My dearest darling husband and me just returned from our summer holiday – and I can tell you, dear friends, it was simply MAGICAL! We’d decided to go on another one of our ‘Celtic trips’, to Scotland this time; and we chose the Isle of Lewis for two reasons: first of all, to get away as FAR as possible from the city hassle, and second because the island offers some of the most famous and most beautiful ancient monuments on the British Isles. And our decision proved absolutely right!
Before travelling all the way to the Outer Hebrides, though, we spent a few days in Scotland’s two big cities, Edinburgh and Glasgow; I’d never been to Scotland before, so I thought that was a ‘must’. We took the train from King’s Cross – and four and a half hours later, we were already in Edinburgh! And as soon as we left the station, I stood there with my mouth open… What a beautiful city, how dignified and… majestic! But I was even more stunned when we entered our room at the Salisbury Hotel – what luxury!! A huge suite with a king size four poster bed, a sofa, armchairs, a fireplace, a desk, a home cinema sized TV screen on the wall… And the bathroom – a big bathtub in one corner, and a stylish open shower in the other! It all seemed just plain impossible considering the price we’d paid for the room…
When we’d recovered from our astonishment, we set out to explore a bit of South Edinburgh, where the Salisbury is situated; and very soon, we came across the perfect place for our dinner: the Salisbury Arms. A stylish and comfy place with great food and wonderful people – while we were eating, I realised I’d fallen in love with Edinburgh already.
And as we looked for a place to have a drink or two afterwards – after all, this was Scotland! – we found an even cosier place: a whisky bar called The Abbey; this would become our go-to place for everything from breakfast to dinner to drinks for the next three days!
The next morning, we set off into the city centre – the shopping centre, the world-famous Royal Mile, with the even more famous castle watching over it from the hill above, and St Giles’ Cathedral, an impressive Gothic structure.
Of course, one of the most famous features of Scottish culture couldn’t be missing in the country’s capital: a bagpipe player playing in the street!
South of the castle, there’s the Old Town, with lovely old buildings and lots of pubs and restaurants – and also lots of tourists from all over the world! Edinburgh is clearly becoming one of Britain’s biggest tourist attractions; and if you’ve ever been around the town you’ll certainly understand why.
In the evening, back at the Abbey bar, we dedicated ourselves to another one of Scotland’s national prides: whisky! We tried one of the bar’s ‘whisky flights’: three shots of really high-class single malt Scotch from different regions; Ian, my darling expert, chose Islay – and they really were something else! I’d started loving Scotland more and more…
More about Edinburgh tomorrow, dear friends, when we’ll explore the great old Medieval castle!