Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Edinburgh, Scotland part 1


This past weekend I took a short two day weekend trip to Edinburgh, Scotland with two friends. I am splitting this into two parts for the different days. We left at about 11 pm Thursday night and took a national express coach to Edinburgh. The coach was decent, but not very easy to sleep in. For me I felt it was a good option though because I do not sleep well on trains or planes or coaches and the coach was the cheapest and got us to Scotland at a good time.
When we arrived we ate a quick breakfast in the train station (which we accidentally walked through trying to find our hostel) and then went to our hostel. We stayed at “budget backpackers”; it was 18 pounds per person for a four person room. I found the hostel very nice; all the staff was kind, and international, and the set up for the hostel was very hip and modern in addition to being very clean. They also had a cafĂ© with cheap food, everything under 5 pounds, and cheap drinks, several beers were less than 2 pounds and they had 1 pound shots. The hostel also offered free walking tours of the city while we waited to check in at 1pm.  After the walking tour we went for lunch at a nearby pub and then went to the National gallery of art. The gallery was very nice, and free, with many famous Titian’s, Gaugin’s and a few Rembrandt’s.
After the gallery we went on a Whiskey Tour at the whiskey experience near the castle which was about 11 pounds. We went on a little ride that explained the making of scotch whiskey and then went into a room where they explained the different types of whiskey and the scent associated with then and then were given a small bit to try. The amount was only 2 sips, but we were able to keep the nice glass. The whiskey was also of extraordinarily good quality. We then were shown to room with a great many old and rare bottles of whiskey. The tour was definitely a fun thing to do in the city.

We next went to dinner in another pub where I tried a really good Scottish lager called “Tennant’s” that all the locals were drinking. We then went on a “double dead” ghost tour. This was also like 10 pounds which took us to some underground vaults were murders and various crimes took place and into an area of greyfriar’s cemetery that is locked to the public and were the first known concentration camp (where Scots were imprisoned and killed after refusing to accept King Charles’s religious doctrine).  My tour guide was very good and knowledgeable and kept things just spooky enough to be fun without being outrageous. After this, we stopped by a pub and then went back to the hostel to sleep.

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