Scotland: Day 8
It happened. I got sick. Somehow I managed to stay well through multiple weddings and wedding activities, work travel and major announcements and buying a house/moving. But as soon as I let my guard down… hello head cold!
We still managed a packed day though. First off was a walking tour of the old town of Edinburgh. Booked through Sandeman’s tours, our guide, Neale, took us through thousands of years of history and refreshingly we did not talk about the Jacobite rebellion. We learned about the different kings and queens of Scotland, public punishments, unusual quirks about the city (how there is a protestant reformer buried in a parking lot because his dying wish was to be buried by his church – and yes you can park over his grave), how to prevent body snatchers from removing your body for science and so much more. It was a great way to frame the city and build an understanding.
Following, I had booked afternoon tea at the Colonnades at the Signet Library. Imagine a fancy high tea, but in a beautifully set library, surrounded by old books. Even better, they are amazing with allergies. We both ordered our pots of tea, and then they proceed to bring you soup, a tray of savories, a tray of sweets and sorbet. We left incredibly stuffed. This is definitely a meal, not a snack, in case you ever fancy to book tea in the UK.
Some highlights from the trays included: carrot coriander soup, beef blackberry tartlet, roasted red pepper polenta, falafel, pulled pork sandwich, roasted red pepper sandwich, strawberry white chocolate macaroon, chocolate caramel tartlet, coconut mango mousse, two types of scones, and so much more.
Full to the brim, I went on a mission to find a pharmacy because while I packed pretty much everything I could possibly need on this trip, I neglected to pack Dayquil and cough drops. I found equivalents and moved on. (By the way, the cough drops here are crazy. They definitely have medicine in them, and they are ridiculously cheap).
We wandered around Edinburgh, popping in and out of stores, and decided to start working through a small section of the National Museum of Scotland (which is free).
We checked out Dolly, the cloned sheep, who is now stuffed and on display at the museum. We also went through the Scotland through the Fashions exhibit, which highlighted clothing from the last 400 years. Definitely cool and I highly recommend!
After our bite size museum experience, we headed back to the AirBnb. James wanted to walk and because it had stopped raining I agreed. Once back inside, I was determined to not leave again, and so we very quickly became obsessed with Ancestry.com and next thing we knew, four hours had passed.
Scotland: Day 9
The full fledge cold – ugh! Determined not to let a mostly sunny day go to waste in bed, I napped until about 10 am and then James and I headed to Arthur’s Seat for some fresh air. This is definitely a hike… don’t let locals fool you by saying you can climb it in your “trainers.” Hiking boots recommended! But regardless, we took it easy and slowly made our way up to the top for fantastic views of the city and the lands further north and south.
We took the main path on the way up, but opted to cut across a glassy slope to a paved sidewalk for our descent (which also put us closer to lunch). From Arthur’s Seat, we headed to Press Coffee for brunch. They have an eggs benedict like dish served on potatoes instead of English muffins. I was in heaven. It was amazing. James had a ciabatta with bacon, brie and cranberry chutney.
I managed to convince James to go into the Surgeon’s Museum that is a part of Edinburgh University. I love medical oddity museums, and find historical records of healthcare fascinating. James not so much. We’ve had a few incidence in the past that have involved throwing up. He was a trooper though and I got to spend an hour reading about the “invention” of surgery. There was a room with thousands of pathology specimens, which James was willing to sit outside while I wandered through, but at this point I was feeling rather lousy and so we left.
Finding a bus stop that wasn’t filled with a bunch of creeps took some time, but eventually we were able to hop back on the bus that took us to the flat.
Exhausted, I proceeded to take a hard nap, and James went for a run. I spent the rest of the evening laying on the couch watching the Great British Baking Show. The silver lining to being sick in the UK!