Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Noble's Guide to Scotland

Should you happen to find yourself with two weeks of nothing to do and a ticket to Scotland,
but unsure of where to go and what to see,
the Farmboy and I have put together this handy dandy guide of our favorite places, activities, tips and general commentary on traveling the land of lochs and legends...
and men with strong, nice looking legs.

{the Farmboy would like to interject that the last one there was all me and he did not say that}


Part 1: Edinburgh

{when I saw this view I begged {BEGGED} the Farmboy to live here}

The Noble advice is to fly into Edinburgh, rent a car and make a nice big loop through Scotland and ending back in Edinburgh.

Frommer's Scotland travel guide advises against driving a car within the city limits- take a cab or the bus.  But, if you happen to be the adventurous sort, we say go for it.
However, you should be warned.
They drive on the left hand side.  The steering wheel is on the right hand side.  It cost double the regular amount to rent an automatic so you may be shifting with your left hand.
This city is very much like Lemarchand's Box from the movie Hellraiser.
It is a bitch to get into and once you have done it- solved that puzzle and reached the city center...
good luck getting out.  You know belong to the city.
{at least until you realize your rent car has a navigation system- then it's all roses}

Edinburgh is divided into two parts- old town and new town.
Don't let the name New Town fool you though. It was built between 1765 to around 1850. It's full of beautiful old neo-classical and Georgian architecture.
Old town is where the original city grew out from- the center being Edinburgh Castle, built around 1130 on top of a 340 million year old extinct volcano.

{this is just a small part of the castle at the top- the whole of it is probably 4 or 5 times bigger than this, but those photos- the really cool ones- haven't been processed yet}

It is the heart of Edinburgh, with it's Royal Mile stretching the length from the Castle to the Palace of Holyroodhouse. 

{it also happens to be where all {ALL} of the tourist go}

The Castle is at least a half day excursion with it's many buildings to explore-
the Great Hall, the Royal Palace, St. Margaret's Chapel, five different military museums/memorials, the Crown Jewels and the One O'clock Gun.

Down from the Castle is St. Giles' Cathedral.  Pop in for a little rest or a look around {it's really lovely} or light a candle and say a prayer for a loved one.  Or do all three.
You might even be lucky enough to have stepped in while a small group of teenagers are practicing their cellos for an upcoming performance.

Should you happen to decide to stay at a hotel on the Royal Mile, many who visit Edinburgh, as well as, many Edinburgh Scots, love two things...
drinking in pubs and belting out pub songs {or any song for that matter} at the very top of their lungs in the middle of the street from the hours of 1:00 AM through 4:00 AM, give or take an hour, and it doesn't matter how high up in a 15th century stone building your are, nor how dead exhausted you may be due to flying and time zone changes, you will hear them.
And hear them well enough to sing along with them should you happen to know the words.

{the sun has gone down.  let the party begin}

As we ended up only having one day in Edinburgh the first portion of our trip, due to travel delays, we weren't able to see all that we had intended to see...
the Royal Botanical Gardens, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Old City Observatory, etc.

Garfunkel's on High Street.  A moderately priced place to have a good Chicken & Mushroom Pie or a Beef Pie with a beer or a traditional cider.
If you are from the U.S. and are missing home go to The City Cafe on Blair St.  A 1950's diner atmosphere.  Order the Fish & Chips though.  And maybe an elderflower and lime cider.  Unless you're really missing home- then you can get a Blue Moon straight from Colorado.

Live music and pool at The City Cafe.
Kilt wearing pipers on street corners.
Sword swallowers sometimes found in the middle of the street.
And William Wallace can be found up by the Castle gates.

Til next time...
Part 2: The Kingdom of Fife


All photos: Farmboy Photography


Leanne said...

gorgeous photos. the one of the Cathedral at night? Luscious! Thank you for sharing them! You had better weather than we did on our trip to Edinburgh. I don't remember seeing sun until we got to St. Andrew's...

Lorrie said...

You make me want to go to Edinburgh, especially with the photo of the castle as the sun went down. Mysterious and appealing all in one.

Dorthe said...

Yes dear , me too, also want such a trip to Scotland, and this fantastic city, and surroundings. Making me at once think :Robin Hood, and lady Maryann hehe--
Well it is within the possibilities to go from Denmark to Scotland, so whom knows? Thankyou for this fantastic tour and gorgeous photoes.

Tina @ TinyBear Studio said...

On my wish list already - it looks beautiful Alisa - can´t wait to see the rest... and that journal too ;-)

Photocat said...

Lovely photographs. Edinburgh is such a lovely spot. It's very cold and damp in winter though. Not sure if you would like to swap Texas for the Scottish winter...

Tiedupmemories said...

Wow! So pretty! Awesome photographs1 Thanks for sharing your trip to Scotland!

Sandy Michelle said...'s like something out of a fairy tale!
Sandy xox

Robin Thomas said...

These photos are