We’ve now had two nights here and we’re beginning to get adjusted to the time. Edinburgh is considerably further north than almost everywhere in th U.S. (In fact – further north than everywhere except Alaska and further north than a fair chunk of Canada as well). This means that right now, in late December, sunrise is at around 8:45 in the morning, and sunset is at around a quarter to four in the afternoon. This means that we really need to wake up in the dark if we want to get around to doing anything during the day. It also means that we’re still out doing things well after dark.
We began with breakfast in the wonderful Kildonan Lodge Hotel (see yesterday’s post). Twenty-Two-Year-Old had the full Scottish again, this time with black pudding. I had the vegetarian full Scottish, with veggie sausage, which was much better than the veggie sausage in the U.S. After breakfast we set out for the Scottish National Gallery. Where it became apparent that Twenty-Two-Year-Old was not primarily interested in viewing paintings. Athough there were a handful that she was drawn to – in particular a painting of Edinburgh Castle.
After the museum we did a bit of shopping and then headed over toward the Royal Mile, and then went in search of Greyfriars Bobby Pub and The Elephant House coffeehouse. We found both within a block of each other. The Elephant House is where J.K. Rowling wrote much of Harry Potter. The line was quite long, so we only took a look and a photo and moved along. We’d hoped to have lunch at Greyfriar’s Bobby, but the wait for a table was longer than we cared for, so we went around the corner and had a lovely lunch at The Cellar Door. I had potato leek soup and fish cakes, and Twenty-Two-Year-Old had fish and chips.
After lunch, we purchased tickets for a tour later in the evening, and then visited some more shops. We also visited St. Giles Cathedral on the Royal Mile. It’s a beautiful church with an unusual layout, because the altar is in the center and the people sit all around it.
We had a late afternoon tea at the museum cafe overlooking the Christmas festival. Tea was lovely – massive tea sandwiches. Massive. Scones with clotted cream. Mind you, these scones were fairly large but we’re still proper scones and not the monstrosities that are sold as sones in the U.S. And there were lovely little tea cakes.
Eventually we ended up at the Real Mary King’s Close Tour. This was great. Perhaps you know that there’s a portion of Edinburgh that’s built upon an older section of the city. That older section wasn’t leveled; the Edinburgh Exchange was merely built on top of the first couple of floors of the old buildings. So this tour took us underneath – to see some of the old houses and to learn some of the history.
That’s about it for the things we’ve done today. I’ve been making a few observations that I’ll share, though. There are loads of folks from Poland working in the shops and restaurants. Loads. We’ve certainly run into Scottish people here, but really quite a lot of Poles and other foreign nationals, too.
If you ask for lemonade here you’ll get Sprite. They have no word for American lemonade because they just don’t have that here. If you order tea you get proper tea. It’s not lukewarm water with a teabag on the side. It’s tea already made, in a pot. I like proper tea. There is such a thing as. Night bus – for real – in Edinburgh. I thought J.K. Rowling just made that up! Apparently it’s a thing!
Well, it’s late and we still have to figure out what we’re doing tomorrow. So that’s all I’ve got. That’s my mite.