Tue, July 9
Glasgow is the chief port city in western Scotland and we passed through it as we took the 1-1/2 hour coach trip to Edinburgh. The country looked green and lush as we skirted Loch Lomond.
Arriving in Scotland’s capital, we spent the next few hours walking the Royal Mile, the heart of the old town, where we sampled Scottish beer while taking in such historical sites as Edinburgh Castle, Sir Walter Scott Memorial, Greyfriars Bobby and St Giles Cathedral. People were very friendly and it was easy to find our way around town. We noticed how expensive clothes and food are here and fuel equates to $A2.89 litre!
The unemployment situation is not good in Ireland or Scotland; manufacturing is on the decline and we saw a lot of houses up for sale where values have dropped dramatically and also many completely empty office buildings.
Edinburgh is a big, bustling city and everywhere you look there is amazing architecture, shops, markets and countless side streets with stories to tell. The castle dominates the top of the Royal Mile and at the lower end is Holyrood Palace, the official royal residence in Scotland. Some friends did a tour of the Royal Yacht Britannia and had lunch there as well which they enjoyed, so no shortage of things to do.
Keen to try something local, lunch consisted of a ploughman’s lunch for Alex and I had a great-tasting soup, called Cullen Skink, consisting of fish and potatoes and a pint of Killelan beer.
Temperatures were up once again and it was nice to have a swim when we got back “home”! A Scottish band played on the pier next to the ship until we sailed and some locals came to see us off and were waving Australian flags!