On November 1st, we woke up in Edinburgh to a sunshiny day! Because our hotel did not include breakfast, we set out down the Royal Mile to find a place to eat. We found Deacon’s House Café located in a little close. We had a great breakfast including a delicious, freshly-baked, apple scone with friendly service. We then walked up the street toward the castle. Edinburgh is stunningly beautiful! There are so many old buildings and because of where the castle and the city sits in a hilly area near on the coast, you can catch great views as you walk the streets. We paid 16.50 to enter the castle and Mike paid a few pounds extra to get the audio guide. We loved the castle! Not only was it huge, but there was so much history and lots of original parts of the castle intact. The view from the castle is amazing as well. We found our Scotland ornament in one of the many shops and museums that are scattered throughout the castle grounds.
After touring the castle, we walked back down the Royal Mile and stopped in the numerous shops along the route. The majority of the shops sold wool, cashmere, and/or whiskey. I bought a cute pink winter hat with a fur pom-pom. We bought a few gifts for family members and then stopped for lunch at Deacon Brodie’s Tavern. The real life story of Deacon Brodie is known to be the inspiration for Scotsman Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. When in Scotland, eat Scottish food! We had haggis, a scotch egg, rarebit fondue, and a meat pie for lunch.
After lunch we continued walking back to our hotel to recharge our phones and to come up with a plan for the rest of the day. We decided to walk the opposite direction from our hotel toward the Palace of Holyroodhouse. By the time we got to the Palace, it was closed for the day but we were able to see where you take the path to walk up to King Arthur’s Seat. If we had another day to spend in Edinburgh, which we both wished we had, we would have made the hike up to see the view. We went back to the hotel to change for a light dinner and dessert.
Our first stop was a pub called No. 1 High St. where we got drinks and an appetizer. They had this delicious non-alcoholic pear cider that was excellent. Our next stop was dessert and we stumbled upon a place called The Holyrood 9A. The dessert was delicious—especially mine, a warm fudge brownie with pistachio ice cream covered in white chocolate sauce. Hands down, it was the best thing I ate the entire trip. (Of course, the baby had to put a damper on it for me and I had the worst heartburn ever all night!) Our hotel had tons of new, free movies on demand and we were tired out from walking all day so we ended the evening by watching a movie in bed.
In the morning we decided to go back to The Holyrood 9A for breakfast where Mike had a black sausage breakfast burger and I had what they call a “stuffed bun” which was really just a breakfast sandwich. We didn’t have all that much time to spend in the morning before we had to head to the airport so we quickly made a visit to the shops on picturesque Victoria Street (and bought the cutest mobile for our baby’s nursery!), packed up, and caught the Airlink 100 bus back to the airport. For the first time during our trip, our flight left on time back to London!
When we arrived back at Stansted, we had to take a three hour long bus ride to get back to High Wycombe. From there George picked us up.
On November 3rd, George had to work so after we visited him at work, Alyssa took us to the cute, nearby village of Marlow where we walked around, window shopped, and got a traditional, British afternoon tea at Burgers of Marlow. The town is quaint and upscale with some familiar celebrities calling the area one of their many homes, such as George and Amal Clooney and Ricky Gervais. Unfortunately, we didn’t see anyone we recognized.
Once George got off work, we packed up again and headed back towards Standsted airport where we stayed in a Travelodge because our flight to Austria left the next morning at 6am.