Tuesday morning we were up early (pattern developing?) and on the train to Edinburgh. The train ride is about five hours so we had time to eat some breaky, do some reading and even take a short (very uncomfortable) nap before arriving in Edinburgh around lunch time. The countryside that we passed through was much of the same - farmland, baby sheep, baby cows, yellow fields of canola...
Once in Edinburgh we made out way to the hostel that I had found, which was conveniently across the street from the train station. Success! We shoved our bags into some lockers and set out.
We wandered over the North Bridge to grab a picnic lunch of sandwiches and cider from Sainsburys. Then we were off to my one request of the trip - Arthur's seat. This is a hiking trail that leads up a random "mountain" right beside the city and offers great views from the top.
|What a view!|
It took us about 20 minutes to get to the other side of town where Arthur's Seat is situated. Then about another 20 to climb. Turned out we took the wrong path, so we weren't actually at the to of Arthur's Seat, but we were up high and had a good view which was good enough for us. We enjoyed our lunch and spent some time doing our own photoshoot before trekking our way back down.
We spent the rest of the afternoon walking around the city then grabbed some dinner at the Frankenstein Pub. After dinner we took a short rest at the hostel before meeting up for a Ghost Tour.
Edinburgh is known as one of the most haunted cities, and as such offers many ghost tours. Most are walking tours around the city that talk about its colorful past. Ours was interesting (turned out we had the same guide that did my free walking tour in Dublin - small world??!!), but not quite as scary as we had expected. Still some rather gruesome and interesting stories lurk in this city's history.
Keeping with the theme, we were up early the next morning to take our day trip into the Highlands. We did this tour with Highland Explorer Tours and chose the Loch Ness Explorer. We travelled through the Highlands: Loch Luibnaig, Rob Roy Country, Rannoch Moor, Haunting Glencoe, Mighty Ben Nevis, The Great Glen, Fort Augustus, Loch Ness, The forests and rivers of Perthshire, The Forth Railway Bridge were all highlights of the trip.
|booo hot bus :(|
The mission of the tour was to see Loch Ness where we opted to take the boat cruise and try to find Nessie - to no avail. But we did learn some interesting facts about the Loch itself. It is over a mile deep in some places, the water is black because it is stained from the peat that surrounds it, and it holds more water than all of the lakes and rivers of England and Wales combined!
|At Bank Hotel|
|At the top of Scott Monument|
After we were done our stairmaster adventure, we wandered around some more getting our last minute souvenirs, enjoying some haggis, tatties and neeps, and getting our last glimpse of Edinburgh before heading back to London on the evening train.
|Cupcakes in the park :)|