't board until after 8pm. Somehow, the pilot made up most of the time lost and we arrived in Dublin around 7am or so, Friday (5 hour time difference and 6 hour flight). We got our passports stamped and went looking for our RyanAir departure gate for the leg to Edinburgh. Since we'd arrived at Terminal 2 on American Airlines (US Airways), we had to walk to Terminal 1 before we could get any information ... read more
Dublin Terminal 2
Teeth Cleaners
View from our hostel

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh May 10th 2015

Pandas, koalas and dinosaurs - those were my goals of the day and I did not fail, because Glyn and I went to Edinburgh zoo. We took the bus as Saul had warned us that parking was stupidly expensive and places not always guaranteed. We were super lucky in that we were able to see the very elusive female panda because her bed was being cleaned and she was stuck outside getting annoyed. As soon as she could, she was off and glad to see the back of us. By complete contrast, the male panda was totally laid back, lounging in a large tub, chowing down on bamboo. It was impressive how quickly he stripped down that bamboo, but given that this is all he does, he should be pretty deft at it. The koalas were ... read more
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