Edinburgh Trip Report

Old May 18th, 2010, 04:25 AM
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Edinburgh Trip Report

Edinburgh Trip Report:

Group: 17 Swiss adults (ages 13 - 75)
Hotel: Jury’s Inn
Day: Tour of Royal Mile
Day 2: Tour of New Town and Edinburgh Castle
Day 3: North Berwick and Boat Ride to Bass Rock
Day 4: Tour of Britannia and the Botanic Garden

Day 1:
Arrived in the afternoon and took the Airlink bus to Jury’s Inn (3 star). The bus cost £6.50 and was comfortable and fast. We arrived at Jury’s Inn, which is located near Waverly train station and is almost right in between the old town and new town. The rooms were large and with closed windows, we didn’t hear a thing from the station. I definitely would stay in this hotel again. The location is the best because the old town and the new town were easily reached on foot.

We ate at the Whiski Bar at the Royal Mile and then met up with our tour guide for a very interesting tour of the Royal Mile. The Royal Mile is the main street in the old town that ends with Holyrood Palace on one side and Edinburgh Castle on the other. It’s a gradual uphill walk to the castle and the upper part is car-free. It’s not pretty like Prague but has a lot of understated character. No McDonald’s or Burger Kings, you’ll see pubs, souvenier shops, hear some bagpipes and just enjoy breathing Edinburgh’s air.

Our tour guide took us to the Parliament buildings, Holyrood and slowly up the Royal Mile, ending at the Castle.

That night we ate at the Elephant House, home of the beginnings of the Harry Potter novels. Later, we went to the Whiski Bar for some good whisky and fantastic music by the Gorms. They were incredible and highly recommended.

Day 2: Our tour guide took us around the New Town with its wide streets and Georgian houses and then we ended up at the castle with a tour as well.

That night, we headed to Guildford Arms in the new town for a nice dinner and a chat with a local. The pub has beautiful decorated golden ceilings and seems to cater to a 30+ crowd.

Day 3: We took the train to North Berwick (33 min. from Waverly) for a boat tour around Bass Rock. It cost us 22 pounds a person and was for some, the highlight of the trip. Each person got a wet suit and a life vest and then, with a guide and boat driver, we got into boats of 12 and went on an hour’s tour of the islands, with the highlight being Bass Rock. Bass Rock is the home to thousands and thousands of Gannets, a white seabird. The rock is white due to the amount of birds and droppings. Definitely worth seeing.
http://www.north-berwick.co.uk/bassRock.asp

That night, we went to Jimmy Chung’s, located near Waverly, for a Chinese Buffet. The quality was typical of buffets but the many stag and hen parties made our dinner worthwhile. Groups of young women and men were dressed up in costumes to celebrate their last single days. There was lots of entertainment just watching them.

We ended up on the Royal Mile afterwards with another stop at the Whiski Bar.

Day 4: We took the public bus out to Leith and toured the Britannia. A rather boring ship from the outside, the tour is immensely interesting. Audio phones guide you through the different rooms of the boat used by Queen Elisabeth and her family. Lots of pictures and stories make the tour worthwhile.

Afterwards, we enjoyed an afternoon in the Botanical gardens.

In the evening, we went to Ciao Roma near the Royal Mile for a nice Italian dinner. Then it was off to Albanach for whisky (which are cheaper here than the Whiski Bar) and then to the Whiski Bar for some more live music.

Day 5: A free morning for all. I took a walk around the bottom of the castle and saw the many pubs in Grassmarket and the cemetery and gardens that separate the Old and New town. It was a delightful walk full of charm.

Taking the Airlink back to Edinburgh airport, we were all apprehensive about the next few hours. The airport was closed in the morning due to ash and scheduled to open again at 1 pm. Our flight was at 1.45 pm. Well, the weather gods were on our side and our flight took off 25 min. late. We were grateful that we could fly at all.

Summary: We adored Edinburgh. The city is small but full of charm. It is very clean and easily done on foot. The locals were friendly and very proud of their culture. The pub life is incredible and you’ll meet locals, the English and many Germans while enjoying one of the many whiskies or ales. Sorry London, but I think I like Edinburgh better.
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Old May 18th, 2010, 04:53 AM
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Great report, thank you!

My mum lives near North Berwick and I have been round the Bass Rock a few times in my life - it's a lot of fun, and the bird life is incredible. Did you spot any seals?
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Old May 18th, 2010, 04:56 AM
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We did indeed see some seals lying about on both islands. Our boat guide, Colin, also comes from North Berwick and gave us an enjoyable guide of Bass Rock.
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Old May 18th, 2010, 05:35 AM
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Lucky you - you don't always get to see the seals out of the water (usually you just spot their noses sticking up out of the water!).
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Old May 18th, 2010, 07:53 AM
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Glad you had a nice time and liked Edinburgh so much !
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Old May 18th, 2010, 08:02 AM
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Not Pretty!!? What do you mean, not pretty???


(thanks for the report. Glad you liked it)
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Old May 18th, 2010, 01:33 PM
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Super report schuler. I remember your asking about maybe meeting up w/ some Fodorites - The group were your students or something like that, right? Did you manage to meet up w/ anyone?
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Old May 18th, 2010, 01:44 PM
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Yes. One person from Tripadvisor came and we had a very nice visit with him. He was a local and made a wonderful impression on my group.
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Old May 18th, 2010, 01:47 PM
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If the Whiski Bar rents rooms, you should stay there next time -- no need to go so far to the hotel.
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