In retrospect, there is no way that the second city after London would be wildly successful. We had such a wonderful time and my friend and her family is just wonderful. Also, her house on the Thames is spectacular. The contrast could not have been greater!
We arrived on Sunday night just before midnight, due to delays with the Ryanair flight. Luckily it was very easy at the airport to find our bus, because we were so tired. Decent service though Express must be a brand name as it stopped five times before Waverly Station. I treated us to a taxi to avoid stumbling around Edinburgh at midnight in the rain. Lovely driver who found Guthrie Street and our hostel and kept up a charming banter for the ten minute drive. We did the walk on the way back and it was about a half hour, so glad we grabbed the taxi.
The hostel was about what I had expected, but their photos are clearly older than Jacob. Jacob on the other hand was horrified and angry that I had made him stay in such a place. I have to admit, it was a little scary as the floors creaked ominously with every step. We were on the fourth floor (fifth floor to Amercans) and the thought kept ocurring about what would happen if it collapsed.
On the other hand it was a quick walk around and up to the Royal Mile. It was clean and there was never a wait for the toilet or the shower, which I had been expecting. We both slept well and found the beds surprisingly comfortable.
We got out early on Monday and found a Starbucks. After a bacon buttie and a large Americano, we were both ready to head to St. Giles. We took a bus, which turned out to be relaxing and restful as we got on going the wrong direction and it took an hour to go around which we both appreciated. St Giles is beautiful and we arrived during the practice for a lunchtime concert and got to enjoy the New York pianist while we wondered among the tombs and admired the ceilings and stained glass windows.
After the cathedral, we hiked up to the Castle and got lunch and waited for the daily horiwitzer shot at 1pm. Then we went right up to the top and the royal chambers, saw the Scottish Crown Jewels and the Stone of Scone. In one of the banqueting halls an acapelo(sp?) group was performing and I stopped to listen to their concert, which ended with Auld Lang Syne and me in tears.
After that, I lost Jacob when I went to the loo and then we left, both of us in a bit of a huff because we were so tired. Found our Starbucks again and charged our phones in case of future separations and our caffiene levels before heading out to find dinner. We had bangers and mash and a fry up which was fun, filling and cheap.
Next morning was a quick visit to Sir Walter and the museum before heading to Dublin.