July 5, 2017
Stansted is a very small airport. For such a small airport, they sure have crazy security procedures and a very long walk to the gates. Also, what’s with the carry-on bag sizes? It’s like the world of flying shrunk overnight. I feel ridiculously out of place with my regular sized carry-on. The husband is sent back to check his in. When he gets to the counter, he realizes he has no cash or card, because his wallet made it through the scanner and is with me on the other side of the security barrier! Finally, they just let him through with the bag. In all this, we make it to the gate just about in time to board our flight. A short nap later, we land in Edinburgh.
“But Edinburgh is a mad god’s dream.”
The second leg of our adventure is about to begin and boy, are we excited about it! Excited and hungry. We head into town, check-in and almost immediately head out to grab lunch. I ask the girls on GirlsLoveTravel FB group for suggestions and reviews and ultimately head to pie maker. Now while two or three pies did fill me up, I would recommend this place more for a late afternoon/early evening snack.
Almost as soon as we step out, we see a hop on hop off tourist bus turning into the street. We happily hop on. We complete the entire loop, napping between the dignified old stone buildings on either side of narrow streets, before we hop off at the Edinburgh castle.
We join the free tour and get a short lesson in Scottish history. We didn’t get to see the changing of the guard at Buckingham, but we were in time to see it here. Nothing as grand and elaborate, but it still was the changing of the guard ceremony. We explore the old castle a bit and head out into the Royal mile. Back on the bus, we weigh our options – the Queen was in residence at Holyrood palace and throwing a tea party, which we could see from the bus, so it was pointless hopping off there. We get off at the last stop and take public transport to the library. “Which one?” growls the driver. I don’t know! The driver on the other bus said I was to take this one and ask to be let off at the library. The nice ladies behind us offer to show us. There are two libraries in the city, but only one on this route.
Edinburgh is associated with many writers, philosophers, scientists and academics. The one I’m interested in now is J.K. Rowling. We get off at the library, but our destination is not the library, it’s the Elephant Café – the birthplace of Harry Potter (the series, not the character!). Having fulfilled my fan fantasy*, the husband asks, “What’s next?” We hop back on the tourist bus and head to the End of the World.
There’s no table available, but we squeeze in at the bar. The husband gets his fish and chips (finally!) and beer. When he’s done, we head out in search for a battered Mars bar and dinner for me. The server at the Tavern lets me order even though the kitchen is closing down, only because the battered Mars bar is the only thing I want, and I suspect mainly because of the bump. Satisfied we head towards the Nepali-Indian restaurant for momos (dumplings). We even give up the free ghost tour only for the server to forget – forget to put in the momo order! I was soooo hangry!! Luckily for her, I had ordered an entrée while I was waiting. That, and the husband’s let it go demeanor are what keep me from creating a ruckus. It didn’t stop me though from giving the girl (and her manager) such dirty looks, that she refused to come out of the kitchen the whole time after that.
We walked back to the tram station/bus stop taking in the sights of this old city, letting its character seep into our memories.
* My true fantasy was to meet J.K. Rowling there and have her autograph the Harry Potter series for me and my fanmily.