Edinburgh Castle

May 20: Edinburgh

May 20, Edinburgh

We sailed into Queensferry and the ship dropped anchor near the railway bridge. It was going to be another fun-filled day with the ship’s tenders. Yeah! My mom wanted to tour the Royal Yacht and I wanted to experience Edinburgh on my own, so we split up for the day.

Her tour of the Royal Yacht was interesting. She got to see the both the working areas of the ship (machine room, bridge, etc.) and the formal rooms.

Royal Yacht
Royal Yacht

She was really impressed with the formal dining room that could seat 54 people for a formal meal. After her tour, she went on a drive around Edinburgh – and said that she saw me walking around the Royal Mile.

After my fun-filled tender ride (why not sit up on the top – it’s just a little breezy and damp today, nothing to worry about!), I got on a bus that took a group of us to the centre of Edinburgh.

Ship's tender
Ship’s tender

After a brief introduction into the old and new towns using one of the Hop On, Hop Off tours, I spent the day wandering around the Edinburgh Castle and then walking down the Royal Mile. The castle is impressive, standing atop a massive rock formation. As you can imagine, there are also great views!

Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle
Castle guard
Castle guard
Castle guards
Castle guards
Royal Mile
Royal Mile
St. Giles
St. Giles
View from castle
View from castle

Next to the castle, there is the Whisky Experience where you can even go for a ride in a whisky barrel. Needless to say, there are several whisky shops along the way. I continued my search for Stag’s Breath – and finally I have my prize! The man who sold it to me did not believe how hard it was for me to find it. I told him my sad tale, including someone trying to “fool me” into an inferior product. He laughed and said he was glad my search was over (it fits nicely in my new tea cozy, so it shouldn’t break on the say home).

If you want to get a kilt, this is also the place to go. Every other shop was a kilt maker, including another HR shop. Then, there were all the souvenir shops. That pretty much describes most of the Royal Mile.

There is some interesting architecture, especially with how the buildings have different numbers of floors in the front and back, however after a bit, I got bored with seeing the same shops. And, while Holyrood Castle lies at the opposite end of the Royal Mile, it was closed because Queen Elizabeth’s son Prince Edward was there attending an official meeting of the Church of Scotland. So, there was no real need to walk the entire mile, so I wandered off, thinking I might go to the gardens along Princes Street. By the time I got there, the weather had shifted and it was bloody cold. So, another change of plans brought me to a coffee shop for an espresso and lemon cake.

Eventually, I made it back to the ship in time for our special dinner reservations at the Italian restaurant, Sabittini’s. This restaurant is located on deck 16 at the aft of the ship. Mom and I had a perfect view of the railroad bridge and watched as the ship slowly left Queensferry. Dinner was excellent. The fresh-baked bread served with olive oil and balsamic vinegar; the pasta topped with a mushroom sauce that was amazing. My main dish was a veal chop cooked to perfection; mom choose “lobster three ways” which she really enjoyed. Dessert was a limencello “bomb.” It was a lovely way to end our day in Edinburgh.

Queensferry Bridge
Queensferry Bridge

More than anything, though, I need a sea day!

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