The standard 06:00 Saturday morning wake up call from the kids, we think we are finally over the jet lag. We went into Eloise’s room to find she had already taken off her sleeping bag and was ready for action.
The first stop of the day was at the Glasgow Fort Shopping Park, a bigger version of Adelaide’s Harbour Town. Eloise must be keener than the Glaswegians to go shopping as it was quiet when we arrived, it was early Saturday morning.
After looking through countless shops Eloise finally found what she had been asking for all week “mask, mask, mask”. Although there are no UK requirements for kids to wear masks, she made sure she was not getting left out.
We were overwhelmed in Smyths Toys Superstore which very much lived up to its name. I am sure we will be making many more trips back here.
Next stop, the hilly capital, Edinburgh. An hour drive from the Fort.
getting truly and utterly lost taking the scenic route throughout Edinburgh’s densely packed streets, the soothing composed voice of the British navwoman started to sound a wee stressed. We eventually found a car park and rendezvoused with a couple of friends, including an AUSSIE! AUSSIE! AUSSIE! It was great getting her perspective of Scotland and talking about life back in Australia. They generously gave us a tour of their hometown.
The tour kicked off at the Grassmarket in the centre of Edinburgh, but instantly it was Edinburgh Castle that stole the show, simply majestic.
The Grassmarket pubs, many with a history dating back to the notorious days of Burke and Hare, are known throughout the world for their exciting, dark Edinburgh history mixed with some of the best traditional food, ales and music in the city! Well preserved cobbled streets, medieval architecture and inspiring views of Edinburgh Castle help to create an atmosphere unparalleled in Edinburgh, Scotland.
We made our way to lunch up the curved Victoria Street and The West Bow. A colourful strip packed with trendy cafes and shops.
It’s no wonder then, that this colourful street is rumoured to have served as the inspiration for London’s magical shopping thoroughfare, Harry Potter Diagon Alley.
One of my parenting goals is to take Eloise and Lachlan on as many Harry Potter tours and sites as possible, with the aim that when we read the books together and watch the movies they will think they are actual witches and wizards. If it wasn’t clear, Liam is writing this one. Yeeeerrrrr a wizard Lachlan.
It was now lunchtime at Bertie’s Proper Fish & Chips.
The battered haddock was as delicious as it was big. Of course, we had to try Edinburgh’s signature Chippy sauce.
After eating way too much we were off to explore Edinburgh’s Old Town. Possibly the most beautiful town we have ever visited.
Edinburgh’s Old Town is a labyrinth of cobbled streets, narrow alleyways and hidden courtyards, all amazingly well preserved and steeped in the city’s history. At its centre is the Royal Mile, a remarkable street of Reformation-era tenement buildings leading from the seat of Edinburgh Castle on Castle Rock down to the grandiose Palace of Holyroodhouse. While the Old Town is a fascinating destination at any time of year, it is particularly captivating in August, when performers flood the austere streets and the town comes alive with the sights and sounds of the Edinburgh Fringe and Festival.
Robert the Bruce awarded Edinburgh its charter in 1329 approximately 507 years (1836) before William Light- Surveyor General selected the area for Adelaide capital of the new colony.
The last few days have felt completely surreal but walking up the Royal Mile it was now clear we are living in Scotland! From the Piper on the side of the cobbled street, the labyrinth of quirky alleyways and even Hedwig’s pal.
The Royal Mile was lined with shops selling various Scottish kilts. We’ll have to send one back to ol’ mate Ben Kochy.
Slowly pushing the double pram up the cobbled Royal Mile we eventually made it to Edinburgh Castle and was rewarded with some Scottish rain to cool off. This truly was turning into a genuine Edinburgh tour.
It was time for Eloise to stretch her legs and we dawdled through East Princes Street Gardens past the Scott Monument.
Standing proudly in Princes Street Gardens, the Scott Monument is one of the most iconic Edinburgh landmarks, a must-visit for tourists and locals alike. Dedicated to Sir Walter Scott, it is one of the largest monuments to a writer anywhere in the world.
Making our way from the Old Town towards the New (relative) Town.
Inspired by the lofty ideals of the Scottish Enlightenment, the neat and ordered grid of the New Town provides an elegant contrast to the labyrinthine design of the Old Town. Its broad streets boast spectacular neoclassical and Georgian architecture, with a wealth of beautiful buildings perfectly preserved since their construction in the 18th and 19th centuries.
As we walked past all the designer shops in the famous George Street, while trying to keep Eloise’s eyes covered, the light Edinburgh drizzle had truly set in. The rain jackets were starting to make their first appearance.
Coffee time, a quick stop at Victor Hugo Delicatessen. Eloise could not believe her luck when Sophie’s hot chocolate arrived with a dozen small marshmallows.
After one more happy snap in front of Edinburgh Castle, our friends luckily walked us back to our car. A fantastic high level tour, we will be back soon!
DING DING! To be continued…
It must have been a great day!