He got a PhD to give free tours!

October 8, 2022

Today we had to get up a bit early, 6am, for a 630am leave to get to Edinburgh. It, of course, was dark when we left and we learned pretty quickly that nothing is open at 630 in the morning, or 7 or 8 for that matter. After a good search (attempt, there is little service in the highlands) on google, we discovered that it isn’t updated and that the Scots in the northern part of the country, do not get up early on a Saturday.

It was a beautiful drive, but after 2 hours on the road, Lauren was desperate for some coffee. We drove through a little “town” and found a b&b that had a wonderful lady who would sell her a cup of coffee! It was a big win for her! We continued on our way – and as you can imagine, after a few hours and lots of liquid, we needed a pitstop. Thankfully Google was kind and we were able to find a real town with a public loo.

And that town of Pitlochry did NOT disappoint. It was almost Swiss-like, a mountain town for sure. However, no ski slops or anything. The town was just adorable. Cute shops, a wonderful atmosphere, and just all-around lovely. We were actually pretty disappointed we couldn’t spend more time there!

After our pit stop, we continued the drive for another couple of hours until we got into the city. We dropped our bags off at our hotel, so we didn’t have to lug them back with us in a Uber once we dropped the car off.

After we dropped our bags, we headed to a parking garage, because we had a free walking tour to get to! Thankfully Lauren puts up with my desire to learn all I can about where we are by booking our place on the tour! And let me tell you, Rory did NOT disappoint. In fact, he just completed his PhD in Scottish History! So, for real, perfect guide for me! He provided a whole lot of information about the city, ensuring to keep us aware of timelines and when he jumped them. It was pretty grand. The only complaint I have is that we didn’t SEE much of the city, but we heard a lot. I should also point out that I learned that Edinburgh is on a hill, and not just a hill but a hill, a valley, a taller hill, a valley and another hill. City center is on the taller hill, but it’s steep and it doesn’t make walking around for a walking tour all that easy.

After our walking tour, we headed to our Turo car’s neighborhood. I filled up with diesel (turns out, all pumps are one way here, you park towards the shop) and headed to Alexei’s house to return the car. He was just so kind! I cannot recommend him enough. The BMW was an excellent option for our travels and it had everything we needed.

We took an Uber into the city back to our hotel for two nights. We got changed and headed to dinner at a very famous restaurant called The Witchery. Lauren (ever the planner) made reservations for us so we were able to get in with no problem. (I would like to point out that I would HIGHLY recommend getting reservations EVERY time you want to eat because apparently, that is a thing here). The Witchery is OLD. It’s beautiful on the inside, dark, almost creepy, but romanticized. It is the type of place where each staff member does something different. Someone takes your coat when you sit down. The waitress takes your order and checks on your satisfaction, someone else brings the drinks, someone else brings the meal and someone else brings dessert. It was just lovely though. We both had vegetarian options (which are pretty available everywhere) and loved our food. I also saw a mocktail menu and decided on one of those. After our lovely dinner, we walked back down the Royal Mile (which is just a little over a mile, because the Scots need their own mile length).

We were able to stop into a few shops before they closed (again, everything was open for the most random hours) and it was so weird because the street was dead. They mentioned that most of the housing in the city center (Especially on the Royal Mile) was Airbnb and hotels, so I was expecting a street full of tourists at 730pm, but NO! It was just dead. I was able to take a picture without anyone even in the picture!

We headed back to the hotel after our dinner and shopping. Tomorrow is going to be an even earlier morning for me….I am headed down to London for the Packer game!

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