If you are ever going to visit Scotland, there are a few things you need to understand before you go. To begin with, you are probably going to visit, hear about, be pointed towards, or stumble across the city of Edinburgh, and you will need to know how to pronounce it. There are several hilarious YouTube videos online, but the short version is, it is NOT pronounced Edin-BURG. People will correct you. I’m not kidding, they will loudly correct you, including an eye roll and possibly a sigh. To blend in (or at least not look quite as touristy), pronounce it Edin-bra or Edin-bura . . . either one will help you blend in. And should you be heading in the direction of Glasgow, it is pronounced Glasgo (just drop the w, it isn’t needed). Later in the week, I will add Gene’s “Scottish Dictionary of Terms” that he collected while we were gone.
We had a great visit in “EdinBRA” and one of the most memorable meals we have ever had. We started the day with a “coach” tour of the city that ended at Edinburgh Castle. Robbie, our tour guide, told us that Insights Vacations had planned a special surprise and hired a photographer to take a group photo outside of the castle. (I would post the photo but I’m told that posting other people’s photos on the internet without their permission is a “thing”) While Gene and I don’t care to have our photos taken too often, this sounded like a good way to remember our companions, so we went along with it.
What we didn’t realize was that this was actually a ploy to get us all off the coach willingly and without complaint. Once the photo was taken, a local guide showed up and told us we were going to walk “up to the castle”. It was a climb, let me tell you. I considered scaling the wall a few times, but I wasn’t sure if the castle still had guards.
Once we got through the castle gates, we visited the Whisky Shope (I’m just saying . . . it was a long climb and they had free samples!) and explored and admired the views from the turrets. We then walked down the hill and vowed to stay on level ground for the rest of the day. While we waited for our coach to return, we splurged on fish and chips and beer. Once again, we have learned that if you want large quantities of cold liquid when out of the United States, get beer!
After returning to the hotel, we decided to skip the Optional group “Gaelic Dinner” and we went to a local seafood restaurant on the pier. Our meal was AMAZING! I didn’t take any photos because I was trying to see how many clams and crab I could eat before Gene got to them. Seriously, our “shared meal” could have served four people. We had a lobster, brown crabs, langoustines, scallops, and at least five dozen clams. Oh, and bread. There was no way Gene and I could finish the meal, but we did our best.
Following dinner we hit the bar and had a laugh at the sign.