The adventure started off with some flight anxiety as usual. But once we were in the air and got past some turbulence I was fine! The worst part were the "Bros" sitting behind us who were drunk, the crying baby, the lack of entertainment, and the uncomfortable seats. In all honesty I'm not sure I'd fly Norwegian Air again, but the prices are unbeatable.
Once we landed we got our rental car. It took us ages to change the car's language and just figure out where everything was. The emergency break was also on...like why?!? I was driving because I like a good challenge. The hardest part was making turns (turning right when there's a median...good luck). I also learned very quickly that people park anywhere on the side of the road. Therefore, you have to wait for cars to go by before passing the parked cars. The first time I tried to squeeze by (because I'm American and inpatient...but seriously this would never fly in Boston because people don't like to slow down) and Julie gripped the door thinking I was going to lose our mirror...oops. We were glad when we made it to our hotel.
It was only about 10:30 am on Friday so we got started on our itinerary, but first food. We managed to find Edinburgh Castle fairly easily since it stands above the city.
We opted to do a self guided tour since we like to go at our own pace. My favorite parts were the crown jewels and the prison. There is also a prisoners of war section which showed how hundreds of people lived in confined quarters. This Castle is more of a government type Castle and the governor actually lives there! Or so I think...
We were starting to get tired so we opted to walk part of the Royal Mile and look for a pub to sit down. We definitely found a hole in the wall place and had a 1\2 pint of a Scottish Ale. It wasn't my favorite but we were glad to sit down before finishing the mile. It's a street that connects Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace.
Holyrood Palace is where Mary Queen of Scots lived after King Francis died and she returned to Scotland to rule. Here she married Lord Darnley and had her only son, James VI. Lord Darnley eventually died (or was likely killed) and Mary married Lord Bothwell. She was forced to abdicate the throne due to suspicions that she had part in Lord Darnley's death. I learned all of this from Reign...not from the tour (Julie and I did another self guided one). We don't like to pay for entrance and a tour...
The palace was amazing, but I couldn't take any pictures inside. I loved seeing the throne room and her bedchamber. There are Queen's rooms and Mary's rooms. I researched the difference (since Mary was queen) and when she ruled Lord Darnley stayed in the rooms that are now depicted as Queen's rooms. In Mary's room they have a plaque where her private secretary Rizzo was stabbed over 50 times. So historical.
I also loved the Abbey and spent some time reading the stones about the people who were buried there. I am my mother's daughter!
We took a rest outside Holyrood Palace while mentally preparing to "hike". We were right there and had to trek up Arthur's Seat. We weren't sure where we were going and I ended up calling it quits at one point. My Keds were not made for hiking. But the views were AMAZING. You could see everything. What I love so much about Scotland is the lush green color of everything. I want to bottle it up and take it home.
We made it back down to the city and walked back up the Royal Mile. We stopped midway at a food truck event for an early dinner. We walked by earlier in the day and saw the drunk Bros from the plane and quickly left. But now we got some pints and burgers with chips. We were starving after walking 23,000 steps. The event was called Food n Flea and it was right up my Alley.
Once we made it back to the hotel I fell asleep at 6:30 and slept for 14 hours...new record.