the adventure continues:- Vikings, Volcanoes, Crags, Castles and Climbing….welcome to Edinburgh!

Right now as I write this down I am hearing The Proclaimers chanting “I’m on my way from misery to happiness today……a ha a ha a ha a ha”. I have just spent the last two days in Edinburgh wandering the streets of the old town and Edinburgh castle, all the way up to the National Monument and across “The Crags” as they are known that menace the city from the East.

View from Nelson’s monument.
The Crags and Arthur’s Seat, East Edinburgh

The weather was a little overcast and it was a little bit wet, but this is a city I could definitely spend more time in. I really enjoyed my time here and the people and the feel of the city are very favourable indeed.

The cities central park.
Best shop ever in Edinburgh.

We drove through town early on Thursday 28th July and checked in to our accommodation as soon as we arrived. The Gifford Guest House has been welcoming travellers for some 96 years now and the current owners have seen the original house books. It was a home for soldiers during WWII and some actually lived there in residence for up to five years. David and his wife were truly welcoming and wonderful hosts.

Old Town. Edinburgh Scotland.
Cottages in the castle grounds

Lunch at the Greenmantle Pub was five quid and it was super good and who would complain about the price. Cheap and cheerful was the vibe there and it was great. Deciding to walk to the castle was a great idea and it was a great way to see the streets of this picturesque yet seemingly dark old city. The buildings appeared dank and grey and there was an air to the place that smelled of ancient turmoil. Edinburgh’s history is truly amazing and even its geologic history is incredible.

The National War Memorial. Edinburgh Scotland.
Knights of old……… the great hall. Edinburgh Castle.
An ancient broad sword
William Wallace in stained glass in a small chapel. its the oldest building in Edinburgh.

Today Karine and I packed up and headed out to hike to the summit of “The Crags” called Authur’s Seat. Though it can be climbed from almost any direction, we took the most direct route from the west side. Straight up the steepest point via the old granite stairs. The easiest and simplest ascent is from the east, where a grassy slope rises above Dunsapie Loch. We walked via Salisbury Crags, which has historically been a rock climbing venue; however due to shitty rock climbing is now restricted to the South Quarry and a free permit is required.

The granite crags in Holroyd Park.
14th century chapel in Holroyd Park, Edinburgh

Inspired by a recommendation from ours friend David and our new “climbing coach” Neil Gresham, we decided to go and check out the worlds biggest indoor climbing facility and do some training. Oh my god, this place is truly enormous and its built into a repurposed quarry. 30 metre routes and miles of bouldering and other vertical insanity. This is a climbing paradise for both “plastic pullers” and “pebble wrestlers”.

Edinburgh International Climbing Arena, Ratho Scotland.

Heading further south and back into England the weather seemed to shift and became a little more sullen. We both laughed as we saw the border crossing and headed toward our final resting place for the evening. We were staying on a dairy farm in Underwood. Our host Jane was a very lovely well spoken lady. She booked us a table at the Punchbowl Pub for 8pm and we got changed and headed there for a great meal, good wine and local beer.

The Punchbowl Inn, Underbarrow Cumbria UK.

The sunset was beautiful and I do love travelling with my lovely lady…….Thanks for a great week in Scotland K………will always remember it with a big smile on my face.


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