Our Adventure Begins | Edinburgh, Scotland
Edinburgh, Here We Come
Our adventure began bright and early on Tuesday morning. We were fortunate that Julie’s dad was willing to give us a ride down to San Diego to catch our outbound flight to New Jersey where we would catch our connecting flight on to Edinburgh. Originally, the flight we had booked was scheduled to depart at 12:35 p.m. but at some point, had been bumped up to 10:55 a.m. This change, although pushing us out the door earlier, allowed us some extra time between flights once we landed in Newark. That extra time served us well in finding a place to sit down, eat dinner, and catch the second half of the USA vs. Germany World Cup soccer match. Arriving at the airport early, we made it through security with time to spare and sat down to a quick breakfast.
Following dinner and a USA win while in Newark, we caught our connecting flight, waited through an hour delay, and made our way to Edinburgh.
Staying Awake & Sightseeing
With an early morning, local time arrival in Edinburgh, we knew the key to avoiding jet lag was to stay awake. Our goal was to fall asleep somewhere around what a normal bedtime would be. While waiting for our bags to arrive, I headed over to the ATM to grab some local currency. Stepping out of the airport, it became readily apparent that the line between too much planning and not enough, was closer than I had anticipated. It goes without saying, but I will anyway…figure out how you’re going to get from point A to point B. When you’ve been on the go for 20+ hours, the best thing you can do is know how to get to your hotel. Rather than roam around trying to figure it out for too long, we opted to hop in a cab and take the direct route to our hotel. A good decision.
Once at our hotel, we checked in and dropped off our bags. Resisting the urge to lie down and sleep, we pulled ourselves together and headed into the city center. The bus leaves from just across the street and makes a number of stops along the way before dropping you off on a bridge a short walk from the Royal Mile.
After grabbing a burger and beer at the Castle Arms, we made our way up to Edinburgh Castle. Though the castle was crowded, it’s hard to fall asleep when you can take in such spectacular views.
Hitting the Wall
Walking through the castle, we saw what we could muster, and then made our way down the Royal Mile toward Holyrood Palace. Known as the Queen’s Official Residence when in Scotland, it dates back to 1671. On this particular afternoon, the palace was hosting a party that left it inaccessible and rather crowded. We walked a short bit up Arthur’s Seat, a hill formed from an extinct volcano, to catch a quick glimpse of the palace visitors, before deciding to call it a day.
Arriving back at our hotel, we quickly fell asleep around 7:00 p.m. as we prepared for 48 hours of driving in Scotland the following day.