Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Sunday: Edinburgh

Edinburgh is a beautiful, wonderful city - and one day is not enough to see it. Especially if you make a mistake and book a full day tour that doesn't allow exploration, as we did. Don't get me wrong, the tour was excellent, but it focused on Edinburgh Castle & the royal yacht Britannia - with lunch & a city drive included - and we only had about 45 minutes on the Royal Mile. We never even made it to Princes Street! I really didn't want to get back on the ship at the end of the day - and I WILL be back again!
The castle was very interesting but horrifyingly overcrowded with tourists (yes, I know I'm a tourist too, but I'm the right kind of tourist so I don't count :-))
Lunch wasn't great, but it also wasn't terrible and it was convenient. Plus we spent lunch talking to a lovely pair of ladies from Michigan, which was very enjoyable.
Driving around the 'New town' - Georgian Edinburgh - and the Old Town - 15th & 16th century Edinburgh I saw so many streets I wanted to explore, so many whiskey shops to visit (ok, other shops too)... I really want to go back, can you tell?

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The yacht Britannia was very interesting. M got a bit Marxist about the excess of running a yacht with over 240 crew - including a full admiral commanding them - for one family on the tax payer, but it was a fascinating insight into the politics & diplomacy of the history of the yacht.

The Queen’s bed chamber & Prince Phillip’s:

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The honeymoon suite:

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Sadly once we left the yacht we had no time for anything but returning to the ship. Due to the size of the Ruby Princess we couldn't dock and had to travel to and from the ship by tender, which is slower than using a gangway, eating further into the time we had there. Although the trip back, when we managed to get seats on the top, was actually pleasant in itself.

Food today:
Breakfast: buffet
Lunch: melon with red & black currants followed by chicken in Bonnie Prince Charlie sauce with veg, then Cranachan

Dinner: Pacific scallops

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followed by goat cheese, beets, and heirloom tomatoes

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followed by a filet mignon with tiger prawns in a whisky, chilli marinade, with vegetables & potatoes (served family style all over the table). I asked for the steak & prawns (which were a separate dish on the menu) expecting a kind of surf ‘n’ turf dish, but she brought the prawns as a whole separate dish

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and lemon meringue pudding tart

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