25 December 2008

Scotland trip, day 1

(You can click the map to enlarge)

On Monday morning we finished packing, loaded up the car and drove up to Carlisle which took about two hours. We stopped there and had some lunch. We'd chosen a restaurant with an attached indoor play area so the kids could expend some energy and stretch their legs. It broke the journey nicely.

After lunch we continued on driving for about two and a half hours, stopping at our destination of Edinburgh, Scotland. We checked into the ridiculously cheap (and therefore very basic) Travelodge and rested for a little while. You can see here how basic our room was:

A double bed, a sofa which converted to a single bed with another pulling out from underneath it, a bathroom and that's about it. It was clean and comfortable, though, and all we needed. We'd have loved to have booked into a fancy hotel but unfortunately it wasn't in the budget and luckily my dad (who had the room next door to us) is a no-frills kinda guy and was perfectly happy.

After our little rest we drove the short distance into the centre of Edinburgh to look at the castle and night cityscape. Naturally I had to take a bunch of pictures.

Edinburgh Castle 1

Edinburgh Castle 2

Edinburgh Castle 6

Edinburgh Castle 5

Edinburgh Castle 3

My guys:

Edinburgh Castle 4

I took this one like this in purpose; it reminds me of an abstract painting. My dad thinks I'm nuts.

Edinburgh 3

This is the view over Princes Street, from the castle:

Edinburgh 2

The view the other way:

Edinburgh 1

I don't know what this building is but I liked it:

Edinburgh building

Here's a link to the Wikipedia page and the official website of the castle. Apparently first records of a fortress on the rock date to around 600AD but it was 1130 when the actual royal castle was built there. In 1356 it was rebuilt, added to in 1511. Rebuilt again 1574-1578. Renovated 1615-1617. It is truly amazing to look at; so formidable and solid as it perches atop the volcanic mound of rock (daylight pictures to come). We were there around 7pm so we didn't go inside, but it was still worth a visit. I love how it's just there, in the middle of the city. You are wandering along a cobbled road and suddenly, amongst all the modern life is this ancient immovable structure.

After the quick castle trip we went to Ti Amo for some dinner, then back to the hotel and to bed. (Hey, Laura - recognise the restaurant?)

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