Sunday, June 27, 2010

Edinburgh, Scotland

Going back in time, again, here we are in (June) Edinburgh, Scotland, continuing our whirl-wind road trip through the UK.

 
Our hotel was located just across the street from the old castle and it was a short walk up the hill. 






I am always amazed with how these structures are built right into tthe sides of rocks.




While the kids and hub took a tour of the Edinburgh Castle, I went on a tour of the Edinburgh Old Town Weaving Co.  Loved it. I think I spent most of my time just wandering around looking at all the different tartans and looking for familiar names.  None for my family, of course.
video
Here's a little video the kid helped me make this morning.  I filmed a short time in the Mill, being totally fascinated with the old weaving machines.  Of course, I had to add some wonderful Tattoo music.  Getting fancy here.  haha.
















Along the Royal Mile, gorgeous old architecture. 



 










I spied this "young" gent making his way up to the main street.  He stopped to speak with the bagpiper who had been playing some lovely music.  I was inspired by the politeness of the bagpiper as he spoke with the elder.




This is one of my favorites, Ness, when I get to Edinburgh.  A twist on the older colors of Scottish woolens.



Of course, we had to walk Mary King's Close, as it is said to be a very haunted area in Edinburgh.  A close is an alley or stairway that leads to other levels in buildings and to the lower part of the city.  Here the kid waits to feel something.  grin.  Nothing.


This shows the lower area of the city.  The last time we were here, we stayed in the business district down "there."  Loved the name Granny's Green Steps!

And more spots in the old town.

And then we were back at the hotel.  Here the jumbotron is airing the Royal Ascot with Her Majesty The Queen arriving with the Duke of Edinburgh via carraige.  Fun stuff!

A quick check out and back on the road (again).

The beauty of Scotland whizzing by us as we sped back South towards Cumbria and the Lake District, our next stop.  Can anyone tell me why the UK does not put North, South, East or West on their motorway signs?  It sure would help us gringos.

Phew!  I'm tired, again, just thinking about it.

Welcome to Scotland

It was a very long drive from Stratford up to Edinburgh, Scotland.  Thank goodness we had made the nice stop in Harrogate for a good lunch.  Regardless, I think we were all happy when we finally hit the Scottish border.



We had been in the car for over ten hours so a stretch of the legs was in order.  So we stopped at this wonderful picturesque area.  The kid and I weren't talking by this point (there was a "gum" incident) but he suggested we go up this road and see what we could find.  And so we did.

What a brilliant idea.  Because we found the small fishing village of Eyemouth.


It was breathtaking, to say the least.
There is something very magical about Scotland to me.  Perhaps it's the Scottish roots.

 The beauty is awe-inspiring.





 
We watched as the clouds rolled in and the sun began to set.  The kids were still not talking to me.

 
And then we were back on the road heading to Edinburgh.  Ugh.  I wanted to be next to the fire in this farmhouse rather in the car with hormies flying every which way.

 
I loved all the green surrounding us as we drove.  I loved watching the North Sea and the sun setting.   I  kept my mind on the beauty surrounding me rather than the very long drive with two teenagers, hormones raging.  Oy.
When we finally found our hotel, we were absolutely delighted.  We arrived after the hotel restaurant had closed so we had the kids order room service while the hub and I went down to the pub and threw back a few.  We were still vibrating from the car ride.  I would have loved to have been a fly on the kids' room wall.  I bet they were as fit-to-be-tied as us.  But how can you stay mad here?  Look at the view!  The Edinburgh Castle was right outside our window!

 Loved this quote from President Ford.


But not as much as I loved the martinis. 













This was the pear & blueberry martini.  It tasted like cotton candy.  I could have stayed down in the pub all night enjoying these.


After a few calming drinks, we decided to head back up to our gorgeous room and order a little sumpn' sumpn' for our bellies.  But, before heading back up, I decided to prank the chillins.  I asked the waiter for a house phone and dialed their room.  (This was the first time we had separate rooms since we left London.)  I disguised my voice as a Brit and rang them up.  The cuz answered, and I told her it was the front desk calling and there had been numerous complaints about noise coming from their room.  I then asked for their parents. (I'm so bad.)  Of course, we weren't there, so I told her to tell them to ring the front desk when they returned. (SO BAD!!!)

When we returned to the room, she was straight away telling us that the front desk had phoned.  She looked quite scared.  Poor thing.  After letting it go on for about five minutes, the hub and I screamed "GOT YOU!"  hahahahaha.  When we ordered room service for us we added this fancy tiramisu for the kids.  Yes, this is room service!  Oh my.  Of course, we were all happily in love with one another after that.

Our saving grace in Edinburgh?  TWO rooms! And very nice rooms at that!

Harrogate, North Yorkshire

At some point in my detailing our car trip around the UK, I found a blurb on one of my favorite sites for finding good food throughout the world, Chowhound.  It said that en route to Edinburgh, there must be a stop over in HarrogateAnd that is just what we did after leaving Stratford.  We had a beautiful, sunny day.



I don't know why we always feel funny driving by a nuclear plant.  Let's just hope there's no China Syndrome while we're driving by.  You see them all over the place in the UK, and I'm always fascinated with their sight.




Our main destination, of course, was Betty's Tearooms.  Do I need to tell you it was well worth the detour?  Oh my, was it ever.




Yes, we arrived properly at tea time.

We spied these coming in.  Bad, bad.  Bad.


There was sparkling pink lemonade, Swiss Alpine Mac (& cheese),

(Kids were HAPPY!  We like happy kids. 


Rösti (hashbrowns) and Yorkshire Sausages.
And then . . . . dun dun dun . . .  (scroll WAY down if you're dieting!)








How hard do you think it was to walk away without any pastries?  Pretty darn hard.

But we were good.













Look at these luscious petit fours and marzipan.  The detail is amazing.  I loved the little cabbage. 


The take-away counter.



Harrogate is a lovely town.  One I have added to my list to return to with lots more time to explore.




On our way out of town, I spied these perfect places to live.  I'd take a flat in any one of these, thank you very much.

And then I could walk to the park where I worked in this little shop.  Is this not the most precious of shops you have ever seen?  Ahhhhhhhhh.

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