|Northward to Edinburgh|
Edinburgh, here we come ! We had an early departure, which was a feat considering the tiring previous night ( music can be serious business ) . Despite bad weather forecasts of wind and gales in the west of the UK, we departed on time from London at 8.00 am from Kings Cross Station. I had made advanced booking with the East Coast Railways and enjoyed hefty discounts with the Family and Friends Railcard ( 77 GBP return/advance with F&F railcard ) .
We reached Edinburgh at 12.25pm in a very dark Waverly Station because it was under a year long 'refurbishment'. A kind gentleman gave directions to our hotel but we made a pit stop at The Tass, a local pub opposite the more famous 'World's End'. After a heavy meal of pub food ( fish and chips, pie and burgers ), we tried our luck for an early check in at Travelodge Central at St Mary St. Travelodge ( 62 GBP triple for 2 nights, special online rate ) . The minimum service hotel, was not able to receive us because we were an hour too early ( 10 GBP extra for early checkin ) so we walked along the Royal Mile, with our little lime green luggage in tow.
St Gile's was our first 'port of call' . We saw parishers setting up a big Christmas tree but did not stay to witness their success in erecting it. After depositing our luggage back inTravelodge, we walked towards Canongate. By now, it was sundown. From the fare grounds of the Edinburgh castle we saw the new town across the old town bustling with activities and lights from the night market. Beyond in the dark, a string of street lights dotted the outline of the bay beyond.
It seemed that all the crowds of the Old Town in the day had gravitated over to the New Town by sunset. We found a food path that led us from Canongate , past the Scotland National Gallery and into an street of modern shops and malls. We lingered between the night market filled with the sweet smell of gluhwine and smoky sausages. It was more walking to the west end of Princes St before heading to High St via the extreme steep Cockburn St.
|Old Town is ghost town when sun sets|
It may be just 6 pm, but the wintry blustery winds and extreme cold made it necessary to seek refuge, this time in Gordon's trattoria along the Royal Mile. We stuffed ourselves with pasta carbonara, artichoke risotto and foccacia pizza con mozzarella ( 46 GBP ) , a meal more suitable for 6 than just the 3 of us. Scottish food was excellent and ameliorated the fact that our dinner was not as local as we would have liked.
|Beware diminishing waistlines with sumptious food in Edinburgh|