Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Edinburgh, Part the First

I love taking pictures of hotels and hotel rooms. I booked this room over the internet, using a site that gives you ways of looking that include price and distance from whatever counts as the center of town. I wanted cheap. So I got this room, and it said it was in the eaves and had no view. But cheap. I hadn't been able to get on the school trip because I was too late, so I took the train up and made separate arrangements. But another prof was with the school trip, so we'd made plans to hang out together when the trip got there later in the afternoon.

When I got to the train station and found my way out (no mean feat), I went first to the Knox house (I know, but a First Blast of the Trumpet, people!) and then to St. Giles church.

After St. Giles, I got a taxi and asked to go to the Royal Terrace Hotel. Unfortunately, my reservation was at the Terrace Hotel. But no worries, because the people at the Royal Terrace were very nice and pointed me down the street to the Terrace Hotel.

I rang for someone, and a very tall man came to check me in. As I was signing the register, he asked me if I'd gotten a description of the room, and sounded more than a little doubtful. I said I had, and he handed me a ring with four keys (front door, inner front door, room key, and bathroom key) and sent me up the stairs all the way to the top. (He didn't show me or offer to carry my bag.) So I went up these stairs, and then there were more stairs in the back, so I went up there, and found my room, along with the bathroom.

They were right about the no view part, but I did get nice morning light!

After getting settled in my room and dropping off some stuff, I went to meet my friend and fellow professor who'd gone up on the school trip and was staying a bit closer to the center of town.

And then we decided, hey, it's a misty, drizzly day, let's walk up Arthur's Seat! It doesn't look that bad, but it's a pretty good walk up to the top.

And from the top, you get some really good views of Edinburgh! No doubt the views would be better on a clear day, but somehow, "clear day" and "Edinburgh" don't seem likely to occur in the same sentence very often. The most important thing to notice is that Edinburgh is hilly. The part of the city where we mostly went was two hills, with a bridge between them, and in the gully down there, the train station.

We walked back toward my friend's hotel, in the newer central area of town (on the northern hill). Arthur's Seat is just beyond Holyrood Palace and the Abbey Ruins, so we walked by there and stopped in a pub for dinner. Yum.

I took a cab back to the right hotel, hoofed it up the stairs, and that was the end of the first day!


  1. Bit of a misnomer, the John Knox house though - I always feel a bit sorry for John Mossman. Bit of a shame to be the devout Catholic who made the crown jewels and have your house retrospectively assigned to a rather alarming Protestant. And you're right, our weather does tend to be rubbish.

  2. I liked the Ceilidh House pub; recommended, mostly for the music.

  3. That sounds awesome!! Thanks for the pictures!

  4. Oh, hurrah! Holyrood Park is one of my favorite things in the world! Have a great trip.

  5. Groan...I miss pubs. Real ones, with ales in cask-conditioned pumps, and lots of wood and glass decor. So jealous!

  6. I love the hike to the top of Arthur's Seat. The last time I did it, I'd spent the previous night on the plane from NYC, so I was jet lagged. But it's so amazing to be in the city and suddenly be on this amazing walk. And it's a mildly strenuous climb.