On Friday Janis and I returned from a marvellous few days in Scotland. She had been to Edinburgh before but it was my first visit to this cherished capital of the north.
Altogether we visited two capitals on Monday as the fare to Edinburgh was far cheaper travelling by train via London from Warwick instead of the more logical direct route north.
So we left the ships early and caught the little diesel down to Marylebone in order to catch the fast electric train north from Kings Cross. However it was a long three hour journey to Edinburgh and we were glad to be able to stretch our legs as we strode from the Waverley Station to our Travelodge Hotel up over the hill in Queens Street.
Looking up Princes Street towards the Scott Memorial
The hotel, in a terrace of grand Eighteenth Century architecture designed by James Craig, who rebuilt at that time the whole of the medieval city, had been quite recently refurbished and was the modern sort of Travelodge that hires a luxury bed and bathroom only, leaving the customer to buy all their meals elsewhere.
The Castle from Princes Street
I slept most comfortably enjoying the endless hot water from the shower whenever I felt like it and then Janis and I crunched through toast, marmalade and coffee every morning at the nearby palatial-like Wetherspoons, designed by the same man.
Looking towards Waverley Bridge and the Scott Memorial
Since we were travelling for most of the day on Monday and then again on Friday to return home, we walked mostly on the other three days visiting the castle on its high crag via the cobbled Royal Mile, calling on the way at St Giles’ Cathedral and numerous little souvenir shops down many narrow dark alleyways. We went to the Museum of Scotland and the Scottish National Gallery as well as the Writer’s Museum situated in what was Lady Stair’s House on the steep side of the hill.
Perspective in Monochrome
On Wednesday afternoon we were entertained with lots of other families by the Pantomime at The King’s Theatre and were thrilled by the camp-ish fierceness of Captain Hook and a large hologrammed three dimensional head of a hungry roaring crocodile but were enchanted nonetheless by the voices of Wendy and the fairy Tinkerbelle as they sang delightfully, together and as soloists. But though the dame was played excellently by a man, I was disappointed that Peter Pan turned out to be a fellah rather than a long legged girl, as I have always been used to. It is some time since I saw my last pantomime so maybe this tradition has sadly lapsed.
The ornate Thistle Chapel at St Giles’ Cathedral
The weather was mild and wonderful and even during the storm that effected the east coast, Edinburgh escaped with just a few flurries of sleet flakes. Other wise the temperature varied by about one degree day and night and was close to double figures in the Sun, which we had plenty of. However daylight arrived much later than in Warwick and disappeared much sooner. But that was okay as the Christmas lights everywhere were wonderful.
Christmas Lights at the Dome Restaurant
But now we are back at Warwick and it’s so good to be home.