If London was something of an overwhelming, busy, toddler unfriendly bit of madness Edinburgh was the complete opposite. Sure, it was an ancient, busy city full of beautiful architecture but the locals were decidely friendly to both travelers and toddlers alike. At every restaurant, pub and museum we were made to feel welcome and Kitty's antics were not met with disapproving profanity filled censure (as in London) but instead were greeted with understanding, sympathy and good humor.
We arrived by train in Haymarket Station were we were greeted on the platform by Mark's sister Gillian, her husband Robert and their son Laurie. They helped us schlep our luggage to our hotel- The Lairg on Coates Garden. The staff at the Lairg were very friendly and showed us to our remarkably large and comfortable room. So the owner of the hotel might have sounded like a former KGB officer and the room decor might have been done in an over the top post-communist bit of Slavic decadence but it had an amazing shower. Something that can only be appreciated after traveling to the United Kingdom and experiencing the fun that is electric showers which drip the tiniest bit of spray on you and sinks with a choice of 2 separate taps- icy cold or scalding hot. The Brits like to give you choices...
After we settled into our room, we ventured out to a hotel across the road which welcomed non-residents to their lounge. We were the only folks there and were entertained by Nicola the bartender as Kitty had the run of the place. The bartender never once seemed offput by Kitty's continually climbing up on a bar stool and saying " Hi! What you doing?" over and over and over. A couple of pints of McEwan's and good company made for a good night.
While London felt like a bit of a wallet shakedown, we found Edinburgh to offer excellent value to tight wad travelers such as ourselves. Our visit to Edinburgh Castle at 14 pounds a person seemed a good value with an informative tour given by our tour guide ( another woman named Sid!) and access to the Scottish War museum which was not at all butch and boring despite the theme. We visited the National museum- free! and the National Portrait gallery- free! and had a great time visiting the old haunts of Mark's university days.
Somehow, my photos from these first 2 days disappeared into the ether. BOO! Never mind, you can google it.
After 2 days in Edinburgh, we headed to Leven to get Kitty acquainted with her Granny. Kitty took to her right away and after coffee and biscuits, we settled into our room at the Lundin Links hotel- meh. The room was adequate, if shabby and just a little bit Fawlty Towersish.. After dinner at the Largo hotel and a brief tour of St. Monan's at night, we went to sleep to rest up for a trip to the Highlands with Mark's mom.
|Kitty was delighted to find her Granny's Paddington Bear|
|Especially when she realized she could wear Paddington's boots, hat and coat... advantages to being a wee girl|