We just spent an incredible three days in Edinburgh, Scotland. I took over 300 photos so it’s going to take me awhile to work through all of them! The drive took about six hours but we stopped a few times to let Lena walk around and grab some food. The UK is quite different from the states as far as fast food is concerned. You can’t just hop off at any exit (or junction as they call it) and expect to find the typical gas station and fast food restaurant. However, they do have service areas and they’re quite well marked. You’ll find some of your familiar American fare – McDonalds, Burger King, etc. – but I’d recommend going into the actual stores. Marks and Spencer, for example, is a common offering at service areas and they have delicious and healthy options similar to what you’d find in a grocery store. You’ll also find Costa Coffee which is, in my opinion, a much tastier option than Starbucks. I feel like a bit of a traitor for saying that since I do come from the place where it all began but Costa just can’t be beat.
The drive was absolutely beautiful and I’d love to come back in the springtime to see how different it looks. Lots of rolling hills, lush farmland and millions of sheep. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were more sheep than humans in Scotland. We were just about to the Scottish border when the Sarge had an emergency pee situation. He started claiming he was going to pee his pants and there was no exit in sight. So he asked me to hold a can of Monster while he peed into it. He had managed to open the drinking hole a bit however, it had jagged pieces of aluminum sticking out everywhere. And he was driving while also sitting, obviously. It sounded like a Lorena Bobbit situation waiting to happen so I refused. In a sheer panic, he pulled off the road into a sheep pasture and peed … for five minutes straight. And then he told me he wasn’t kidding about being in a diaper by the time he was 50. Ridiculous.
We ended up renting a furnished apartment rather than staying in a hotel – mostly because the hotels were booked but also because we found a great deal on a two-night stay. I was a bit skeptical about it but after reading positive reviews, we decided to go for it. We found the apartment for rent on http://www.Booking.com and I will definitely be using them again. The location couldn’t have been more perfect. We were just a few blocks from the Royal Mile and all the main attractions in Edinburgh.
I’m not sure if these apartments will be for rent all the time as it looked like they were for sale. It was called Quartermile Luxury Apartments and we stayed in the Thistle Residence – http://www.qmile.com/. It was very modern and compact; plenty of space for our little family of three. The kitchen was furnished so we were able to get some breakfast foods and eat in the apartment before heading out each day. It was a nice way to save both time and money and felt a bit more cozy than a continental breakfast at a hotel. Also, our living room had one full wall of windows that looked out onto a Victorian building that was in the middle of a restoration. There was a lot of construction going on but they had a designated carpark for the apartment building which was great since parking is pretty limited in the city.
We decided to take a walk and head towards the Royal Mile. Somehow, we went the complete opposite direction and ended up in East Meadow Park which was directly behind our apartment. It was a beautiful evening though so it made for a nice detour. Yes, Lena is on a harness here (or leash as we call it). It has been a lifesaver and I don’t know how we ever walked with her without it. She likes to walk her own path and doesn’t want to hold hands so having the harness is key. There are so many people, bikes, and cars that it’s a necessity. I’ve become that parent and I’m completely fine with it.
Eventually we found the Royal Mile as well as the Edinburgh Castle. It was a sight to see, especially at night all lit up. There were so many beautiful buildings on the walk to the castle and the view of the city was really impressive. We ended up taking a few photos then grabbing some shwarmas for dinner since Jason had never had them before. Not the best ones I’ve ever eaten but still pretty tasty. Then it was off to bed to get ready for a full day of sightseeing – the Royal Mile, Camera Obscura Museum and Edinburgh Castle. Photos to come!