To sum up our day we took 33,000 steps and we took a sightseeing break back at the apartment to take naps and watch “Back to the Future 3.” We had some ups and downs today literally and figuratively. Edinburgh has a castle and a Royal Mile that literally sits above much of the city. They also have other topographical features with decent climbs. Plus they have caverns. Caverns full of mystery and intrigue. Caverns many steps down. And then there’s our 5th floor Airbnb. 60 steps one way. We also had hangry set in twice. Both times when we were trying to be proactive about eating something. Both times when we may have tried to cram one more thing in before eating. Worse as they set in there may have been words. Teenagery angst-ridden words. Not sure cranky crackers would have been enough. At lunch, the homemade mint, Carmel brownie bite was hardly enough. Amazingly, as fast as hangry hit it went away. Food has a way of setting things back right again. Even if one of the food solutions was Five Guys. Possibly our biggest meal fail yet on this trip. But it was 8:40pm and we had been turned away by four pubs with long waits. BTW, If you are a chef looking for work, Edinburgh has the job for you. Tables weren’t the hang ups but rather backed up kitchens.
Food aside, today was a great day. Possibly my favorite of the trip. Edinburgh is a special place. I was up before 7:30am local time for the first time this trip. Getting back to Carolina time shouldn’t be an issue at all give how I have hardly deviated from it. I laced up my running shoes to get another country I’ve run in under foot. I think this makes twelve for me.
Somewhere I read that one should run to the top of Albert’s Seat, a Scotlandesque rise in the landscape with great views. They were right, that run didn’t disappoint. I came down from the seat on the Leith town side and enjoyed a short jaunt into the town neighboring Edinburgh. A cool beach town with what seemed like a large running community. Once back to the apartment I experienced the world’s smallest shower. It made an airplane restroom feel nice and roomy.m. Another seemingly notable item is that UK really takes their hot water seriously. One doesn’t make that mistake twice.
We hit the road at 10:30am for the Royal Mile via The Grassmarket. We learned in a tour today that the Grassmarket was home to a hay market and the poorest of the poor in the old days. Today it was home to my first smoothie of the trip and for a land with little ice they did quite well. I miss smoothies.
Once fueled up with Smoothies and lunch we headed to our Ghost tour of Edinburgh Caverns. These were a pretty amazing set of caverns that existed after a bridge a king commissioned to get rich folk to the University without crossing paths with the poor folk. It created many nooks and crannies where poor folks gathered for not great reasons. Crime. Body snatching. Etc. The tour was awesome. Good history of Edinburgh and creepy too.
After the tour we decided more history and touring was needed. Or there was this huge castle on a hill and it felt weird not to go try to learn at least one thing about it. We learned it was 12-13 centuries old and had one of the oldest buildings in Scotland – the chapel. It was also apparently one of the smallest and definitely most crowded too. We also learned the coolest part of the tour was the view, followed by the prisons followed by the whisky tasting.
Next a break at the apartment after a cool distraction of some awesome gelato that was handmade daily. The cherries and marscapone was an incredible flavor. Naps. A WiFi recharge. Then back to the streets for more aimless wandering. Such wandering may have gotten the best of Stewart. She cracked and was showing signs of needing food immediately. This at the time that we realized we weren’t in our normal early bird eating hour of 6pm but rather that we were in the normal Scottish eating hours of 7:30-9:30pm. This resulted in four strikes and more wandering. Ultimately after the fifth shutout we broke down and feasted on, wait for it, Five Guys. Total. Food. Fail. To make up for this, Cindy and me delivered the kids to our apartment and found a nearby pub for a pint on our own.
Tomorrow, we travel to York and maybe, just maybe an English soccer match. Fingers crossed.