Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Edinburgh And The Castles of Scotland #Scotland #VisitScotland #goaheadtours #Edinburgh

I've always wanted to visit Scotland. Jay visited many years ago for a Fisheries Conference but I've never been so when we returned from our adventure in Ireland last fall we booked a spring trip to Scotland.

My plan is blog a little each day to share our adventure with you through words and images. I hope you will enjoy the journey as much as we did, and perhaps decide to travel to Scotland to experience this wonderful country for yourselves.

We booked our adventure with Go Ahead Tours (our third tour with them). The adventure we chose was Edinburgh and the Castles of Scotland. I fell in love with the castles and ruins we found in Ireland and wanted more. Our trip was from March 19-30-and as we would find out-a little too early for a lot of things in Scotland. If you go, wait until after Easter!

Our flight was non-stop on United Airlines from Newark to Edinburgh; returning from Glasgow to Newark. We left Vermont with three feet of snow remaining in our front yard and the sap just beginning to run. After getting through airport security we headed for a little snack at Caps Beer Garden.
Next we tried Vesper Tavern-Jay tried the Captain Laurence Smoked Porter-quite good.

Our overnight flight was uneventful and somewhat boring. We landed in Edinburgh around 7 a.m.. I had emailed the Holiday Inn Express Edinburgh City Centre in Picardy Place for an early arrival and they came through for us.

The hotel was fairly modern and right in the heart of the city. A welcome surprise, Sherlock Holmes was right outside our hotel. After a quick nap and shower we headed out in search of BrewDog.

BrewDog-from their website "Although perfectly at home alongside the smattering of grimy rock bars in the Cowgate, BrewDog Edinburgh still manages to set itself apart as a craft beer alternative in a mainstream jungle. And it also majors in the best damn homemade pizzas in Auld Reekie." Their oven was broken so we had beer and whisky only.

I tried Belvenie, a lovely 12 year old single malt-man was it smooth. Jay tried one of their many dark stouts on tap. Soooo good!

We moved down Cowgate to Holyrood 9A. I had the Halloumi (cheese) salad-delicious! and Jay had the Venison Burger-also delicious. The beer selection was great and the service fantastic.


Back at the hotel we met up with the members of our tour group and headed off to our Welcome Dinner at Vittoria Leith. I had the calamari app. and funghi di bosco-both were excellent.
I'm not sure why we were eating Italian on our first night in Scotland but the food, as I said, was excellent and Giovanni did an amazing job serving all 22 of us!

Back to the hotel for a somewhat uncomfortable sleep, being in the heart of the city is great for tourism but not for sleep! We had a room facing the main drag and it was pretty much noisy all night. Coming from the sticks of Vermont, it was a hard night sleeping-even with ear plugs.


Next up Day 3 Exploring Edinburgh, Georgain New Town, Royal Mile, Edinburgh Castle.

Edinburgh and the Castles of Scotland
Day 1 Travel Day from Vermont to Newark to Edinburgh
Day 2  March 20 Edinburgh, Welcome Dinner
March 19-30, 2015
Copyright ©2015 Nancy Nutile-McMenemy