We walked out into a sunny, if crisp, Edinburgh morning. No problem getting a cab, although at first we were confirmed because all the airport cabs said “Pre booked rides only” and we hadn’t booked anything, but that turned out to be meaningless. The airport felt practically deserted, but it took me awhile to remember that it was Sunday morning and still only about 8:00AM.
Our cab-driver was extremely chatty and told us lots of stuff, very little of which I absorbed, except for references to “bloody tourists.” I think he was trying to be sarcastic and imply that he was differentiating us from the rest of the “bloody tourists,” but some real bitterness came through. Ironic, of course, since his livelihood depends on said “bloody tourists,” but equally understandable for the same reason.
I booked us for the first three nights at the Balmoral Hotel. No comp rooms anywhere on this trip and not much in the way of discounts. Given the meanness of the flight situation, I wanted some pampering.
Not surprisingly, the room wasn’t ready. Another result of my paranoid planning which got us in so early in the morning. We ditched luggage and headed out in search of breakfast, which we found at Always Sundays on the Royal Mile, recommended by the folks at the front desk. It felt a bit San Francisco, or even Berkeley. There was the “traditional English breakfast” stuff, although probably made in a healthier way than usual, but also healthier choices like cereal, yogurt, fruit compote. The food was good although I found the scrambled eggs a bit bland. The hot chocolate was awesome and very much needed. The cold was starting to get to me.
They dished out the food at the counter and you took it back to the table. Very crowded, full of the back-pack crowd, but very friendly. Chatted with a girl from Chicago who’d be living in Germany with GI husband and they were doing the back-pack hostel thing before going back to the states.
After breakfast I spend the rest of the morning trailing after Hubby as he went to almost EVERY STORE on the Royal Mile that had any kind of kilt or tartan in the window asking if they had the Muir Tartan and being told “no!” Some of the employees had never even heard of it. This took up most of the morning.
I was getting colder and colder. I’d been torn between wanting to travel light and knowing damn well that it could be brutally cold. I went the wrong way, and knew I was going to need an extra hoodie plus something else to get through the week. I decided I’d get something at whatever place had Hubby’s tartan, but that wasn’t happening so I ended up buying some cashmere gloves at one of the stores on the Royal Mile. (Mmmmm, cashmere!)
We got back to the hotel at 11:30AM. Room still not ready. Time for some tea.