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Trip Report Scotland: Bluebells and Gorse, Castles and Stones, and NO Rain!

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Just a beginning, as this will be quite detailed and will take me a few days. But let me say to begin, I want to go back. Like tomorrow. What an amazing country and what friendly, kind people! I sort of expected it, but still was overwhelmed by Scotland. I am in love.

Over two years ago, my sisters and I began making plans for travel to Scotland, and I have perused threads and trip reports since then, garnering ideas, crossing some off the list when they took us too far to be feasible in the limited time available, asking questions and receiving knowledgable responses for which I am very grateful.

Finally, the day had arrived. Only one sister, B, and a friend, C, were able to accompany me, but here we were on our way to Scotland. We were going Air New Zealand because I had received a Cyber Monday offer for $400 off any tickets, any time. We flew non-stop to London on Air New Zealand and then transferred to British Airways for the short flight to Edinburgh. This was, IMO, the best option for us because there are no direct flights to EDR from LAX and I wanted a nice long first leg so that we could (hopefully) get some sleep. Worked for me; for my sister, not so much.

19-22 May
Our Edinburgh accommodation was an apartment just off the royal mile with a castle view: www.apartmentsbycastle.com Apartment 16/4, owned by Moira and Eric. Unfortunately, we had correspondence from Moira that there was a bike race in Edinburgh the day of our arrival and this year the route would go directly down Johnson Terrace, the street on which our apartment was located. Bummer. It meant that a taxi would not be able to let us off in front of the apartment. We would have to settle for as close as the driver could get us and walk the rest of the way. This would not ordinarily be a problem but B has some mobility issues and we were a bit concerned since we did not know the lay of the land, so to speak.

Turned out, we had reason to be concerned. The driver let us off at the bottom of Johnson Terrace and we had to push our bags up the hill to the apartment. Fortunately, the Castle was high above us, wowing us with amazing views as we slowly climbed the hill. Frequent photo stops allowed us to take our time till Eric was on hand to help get our bags up the two flights of stairs to our home for three nights. It was a comfortable two bedroom apartment with lots of character and an amazing view of the castle from the lounge and one of the bedrooms. I had arranged with Moira to have some meats and cheese – and wine – on hand when we arrived in case we did not want to go out to dinner. Plus, we had a view of bicyclists whizzing down our street, first the amateurs, then the pros. It was nearly perfect.

C and I did eventually go out to see a bit of Edinburgh and have something more substantial to eat. This evening we had our ONLY rain of the trip. Crazy Scotland decided to be on it’s best behavior, weather-wise, and we were well pleased. :) We eventually found a small pub/café called Biblios where I had a bowl of red lentil soup that was delicious! The waiter gave us a “student discount” as he said, “Because I can”. ;)

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