Scotland, Day 4 – Sloshing and Eating Our Way Across Edinburgh

All of the remaining “must-do’s”‘on our Edinburgh list were outdoor activities, so we were encouraged to see that the weather app showed clouds for the day — not rain. (Note: weather seems to be a trend in the blog about Scotland!)

So we headed back to Holyrood to hike up to the summit of Arthur’s Seat.

It was cloudy and we knew visibility wouldn’t be great, but we cheerfully headed up the nice paved path. The path changed to dirt and we began to feel the mistiness of walking in the clouds. Unfortunately, just as we were fully committed and the summit was within reach, the bottom fell out and it poured.

We didn’t respond as quickly as we should have with our rain gear and we were all soaked in a matter of minutes. Cheap ponchos are no match for the wind and pelting rain of Scotland and all of the extra money we spent for waterproof boots seemed excessive as we squished along.

The view from the top would have been spectacular if it had been clear. I apologize for no pictures but there was no way to bring the phone out in this! Coming down was tricky because we were now walking on small paths of streaming water. As soon as we got down, we found the palace cafe and spent the rest of the morning dripping off and enjoying coffee, tea and conversation. (After pouring water from our boots and trying to dry a bit of ourselves with the bathroom hand dryers.)

When we had outstayed our welcome there, and the rain had let up, Jennie and Mark led us to a nearby restaurant that was recommended for its delicious sandwiches. “Oink” did not disappoint.

Our plan was to head to the Royal Yacht Britannia but first we had to find a special blue hop on / hop off bus. Much easier said than done! We wandered for a while before realizing that our afternoon was getting away from us.

Rod and I wanted to go on a Harry Potter Trail tour and Karen and Terry knew about some live music near their hotel, so when we finally located the bus queue, Jone was the only one who made it to the yacht.

She really enjoyed it and shared a few pictures with me, including the miniature Wullie’s I had heard about. The yacht has been out of commission since 1994.

Karen and Terry were unable to hear the music because of crowds watching a football (soccer) game in the pub with them. They also found a laundromat/cafe.

Rod and I wandered around and ended up at Greyfriars Bobby’s Cafe. The story of Bobby, a little dog who lived in the 1800’s and was devoted to his master. When his master died unexpectedly from tuberculosis, Bobby sat next to his grave for the next 14 years. What a story of devotion.

We met back up with Jennie and Mark here and Mark tried to educate us on Scottish Whiskey, even choosing one for us to taste. I’m afraid we were a bit of a disappointment to him — neither of us found what the fuss was about.

Then we began the Harry Potter Trail tour which was led by an energetic and engaging guide. We learned of how J K Rowling moved to Edinburgh to live with her sister after her marriage disintegrated and the elements of Edinburgh that she used in writing Harry Potter. Here are some inspirations from the city that she put in her books:

This view of Edinburgh Palace inspired the view of Hogwarts school.

This private school has 4 turrets and 4 houses like Hogwarts.

Names from the graveyard made their way into the books.

Gringott’s Bank

Diagon Alley

We also saw where she began writing the first book and the famous cafe “The Elephant House” where she wrote much of the next novels.

We returned to our apartment and got our clothes cleaned up and reorganized for hiking because we start tomorrow! It’s time to walk off all of the delicious food we’ve been eating during our time in Edinburgh.

I’m certain that weather will make this pilgrimage different from those of previous years. It’s proving to be consistently cooler (that’s great!) and wetter than previous years, but we will just continue sloshing on.

The Fife Coastal Path awaits us.

Thanks for walking with us! Ultreia.

Beth

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