Monday, June 19, 2023

2023 England and Scotland - Day #27 - Edinburgh

Sharon and I both started the day with a continental breakfast at the hotel. Afterwards we walked to Edinburgh Castle to meet Tom and Anna-Marie. Tom had pre-purchased tickets for the entry between 9:30 and 10:00 am. We breezed through the enterance and started to work our way up the castle.

Unlike Stirling Castle, Edinburgh Castle does not offer tours. We used the Rick Steves' book to plot out our attack. Areas of the castle that we toured included:
  • Argyle Battery;
  • Crown Square;
  • Scottish Crown Jewels and the Stone of Scone;
  • Royal Apartments;
  • Great Hall;
  • Scottish National War Memorial;
  • Royal Scots Regimental Museum;
  • Royal Scots Dragoon Guards Museum; and,
  • National War Museum Scotland.
Walking out of the castle, I was shocked at the number of people queued up to enter the castle. I heard someone say that they were sold out for the day.

Just out on to the Royal Mile, we stumbled across a group with owls. Sharon paid to hold the largest owl.

Tom, Sharon and I ended up having lunch at the Ensign Ewart Pub. In an example of how interwoven things have been on the trip, we had just seen an Ensign Ewart display in the Dragoon Museum. At Waterloo, he had captured a French Regimental Eagle. Tom and Sharon had a scotch egg, while I had a ham sandwich.

After lunch, we intended to visit The Scotch Whiskey Experience. In his Scotland book, Rick Steves called it Malt Disney and said that there was a ride through the distillery process in a barrel. Unfortunately, they had shut the ride down.

Instead, Sharon and Tom shopped their way about halfway down the Royal Mile. We split off the Royale Mile and took Jacob's Ladder up to Calton Hill. There were some amazing views of the area.

We wandered back to the hotel along Princes Street.

For dinner, the four of us took an Uber to Kora by Tom Kitchin. This will vie for the best dinner of the trip. For the table, we started with a selection of olives and Mackerel [Smoked mackerel pâté]. I had three oysters.

I had a Sea Trout starter [Loch Etive sea trout ceviche, lemon, summer savory, melba toast], while Sharon had Scallops [Hand dived Orkney scallops, pea, lettuce, lardons]. For mains, Tom, Sharon and I had Sika Deer [Pithivier of Castle game Sika deer, roasted loin, Free Company beetroot].

We grabbed an Uber back to the hotel and crashed.

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