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Tag: Edinburgh

Edinburgh, second & third day

Edinburgh, second and third day.

(photography by h–na)

London & Edinburgh Trip

No day to day report of my trip this time, a couple of photos after our return will have to do. Later I will post a follow-up with some photos from the cameras and iPhone of my travel companion and girlfriend h–na as well.

The journey by bus was more troublesome than ever before: the trip to London has taken us six hours longer than intended, mainly due to problems in the Eurotunnel. We made it to London eventually, but headed straight to the hotel to get at least some sleep before our first full day in the city.

Our first stop after breakfast was the British Museum. I couldn’t pass on the opportunity to see the heavily contested Elgin Marbles

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After some time in the museum, we needed a drink, so we enjoyed some tea and scones at the Tea and Tattle. And I must say: it was the best cream tea I’ve had so far!

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After a short visit to the Science Museum, it was time to start drinking… 😉 As an avid BrewDog fan, I wanted to visit as many BrewDog bars as possible, so we started at the latest London addition: BrewDog Shepherds Bush. After a couple of beers, we moved on to Camden. First fish and chips at Hook, where the dishes served looked and tasted remarkably like those at Bia Mara in Brussels… That means excellent, in case you were wondering! 🙂

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Then a beer in the nearby BrewDog Camden, and after a short stop at the Dean Swift, our third BrewDog bar: BrewDog Shoreditch. Since they were about to close, we were ushered into UnderDog, the beery cocktail bar of BrewDog.

Since we didn’t feel like switching to cocktails, and preferred to sleep a little before another day of playing tourist, we decided to go back to our hotel. The previous night we were quite happy with the service provided by our Uber taxi, and the very reasonable ride price of £7.92, so even when the app warned us it the cost would be 2.4 times the normal rate, we went ahead and ordered another one. Oh boy, was that a mistake… Apparently we were quite a bit further from the hotel this time, since the total added up to £34.58!


Our second day in London we visited Kensington PalaceWestminster AbbeyThe London Bridge Experience and were just too late for the Tower of London. The London Transport Museum was still open, so we went there, and had a stroll through Covent Garden. Unfortunately looking for dinner did take a bit longer than expected, so we didn’t have any time to spare for the fourth BrewDog bar in London this time, since we had to pick up our luggage and catch our Megabus to Edinburgh…


After arriving in Edinburgh, we checked into our hotel ( easyHotel ) for a little nap — I’m never fully rested after a night on a sleeper bus — and shower.

Since it was h–na’s first time in Edinburgh, we decided to get on one of those tour buses to get an overall view of the city. We had a small, standing lunch at Oink, and then went for an Introduction to BrewDog Tasting and Talk with Five Craft Beers to Taste Each with Cheese and Meats at BrewDog Edinburgh. Mostly beers from their core range, but I’m happy to say I was able to identify each and every one of them, before the staff told us which ones they were! 🙂

It was the 25th of January that day: Burns’ Night! So we went to a ceilidh with a haggis, neeps & tatties buffet. Not the best of combinations for me, since I wasn’t really up for more dancing after having a go at the buffet…


All was digested by the next morning, however, so plenty of room for a proper Scottish breakfast! 🙂

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This day we went on another bus to see Leith as well, and in the afternoon we had a private tour of Edinburgh Castle. Unfortunately, after the tour most museums in the castle were closed already. Winter isn’t the best time of year to be a tourist, so it seems…

But there’s always BrewDog Edinburgh, the place where I first discovered decent craft beer outside of Belgium and became a BrewDog fan. And as an Equity Punk, it is especially interesting to get there and order before five o’ clock to enjoy a very attractive Daytime Discount! 🙂

The culinary discovery of this trip must have been Wings: only chicken wings on the menu—well, and a few side dishes—but dozens of different sauces or dry rubs, and delightfully geeky!

In the evening, we visited the vaults under the South Bridge with a guide. Once again, there was nobody but my girlfriend and I. It must really be a hard time for the tourist industry in Edinburgh…

To finish the day, a visit to the Bow Bar — they even had beer from De Natte Gijt! — and one last drink at the Ghillie Dhu before turning in.


Our last day in Edinburgh we went to the National Museum of Scotland, where we rushed to the roof to hear the one o’ clock gun and see the ball drop on the Nelson Monument, only to miss it by seconds… It was the third time in Edinburgh for me, and I still haven’t actually seen or heard it!

Lunch at another newcomer in Old Reekie: Reekie’s Smokehouse. Here it was the first time I had brisket — tasty — but I’ll have to come back to try the ‘burnt ends’. Or maybe I’ll just get the whole Meatfest next time! 🙂

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We couldn’t say goodbye to Edinburgh without a last visit to BrewDog Edinburgh, and to finish it off, we shared a beer flight at The Hanging Bat.

Oh, I almost forgot about my mission to get some Irn-Bru bottles in my tartan, but I did manage to find some eventually! 🙂

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Going home, once again, terrible delays plagued us, but I have to say: the Megabus customer support on Twitter is second to none, and they helped us get home to the best of their abilities!

Online course about the Scottish Independence Referendum

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An online course titled Towards Scottish Independence? Understanding the Referendum started this week on FutureLearn.com, taught by The University of Edinburgh. It is a bit more reading and watching than I expected, but it’s really interesting.

The first live Question Hour was today — but you can still watch it — and there will be one every week for six weeks, answering questions from students posted on the site or on Twitter.

Did I mention it is free? 🙂 So don’t hesitate to still sign up, if you want to learn a bit more about the referendum than what the newspapers say!

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.

 

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…