On our way to Edinburgh we stopped at two locations, one being the location of the angel of the North and then the other was Hadrians wall.
Hadrians wall was built to separate the Romans from the barbarians, it is 117.5km long and there were about 9000 roman soldiers protecting it.
Once in edinburgh we checked into our hotel which was AMAZING! There was a massive shower with a dump style head plus the room was super cool. We did a walking tour of edinburgh that night then had a nice dinner at a local pub where we tried haggis, it was kind of like a meatloaf but it wasn’t very nice. Luckily Shaun noticed that our burgers were sitting off the patty a bit and that was because they had put a haggis patty on top of the normal burger patty! They also have haggis with breakfast here so it’s everywhere. One great things about the pub culture here is both and I have been trying the local beers around the place and I am loving half pints, Shaun calls them anita size pints.
Day 1: On our first free day in edinburgh we went to the edinburgh castle which had amazing views of the city. We also went to the graveyard of grayfair bobby which was a famous dog in the city, the owner had died and the dog went to the owners grave every day all day until it died several years later so now it is buried at the same cemetery as it’s owner.
Edinburgh is the second best shopping city in the UK behind London so of course we also did some shopping. We bought heaps from primark which was a 5 level store just with clothes & shoes, we managed to spend a few hours in there! We also found an American candy store which had all sorts including peanut butter M&M’s and pretzel M&M’s so we got some to try. Speaking of different foods/lollies we have found a number of things around the UK including fruit twist flavour fanta, IRN BRU drink in Scotland and we found a crunchie flavoured magnum with popping candy in the chocolate.
To end the evening we went to a pub crawl with most of our tour group. We didn’t find it as good as the Berlin pub crawl but it was still a good experience. We went to 5 pubs, one of them had a few dogs inside! People literally take there dogs inside with them while they have a drink.
Day 2: Todays mission was to find out more about Shaun’s family history. We went to a shop by edinburgh castle who were able to provide us with the history of each of our last names. It was interesting to see our crests and read where the name was originated from so we both got our history printed. We also went and saw kilts being made and found some tartan from both sides of Shaun’s Scottish family (the Hopkins and the Greenfield side).
We had a late lunch at a pub (and some beer!) and then chilled out for the rest of the afternoon. We were going to go up to Lochness for the day however it was going to be 4.5 hours driving each way for only 1.5 hours at Lochness itself so we thought it wasn’t worth it. It was nice to just spend time walking around Edinburgh and watching the locals play their bagpipes on the streets etc. We found the Elephant cafe where JK Rowling wrote Harry Potter and walking around the streets you could just feel where she got her ideas from with the skinny alleys, stone castles etc
We drove to Glasgow on the 15th which was only about an 1.5 hours away from Edinburgh. We got there in the morning and we went for a small walking tour to show us the main sites of the city. The first thing we did after the walking tour was go to an art museum which had a few different exhibitions happening. There was one exhibition which literally looked like a kindergartens art room.. We weren’t huge fans of that one! There was one exhibition that I absolutely loved though it was just a room full of cardboard buildings. They were only small but there was a variety of types from houses, castles, cathedrals to other types of buildings. It just made me want to go home and make some myself!
We walked around George square which had a number of monuments including a statue of James watt who invented the light bulb. We noticed there were a lot of advertisements for the commonwealth games as they are happening in Glasgow this year.
There were a lot of buskers on the streets of Glasgow, some sounded a bit like Ed Sheeran! There were again lots of shops in central Glasgow so we looked at some other stores including a store called TK Maxx which is basically a clearance shop for designer brands but they had everything including Calvin Klein luggage, homeware, clothes and shoes. There was one shop that had hundreds of old school sewing machines lined up in the windows as the shop display it was really cool and there were blue police boxes around which were used in Dr Who.
We went into Poundland, everything in Poundland is 1 pound. It reminded me of a reduced to clear shop in NZ however it was much larger, they had one thing that Shaun loved and that was a pick and mix lolly concept.. You pay 1 pound for a cup (one like you would get at MCD’s) and then you fill it with as many lollies as you can from the pick and mix bins.
Once we were checked into our hotel it was time to get some dinner before heading to a local stand up comedy show. We found a local fish n chip shop that was recommended by the hotel and we were amazed when we saw they had deep fried pizza! We double checked and it was literally a pizza shoved in the deep fryer. We had been told that there is a lot of deep fried things in Scotland and we already knew about the famous deep fried mars bar but the concept of the pizza was a bit strange.
The comedy show we went to was at a small establishment for stand up comedians. There were 5 acts, 3 were good and two were a bit strange. It wasn’t as good as Nz comedy however the MC Billy Kirkland was hilarious, he was a typical Scottish man which made him even more funny. Overall we had a fantastic time in Scotland!