Friday, May 1, 2015

Day 9, 10, 11: Edinburgh, Edinburgh to Glasgow, Glasgow

Day 9

This was the first day on our own.  We said goodby to everyone at the end of the evening on Day 8. Mary and I slept in a bit.  Did a bit of organizing in our room.  And set out to spend the day on the Royal Mile shopping and seeing sights.  Ate a nice lunch in a bistro called Circus....I had my hair washed and blown dry across the street from where we ate.  Then we walked to a site that is a guided tour of Mary King's Close which was quite fascinating!  I'll add more about this sight when I have more time.  For now, here is photo taken from the website:

Wikipedia says about the site:

Mary King's Close is an old Edinburgh close under buildings in the Old Town area of Edinburgh, Scotland. It took its name from one Mary King, daughter of advocate Alexander King, who in the 17th century had owned several properties within the close.

We then ducked in and out of several touristy shops as we made our way back to the room.
Dinner was at 9 in Leister.  Leister is about a 10 pound taxi ride from the Royal Mile and was the seaport area of Edinburgh.  I think that it was actually another town but that the population has grown in every direction and now the area between the two towns has become neighborhoods.

Dinner was amazing.  It was in a place called Kitchin.  AMAZING!  Dinner was extraordinary!

Day 10:

This morning started as a repack day to get ready for the train from Edinburgh to Glasgow.  Mary went out for breakfast.  I picked up a quick Starbucks and spent time in the room working on my luggage and blog and getting organized.  We did some shopping on the Royal Mile before our trek to the tour at Edinburgh Gin Distillery.

The below are the actual stills in which the gin is distilled.  Our tour took us right up beside all of the equipment that was not in use during the tour:

The history of gin was very entertaining....or perhaps it was the young man telling the stories who was very entertaining.

It was a lot of fun and ended up with a tasting in a room that looked like the below.

We then had lunch at a nearby hotel and walked just a very small amount on the Royal Mile

I had looked for the Close all day on the first day in which we took Jack's photo on our last trip to Edinburgh.....found it on the way back to the hotel:

Then we gathered up our luggage and rode the train to Glasgow.  ....

Mary had already made reservations for us at the Grand Central Hotel that is actually inside the station.  WOW!  Talk about easy transfer.  Train was fast.....Hotel was convenient....

We actually chose to eat dinner in the Alston Bar and Beef that is also in the train station.  This is a most unusual space that the Bar and Restaurant occupies.  We went down a flight of steps to get to dinner.  Here is a photo from the internet that is somewhat what it looked like:

And here is the bar where we sat to wait on a table:

It isn't clear in these two photos how much the big curved pillars were a part of the space.  A search on the internet

.....down into its basement where there are Victorian platforms and traces of Grahamston Village!

So here is the photo that shows the original pillars:

At least that is my interpretation of what I saw in the restaurant space tonight.

Day 11

Today our plan is to board the hop on/hop off bus to see the sights of Glasgow and to repack to get ready for the flight home tomorrow.

Everything went great.  Below is the photo of the bus (It was too cold to sit outside on the top.  We sat on top in the inside part)

Our favorite site was the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum:

The building was magnificent inside:

Some of my favorite things that I viewed were the below photo of a statue of William Wallace with the following explanation about the artist's decision to use his face in his rendition:

Also two paintings that tug at one's heart strings.  One of a group that is the "last of the clan" and is explained as a group of families who have gathered to see their friends and families off as they sail for America.  The ship has just left and they are left behind.....very sad that their loved ones are gone!

and the massacre of Glen Coe:

One other room that we particularly liked was the room that contained armor and weapons:

After a full day of bus and a few stops along the way, we arrived back to our hotel:

The end of our trip to Glasgow tasting review gave Fever Tree tonic top rating.  Mary's book had suggested that the best of the tonic waters are:

Here are the four best tonic waters in the world according to Mary’s book:

fever tree

thomas henry

And best drink of the trip was DEFINITELY hands down at The Kitchin:

Was it the gin? Rock Rose and fever tree tonic and the orange peel formed into a rose.
North Berwick and Fever Tree and slices of blood orange

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