Saturday, May 26, 2012

Gena's Second Week in the UK

Tuesday, May 22nd - Castle Brewer

Big day, people to do, places to see, things to go...  Roughly, visit Edinburgh, Scotland and then meet up with my co-worker Jim and his wife Chris in York on the way back down.  Jim & Chris were gracious enough to invite us to their family get together last year in Torquay See Day 1 & 2 Here

Edinburgh Old Town is centered on the Royal Mile which runs from the castle to Holyroodhouse and is lined with historical buildings and tourist traps.

Luckily the hike up to the mile takes the fight out of Gena, minimizing the damage that can be done in the tourists traps.  However, she did manage 20 or so "Genuine Scottish Tartan" shops to find the family Buchanan tartan.

One up there though, the view of the new town is great.

Back down on Rose street we set off to dinner.

Mercat was my great find last time I was in Edinburgh, quality food and a drink in a nice location.  I forgot about the portion sizes...
You want food porn?  How about 2 Sirloins, peppercorn sauce, salad, chips, tomato's, mushrooms and a couple of Deuchars (Caledonian) IPA's?

I don't think the breakfast selection would be as popular in the States though.
As we were finishing our drinks the manager heard us talking about beer with another patron and soon enough, out came a liter bottle of "American Style" IPA and some sampling glasses.   A couple of drinks and a good chat later we called it a night.

Wednesday, May 23rd - Edinburgh, Scotland

Gena made contact with Josi, German 2.1 who was studying at the University of St. Andrews so a plan was hatched.  We'd have breakfast, find that elusive Buchanan plaid, tour the castle and meet up with 2.1 who was taking the bus down around 1.
Just outside the Castle grounds, the "real", "genuine", Endinburgh woollen mill, attraction, etc.  I wan't thrilled with the endless search for the world's ugliest flannel.  I was happy to get it out of the way early though.

From the castle we marveled at the sights.

And queued to see the Crown Jewels and coronation stone.

The Victorians were big on travelling the country and forward thinking enough to consider what other travelers would find attractive.   A lot of "historical" sites were restored during the Victorian era.  Not saying the restoration isn't genuine, but William Wallace's name's on the window....

Josi's bus stop was pretty close to the castle so we sat outside a local pub across from St. Giles Cathedral and had a pint.

The lovelies in the Rose Street Brewery for lunch.  At this point we decided that we'd rather let Josi take us around St. Andrews than visit the Holyroodhouse.

About an hour and a half later we arrived in St.Andrews and walked through the seaside cathedral ruins.

Out to the beach where students were celebrating the end of term and exams with a beach barbecues.

Two St. Andrews traditions for trivia fans: being soaked with a bucket of water by your friends as you leave your exams, and jumping into the sea after the end of term.  It wasn't warm enough for either but it was entertaining to watch.

"Do you guys want to get a beer"?  Of course we do, catching up at Aikens.

The to the Grill House for mexican dinner.  I like bright colors.

Thursday May 24th, Scottish border

Woke up this morning and did a bit of work while Gena slept.  Breakfast at Mercat and then got underway along the Eastern Scottish coast headed South towards York.

Stopped at the border for a nuclear hot coffee and picture of Hadrian's Wall.
I thought it would be bigger, like Game of Thrones.

Our tact on road trips is to map out a general direction at breakfast, then revise it based on what options are available at lunchtime.  This trip we were armed with an atlas, the CAMRA Good Beer Guide, and Rick Steve's Travel Guide to the UK.
Two of the three references told us that Durham might be a good spot for lunch.

Ceasar salads and a glass of wine each and we were on our way.

To York!  Where a stop into the Golden Lion seemed in order while we waited for Jim & Chris.

Standing outside I heard a unique sounding motor and said, "Hey, that's a D___ C___!  I'm going to take a picture for the blog so my dad can look at it and say; Hey, that's a D____ C_____!"

The Northerners arrived a little early so we set off through The Shambles to find drinks and dinner. 
We found lots of both...

Last call for alcohol, at The Maltings.

Friday, May 25th - York, Cafe Concerto

I don't feel lovely.  French toast and coffee will get me going again..

The magnificent York Minster!  After 13 days of non-stop touring it seemed a better idea to do a casual stroll around instead of climbing the 275 steps to the top of the catherdral spire.  I did a better write up here.

See how the peaks of the ceiling don't match?  They think that it was a mistake by the architect.
Anywho...  Time to head back home, laundry and the vacuum call.

Not before a visit to the New Inn in Enderby!  Yep, the Beer Guide invited us to a "well kept local, with a reputation for tasty, sizable lunches.  Often frequented by the brewers at Everards brewery nearby."

Here's your food porn: "Fish Finger Sandwich" and a "Stilton and Beef".  Quality, local, traditional, my style!  We traded halves, it was gorgeous!

By the time we got back all we had energy for was pizza from the Plough and a movie. 

"Afraid I was going to leave without a goodbye kiss?"

1 comment:

  1. What a wondeful experience to be able to see all these sites, and visit all these places. I'm betting, though, that you look forward to a time when you're actually just "bored" at home. Looks like you had good weather though, so you got that going for you........, and some of that food looked incredible!