From Greenbelt we made our way to Darlington for an overnight stop with Liese and Nath (sleeping inside a house, very strange) then on to Edinburgh. Brian performed very well, though he doesn’t really like to combine hills and speed. We did see the dizzy heights of 71 mph for a brief time, but cruising at 60 is more the order of the day. A quick check on economy shows an average of 31MPG on the run from Cheltenham, which is better than expected. Anyway, enough statistics….
Edinburgh has two campsites in the city boundaries, and we opted for the Morton Hall site to the south of the city. Having lost time to pumping up tyres in Darlington then shopping in Asda we arrived later than planned. It’s a nice site, though we have discovered the shop opening times bear little resemblance to those advertised!
On our first day we visited the Taits who we hadn’t seen for years (arrived late due to, well, being us) and then on to the Falkirk wheel which opened almost exactly the same time as we left Scotland, and we have wanted to visit ever since. It is a stunning piece of engineering, but the boat ride on it was actually a little dull, though the cheery guide helped improve things. For anyone else visiting I’d suggest thinking about just watching and going off on one of the walks around the site and the two canals. The play areas were quite good, though the water play park appeared to be a little low on water so didn’t quite work properly (or we were all too stupid to understand how stuff worked).
Day two saw us wake to a puddle of water in the corner of the bed. No, I hadn’t had an accident, nor do we have any cats with us. Brian must have been crying in the night. Or perhaps we had a leak. It looks like the gutters are still a bit leaky, so out came the sealant gun. Meanwhile “3” had decided to cut off our mobile broadband, so a long call to the customer disservice department ensued. This meant once again we were running late.
The bus to Edinburgh (£1.20 adult single, listen up Southern Vectis) left us a short walk to Dynamic Earth, which was an interesting visit and handy revision for the girls’ environmental management course. We then revisited old haunts, waving to the trains coming in and out of Waverley Station (pleased to note they still wave back and hoot), visiting the cafe under the church at the West End of Prince’s Street and then the “chocolate shop” (that’s what Rebekah always called the Fairtrade shop) and nearby playground.
Arrived back ready for our barbecue only to discover we had no lighter fuel (thought it was packed) so switched to an alternative. Ho hum.
Our final full day in the city saw a spot of shopping and some most excellent ice creams, followed by meeting up with friends at the National Museum of Scotland. The central atrium was awesome and provided photo opportunities while we waited for Laura (we were early, for the first and probably last time on this trip). We then had a change of plan and headed off to a multicultural festival at Leith Links. It was…interesting. We saw some excellent Bungra dancing but had to sit through some dire “singing” beforehand as some wailing bloke decided to overrun massively. We managed to pick up some (very effective) lighter blocks and so managed our BBQ at last, yippee!
We packed up and left early the next morning, and climbed up Arthur’s Seat, as one must do when visiting Edinburgh. Fortunately we had the sunniest day yet and had some great views from the top before descending rapidly to head across to Fife. We were running late.