Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Edinburgh!

This is where we (Dave, Steve, Lisa, Katie and I) started our vacation.
This is Edinburgh Castle as viewed from the walk up Lothian Street.
Lovely, isn't it?

I'm getting ahead of myself. Actually, this is where we started our vacation:

This is 43 Balgreen Road - our home away from home for one week. This is a beautiful rowhouse in Murrayfield with three stories, a conservatory and the loveliest garden in a small backyard that we have ever seen.



We had garden envy.
The bus system in Edinburgh is awesome. A bus on our route ran approximately every 10 minutes and a day pass was 2.50 pounds per day. 43 Balgreen is only a 12 minute bus ride to Edinburgh proper and the Royal Mile.
We found that out on the second day.
It is a 50 minute walk outside of Edinburgh proper and the Royal Mile.
We found that out on our first day.
Live and learn.
So, in something resembling chronological order, is the first blog of our trip to Edinburgh.
After arriving in Edinburgh we had a short (15 minute) cab ride to 43 Balgreen. Exhausted from our overnight trip we met the owner (who had a pot of hot coffee waiting for us) around 11-ish. A quick runthrough of the house and a cup of coffee later we claimed our rooms, unpacked, and headed down to the local market for supplies. The weather was warm (low 70's) so I changed into a short-sleeve shirt and linen pants.
This is the LAST time that I wore anything with short sleeves or made of linen on this trip.
Eager to get onto "local time" we decided that we would walk into Edinburgh and get the lay of the land. This was our first 50 minute walk into the city. While it would not be the last, it would be the only forced march we endured.

Note to self: 50 minute hikes are not a good idea when you're going on 4 hours sleep and a 12 hour flight schedule.
We were staying in Murrayfield, which is is an area in the west of Edinburgh. It is to the east of Corstorphine ( I LOVE this word) and west of Roseburn. The A8 road runs east-west through the north of the area and this is the road we were walking. It is known mostly for containing Murrayfield Stadium, home to the Scottish National Rugby Team and venue for many sporting events. There is also the Roseburn Bar (more on this place later) and some wonderful old streets, like this one:



We passed old streets and B&B's, car dealerships and kitchen redesign stores and bars. Many, many bars. Since we weren't ready to drink (yet) we forged ahead, marvelling at the beautiful weather and the fact that we were in Scotland. We passed Haymarket Station and we knew that we were close to the city proper.
Finally, we spied this:


St John's Episcopal Church is at the base of Edinburgh Castle. It is a beautiful example of Gothic architecture. We crossed Princes Street (always remember to look right instead of left) and went inside. I was most impressed with the ceiling:


We spoke to a curator about the church as she spoke to us about her upcoming trip to Rome. We were able to advise her about walking distances, locales to see, etc and she was very grateful for the information. We were all feeling a bit hungry so we left St. Johns and walked away from Edinburgh Castle back towards home. This was a bit disappointing to me because we were this close to it but yet so far away. But I knew we'd be back.

We stopped in to a pub near Haymarket Station (Ryrie, I think...) where I looked in vain for haggis on the menu. Instead, I had a steak pie. This was a cool little bar marred only by the drunken street toughs hanging out behind our table. After we ate we hit "the wall" (jetlag) and decided that enough was enough. We made the hourlong trek back to our house and settled in for the evening.

By 9PM, we were all asleep.

As I lay down, I marveled at the fact that we were finally here in Edinburgh and that we would explore the streets near Edinburgh Castle on the morrow.

Next stop - the Royal Mile.

7 Comments:

Blogger FoxInDetox said...

Welcome, welcome! I'm so glad you're back and able to tell your tales of Old Scotty with such vim and vigor. I can't wait to hear all about the rest of the trip! More on the morrow?


Remember......
A blog a day keeps the pesty comments away!

9:23 AM, May 15, 2007  
Blogger Summer Ryan Doyle said...

That's fantastic! I didn't know you were going abroad--what a great location! I would love to go there sometime.

Can't wait to hear more.

10:10 AM, May 15, 2007  
Blogger Leah said...

Glad to have you back. Can't wait to hear more about your trip, although I am truly disappointed there will be no pictures of you in a kilt.

12:52 PM, May 17, 2007  
Blogger Cynthia said...

I am plaid with envy, yet am waiting for more.

7:43 AM, May 21, 2007  
Blogger 1st Lady said...

Hello Andy,

You don't know me, but you have met my mother.. in Edinburgh! She was the lady with the coffee ready at Edinburgh Villa!

I actually found your blog through a google search for photos of the Murrayfield area (amazing how blogs are so popular with search engines). I hope you dont mind my asking (and blogging) as to whether we could possibly quote your comments about the villa on our website. This is the first year of rentals for our Edinburgh property (we also have a property in VA called TullyHouse) and having such lovely feedback to use would be great. We've just purchased a guest book for the house.

Edinburgh is a great city, isn't it? I'm going back there next month and can't wait! You'll have to come back again to explore other areas!

Sincerely,

Astra
webmistress of Edinburgh Villa!

10:35 AM, May 21, 2007  
Blogger Andy said...

Astra,

Your mother is a lovely woman! We LOVED Edinburgh - in large part because of our home away from home. Please quote any comments that you would like. Let me know the link and I'll add it to my next post.

Thanks again for everything.

9:21 PM, May 23, 2007  
Blogger 1st Lady said...

Andy,

Much appreciated, thanks! Ive added your comment to our site. The address is www.edinburghvilla.com

We also have 'S Rioghal Mo Dhream' on our website as we are Gregors. You may well be an ancestor of the famous Rob Roy Macgregor!

You have to come back now you know your family tartan!

1:34 PM, May 25, 2007  

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