We had a list – Well sort of –
* National Galleries of Scotland: Portrait (2-minute walk) – Our list
* Coffee- Rose Street (then a 10-minute walk) Our list -My suggestion- disaster!
* Scottish National Gallery (then another 10-minute walk) Our list
* Edinburgh Castle (another 10-minute walk)
* Jolly Judge (Down a Close somewhere – potentially a 20-minute walk) Tameka’s suggestion
* Dunbar’s Close Garden (a 20-minute walk downhill…and then return) Sue’s list on recommendation
We actually achieved all that and more!!!
The Portrait gallery was just around the corner from Hart Street so we couldn’t possibly miss that. The building was exceptional and the content …well mainly Scottish identities which is what one would expect. Still, wonderful.
We were both desperate for a coffee. Rose Street, I suggested, remembering how vibrant and buzzy it was the last time I was there. Oh! Absolutely dead…and the only coffee shop was a franchise, Valerie Patisserie, where the pastries looked stale and quite sad. I remembered then that last year I was here during the festival and then it was amazing. Timing…it is everything!!!
The National Gallery will have coffee. It did and it was excellent-both the coffee and the gallery well actually I had tea and scones and that was excellent too.
You really can’t come to Edinburgh without going to the castle. (I can. I can go to London without going to that palace thing. I’m a Republican. I think I had been to London four times before I went there, and I was suitable unimpressed! Well really… what can you say when your head of state tells the world he really wants to be white, up tight and out of sight!!!) We went to the castle. Not IN the castle- just the outside. We were both satisfied we moved on.
Next, we had to find the Jolly Judge pub- on recommendation. It was buried deep in one of the Closes off the Royal Mile. It was fun just finding it and then we ran into a Scotsman and his son who were on a bit of a pub crawl and the elder was keen to share his life story. We were more than happy to be entertained.
Down, down, down the Royal Mile we went to find the Dunbar’s Close Garden. A Close is usually a very narrow alley, often a dead-end but sometimes leading to another street or an internal courtyard. There are over a hundred off the Royal Mile and we were in search of just one- with a garden. We did find it and it was just lovely to be there.
So, we had achieved what we had set out to do and we were famished. Dinner! We decided the best bet was the ‘known’. We headed for the Theatre Royal Pub, but we were distracted. The Edinburgh Playhouse is next door. ‘Strictly Dancing’ was playing. Well, we just thought-why not? So, to the Box Office we went and procured great seats and went off to have our meal. It was a bit of a surprise to hear the performers try out their Australian accents, but it really was an essential theme of the show, and they were fabulous. What an amazing end to our stay in Auld Reekie.