Scotland – July 3rd

We all slept in on our first morning in Edinburgh. George and I ended up sleeping for 12 hours and woke up just after 9:00 am. We didn’t intend to sleep that long, but clearly we needed the rest.

We got dressed (casually for a leisurely Sunday), and walked to nearby Cafe Nero (a chain throughout Europe) to pick up some breakfast. Once we were set, we walked over to Edinburgh Castle. We had been on the fence about whether to bring a stroller for George on this trip, and I am so glad that we did. The walk to the Castle was pretty strenuous and he wouldn’t have made it on his own. We could have taken our rental car or a taxi there, but that wouldn’t have been half as fun.

 castle top

We had a great time exploring the Castle, despite the wind and cold. One of my favorite parts of the visit, in addition to viewing the Crown Jewels (no photos allowed), was the spectacular views from the top of the Castle.

 castle view fave

castle view 1

Afterwards, we began walking down the “Royal Mile.”

royal mile

We popped into a few stores and picked up some souvenirs for family and for ourselves. My favorite item might be my new Lochness Monster Christmas ornament. If you know me, then you know why I love this so much.

 j and g royal mile

We stopped for lunch at Gordon’s Tratorria along the Royal Mile. Gordon’s is a quaint, family-owned restaurant that stands in contrast to the many chain restaurants along the Royal Mile. We had a fantastic lunch there that included leek and mushroom soup, a rocket salad (arugula), a pizza (for G), spaghetti amatriciana (for me), and lasagna (for John).  Our food was freshly made, right down to the pasta. The service was excellent too.

lunch

After our lunch, we continued down the Royal Mile and paused at this Church. Unbeknownst to us, it was Royal Week and the Queen was in residence at the Hollyrood House Palace.

palace notice

She had also been to service at this church moments before we arrived. Blerg.

 Untitled

We continued on our walk and passed Scottish Parliament before arriving at Hollyrood House Palace. Because the Queen was in residence, the Palace was closed for tours. Ah well, at least the gift shop was open and I was able to buy some great souvenirs.

 palace

We took a leisurely walk back up the Royal Mile, stopping briefly at a bakery to pick up a scone, cookie, and cupcake for an afternoon snack.

g cookie

We then walked all they way back to our hotel for nap time.  Except George wouldn’t nap. So…we just relaxed in our room for a bit before setting out for dinner.

John and I love to explore while on vacation, so we picked a spot for dinner that was a mile walk away from our hotel. While we enjoyed the cool crisp walk, George passed out in his stroller. However, he woke right up as soon as we arrived at Olive Branch Bistro.

 dinner 1

The Bistro was quaint and the staff was welcoming and very responsive. We enjoyed a dinner of bread, olives, sweet potato soup (G and me), steak (John) and fish and chips (G and me). We also shared a trio of ice creams for dessert.

 dinner 2

Afterwards, we took a very nice stroll through the Princes Street Garden. This area is full of art, flowers, and stunning views of the Edinburgh skyline. The walk was a great way to end the day.

walk view

eve walk 2

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