Trails and trials of the writer who walks
My friend, Edith, and I went to Edinburgh to celebrate her birthday. Apparently someone called Burns had a birthday on the same day as Edith but we didn’t bump into him. As usual, a combination of advance rail fare, senior railcards and Laterooms.com accommodation provided us with a trip well within the budget of two pensioners. I think it was £85 each for the whole two night trip. Although we are seasoned and enthusiastic hostellers, I must say we enjoyed the luxury of a real hotel for once. This one was called Edinburgh Capital. The hotel had a lovely fitness and spa centre, free to guests, as well as the usual tea in room, en-suite and TV (hey! We managed to catch Star Trek, the Search for Spock, and watched it in bed with a glass of wine each brought up from the bar. Edith didn’t know I was a trekkie until I came out with some perfect Klingon). The hotel was about 3 miles from the centre but buses in this wonderful city run all day and night for a fixed fare of £1.50 per journey. Our bus (number 26 or number 1) was chuntering up and down its route every ten minutes, even on Sunday, and stopped almost outside the hotel door.
Favourite pubs and restaurants:
The Café Royal on West Register Street (off Princes Street almost opposite Waverley Station). Lovely choice of beer and delightful food. Choked a bit on the price of wine though.
The Queens Arms in Frederick Street. Again, great beer choice and food totally yummy.
Le Petit Paris in Grassmarket. Divine! Can you believe that while we were sitting there, just squeezing dregs of wine into our sadly empty glasses, two friends from our village in Lancashire walked through the door!
Love the friendliness in Edinburgh. You’d think they’d be fed up with tourists gawking all over the place, but it seemed to us as though every passenger on the bus felt a personal responsibility to get us safely to our hotel. Mind you, the hotel was located at the bus terminus, so I suppose there was a fair chance we could have managed it. I’d like to apologise to the lady who conversed with me for 25 minutes on the way back to the city centre on Monday. I didn’t understand a single word she said, but she didn’t seem to mind. Perhaps she was from Glasgow.
Next blog: BARCELONA! (Expedia, flights and seven nights in city centre hostel – and I mean hostel as in bunk beds, not hostal as in affordable Spanish hotel – £128)