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Month: May 2014

Some more photos

An advantage of going somewhere as a group, is that it is more likely I actually appear in some photos. So, to conclude this trip report, here are some photos taken by my travel companions in which I actually appear.

 

Homeward

After a speedy night ride to London — we arrived half an hour early — I managed to grab the front row seats again in the bus to Brussels, and this time nobody insisted on joining me there.
Eurotunnel went as planned as well, France was a breeze, but Belgium slowed us down with a traffic jam before Ghent. Welcome to Belgium?
So, I guess that was the end of this trip again already…

Start the countdown to September! 🙂

Last Day

Last day today. That means I had to say goodbye to my fellow travellers, after we visited the farmers’ market—a foodie paradise—and some shops for the very last time.

After an excellent burger at BBL I did some souvenir shopping myself, to end this day at—who could have guessed—BrewDog Edinburgh.

Bagel for Breakfast

A change of scenery for breakfast today: a ham and Isle of Mull cheddar bagel, a Whirling Dervish smoothie and a double espresso, served by the lovely ladies at Hula Juice Bar.

Last Afternoon Together

After lunch we climbed up Calton Hill to see the Nelson Monument, the National Monument and the incredible views of the city and sea. Then we discovered the New Town — including 21st Century Kilts—while still working on our tan—or sunburn, whichever applies.
For our final dinner we went for Indian at The Mosque Kitchen. The concept was a bit weird—think VUB restaurant—but it wasn’t bad and plenty.
After some insistence from my part, we ended up at BrewDog Edinburgh again.

Pies & Tattie Dogs

Pick-nick in the park! I love a nice mince pie — from The Piemaker in this case — but it even tastes better when sitting in the sun in Princess Street Gardens.

Tattie dogs are sheer genius, by the way: a hot dog sausage encased in some kind of hash brown…

HIST Discovers Edinburgh

Since it’s quite hard to blog without being anti-social when travelling in a group, here’s just a little photo impression of yesterday, including a guided tour of the city and a visit to Edinburgh Castle.

 

Everybody’s Here!

The gang is complete now! After settling in at the hostel or apartment, we went to The City Cafe for dinner, then for a little walk and some drinks.

A fine start of this trip, I’d say.

Weird Stuff…

BrewDog does some pretty weird stuff to their beer…

BrewDog Edinburgh

Well, that was long enough in Scotland without a proper drink, so as soon as it opened, I went to BrewDog Edinburgh, the bar where I drank my first BrewDog beer ever, and a place I will probably visit a few more times during my stay… Sticking with lighter beers for now (ABV under 7%), but I’ve seen a couple of stronger beers I will certainly try later!

Sporran Hunting

Since the gang isn’t here yet, I’ve taken this opportunity to do something they wouldn’t be interested in anyway: looking for vintage kilt stuff at Armstrongs Vintage. Plenty of nice tweed kilt jackets, but since I already have two nice ones, I didn’t even bother trying any on. So my main focus was on vintage sporrans and possibly an all black—so a black toorie as well—or all navy blue balmoral hat.
No luck though, so I strolled back to the Royal Mile, and when I reached The Baked Potato Shop, my stomach decided it was time for lunch, even though it was only 11h30.

Clean & Kilted

After so many hours in a bus, it’s nice to be able to take a shower and have a change of clothes. Although I haven’t been able to really check in and see the dorm room yet, first impressions of our hostel—Budget Backpackers—are positive: friendly staff, clean, great breakfast menu, and hot, spacious showers.
For me, a change of clothes meant changing into my kilt, of course!

Good morning Edinburgh!

Starting the day at Snax Cafe with a substantial breakfast, consisting of two link sausages, bacon, a fried egg, black pudding, a tattie scone, a hash brown, haggis, sliced sausage, baked beans, fried tomato and a buttered roll…

Sunny Scotland

About half an hour ago we entered Scotland, where — believe it or not — the sun is shining brightly and there are hardly any clouds! It would be nice if it stays that way…

Overnight Bus

No hick-ups this time: the Megabus Gold is available and leaving on time. So there’s nothing to keep me from arriving in Edinburgh well rested and ready for a great couple of days.
Good night!

Kebab & Cask

Near Victoria Coach Station there aren’t many nice places to eat or drink, but the previous times I was here, I hadn’t much choice due to the limited time I had. Since I arrived a bit early, I had enough time to venture a bit deeper into Pimlico, to a nice Turkish restaurant I found on Foursquare in preparation for this trip: Cyprus Mangal. Their karişik kebab dish was just what I needed.
Then I noticed a craft beer pub nearby — CASK Pub and Kitchen — and since I still had time for a couple of pints…

London

Crossing the Channel went smoothly, crossing London to Victoria Coach Station a bit less so… We’re losing a lot of the time we gained, so eventually we’ll only arrive 15-20 minutes early. Still nice to have some extra time for dinner though! 🙂