|Edinburgh from Calton Hill|
Last weekend I went away on a big adventure. My youngest daughter had three nights booked in an Air BnB in Edinburgh, and at the last minute asked if I'd like to go along. I'd said 'Yes' almost before she'd finished asking!
|Holyrood Palace with Calton Hill beyond|
Firstly, I love Edinburgh, and this was a chance to explore it away from August Festival madness, plus, due to worries about my parents' health, I've only had a couple of weekends away in the last couple of years, so an unexpected break was very welcome. I hurriedly packed a bag, and, leaving my husband in charge of the house, dog, and possible parent problems, I was on a train heading north almost before I knew it.
The adventure started straight away, as I haven't been on a train since a school trip when I was 15 or 16. Things have changed; seats were more comfy, the train less noisy, and we certainly didn't have gin and tonic to drink on that trip! The journey was about five hours but we played a very slow game of Scrabble, watched stations slip past, and the sun set, and the trip didn't seem as long as in a car (it is, though).
|view from Arthur's Seat, with the castle on the right|
|The Royal Mile|
After that our time was spent less energetically - we checked out Holyrood Palace and the new parliament building, walked up the Royal Mile to the Castle, with some retail therapy on the way, visited the main National Gallery in the city centre, caught the bus to the Modern Art galleries further out and walked back via Dean Village. We found small parks and wooded places just off the main roads, walked up Calton Hill (it seems small after Arthur's Seat but my legs were beginning to object), and out to the National Museum to play with the interactive exhibits.
|Old Town skyline|
|Gallery of Modern Art|
|Playing with hot air balloons|
at the National Museum
We ate Italian food and burgers at places my daughter discovered when she worked at the Fringe, smoked salmon in the Gallery cafe, haggis with baked potato in a small cafe on the Mile, rested our feet while having afternoon tea, and I discovered how to order drinks and dinner via an app in Wetherspoons.
|The Dome - it's even more gorgeous inside!|
|Nettle and Elderflower |
|Bryant and Mack Private Detectives cocktail bar|
|New Town at night|
It was a weekend full of a lot of 'firsts' for me - first time away with just my daughter, in fact first time since being married that I'd holidayed without my husband, first time trying AirBnB, or hanging out in cocktail bars till 3am! For most of the trip, my daughter was in charge of organising - ie trains and accommodation - and choosing where to go, and it definitely put a whole new spin on Edinburgh. Luckily we share many of the same interests such as art and exploring new places, but without her I'd have stuck to tried and tested chain restaurants I know from home, and never have stumbled on such interesting 'gin joints'. It's the longest time that the two of us have spent alone together for years, certainly since my daughter would count as 'grown up', and I found it really fun. I hope she did too (that way she'll maybe take me along again).