From Edinburgh to Newcastle

Leaving Glasgow was easy. Both mentally as I didn’t much miss it, and in reality as traffic in Glasgow doesn’t appear to be too bad. It is also the one place we went to do that doesn’t have roundabouts everywhere.

Edinburgh is amazing. It’s absolutely beautiful. Possible the best looking city I have seen in the United Kingdom. Building after building and street after street is stunning. I was blown away by Edinburgh. I would highly recommend a visit to this city.

We walked through the gardens on our way to Edinburgh Castle. These gardens are simple but elegant with an interesting fountain. At the end of the gardens is the Scottish National Gallery, a free art museum. Free is good but art galleries are rapidly losing their interest for me. I pretty quickly walked through it and ended up waiting around outside for the others for quite some time. They seemed to like it, me less so.

And then we reached Edinburgh Castle. It is expensive to enter, but completely worth it. This castle sits atop a steep hill right in the middle of the city. You enter through a gate on the one part that isn’t a sheer cliff, and you enter under the watchful gaze of 10 or so cannons. The view of the city is one of the best I have seen. It really highlights how great this city is.

After fueling up with a scone and cup of tea, I visited the Scottish War Museum in the castle. While there are a few interesting items in there, and some interesting information, I was a little disappointed. It was mostly about the last 200 years after unification with England. I was hoping for more about the conflicts between the English and the Scottish.

The castle also houses the Scottish crown jewels. After a rather large buildup of information which I found a little overdone, the stone, sceptre and sword were really cool. The history of their capture and return is interesting. One factoid that I liked is that they were hidden during WWII in case the Germans invaded. Only four individuals were told the location. The King, two others, and the Governor General of Canada. At first that seemed a little odd but it makes sense. If the United Kingdom was to fall, Canada was probably the safest commonwealth country. It had the United States as protection and a large ocean in between.

Next to the castle was a large whisky store where I bought a few tiny bottles of scotch to try when I get back home. For any whisky aficionado this store would probably be close to heaven.

After the whisky we found a nearby pub and had lunch. I had a delicious smoked salmon salad and tried a bit of haggis, which was actually quite good. I kind of wish I ordered it while in Scotland but I suppose there will always be other opportunities.

And then we drove for a few hours to Newcastle where we pretty quickly fell asleep from complete exhaustion.

The Edinburgh gardens

View from the outer wall towards the inner keep

The castle had many cannons

Smoked salmon salad

Edinburgh Castle

My friend excited to be heading back into England

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