Monday, May 19, 2014

Shore Leave - Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh was the port I had been looking forward to the most and it didn't disappoint! We were docked next to the Royal Yacht Britannia and the Ocean Terminal Mall (not that malls are terribly exciting but useful for buying a SIM card, getting wifi or a bite to eat if you don’t have time to go further into town).  The old town was an easy bus ride away.  I had one day almost completely off (I only worked breakfast) and was able to pack a lot into my one sight-seeing day.  

the Sorlandet as seen from Britannia, Ocean Terminal on the left

When I got off the bus I headed to New Town first. Now New Town is Georgian so it’s still quite old by North American standards but newer then Old Town.  There was lots of bunting up which gave the streets a festive feel.  The streets here are laid out in a grid pattern and had more chain or brand name stores then independent ones.

I also wandered around Old Town which had streets going every which way and many more independent shops and restaurants then New Town.  I found a yarn store and the Greyfriars Bobby statue.

The Royal Mile stretches from the castle down to Holyrood Palace.  I stopped at the Gladstone’s Land, a National Trust property of a 17th century tenement building and a cultural oasis among shops selling kilts, postcards, anything tartan and lambswool/cashmere scarves. 

During the day I made my way through some parks complete with springtime blossoms and cricket players.

Another day I went over to the Royal Yacht Britannia with Jess.  It was interesting to see the similarities and differences between our ship and the Britannia.  For instance, our galley department is 2 people, theirs was 40!  (of course their tablet took 3 hours to set, ours takes about 10 minutes) Both had a little store where crew could buy sweets. Britannia had a post office! Nice as galley may be, that’s where I would like to work!

flags are the same on any ship but these are more organized then ours

So Edinburgh was great, I was able to see a lot but there is still more to explore! For instance, going inside the museums I walked by, getting inside the castle, a trip up to the highlands... here's hoping I can return one day.

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