We just spent a few days in Edinburgh. We stayed at a Travelodge for £26 a night and got advance train tickets, so the trip was rather a bargain. Edinburgh is fantastic. We went three years ago and this time we did some of the same stuff - tour of the Vaults (this time with silly ghost hunting equipment!) and yummy vege burger dinners - and some new things - excellent guided tour of the Scottish Parliament building and eating in Edinburgh's oldest vege restaurant.
The breakfasts at the Travelodge don't really compare with the same deal at a Premier Travel Inn. We found that we were always in need of something - milk, bread, knives etc! But the room was really nice and we all enjoyed evenings in bed watching the big tv on the wall or reading our books.
The Scottish Parliament was probably the highlight of the trip for me. The building is really beautiful and we got a free tour from a very sweet, enthusiastic young man. The cafeteria was great and we all sat around eating baked potatoes and avoiding the hideous rain. It rained pretty much non-stop for the whole trip and it was *cold*! When it wasn't raining it was snowing.
We all got lost (in various combinations!) in Jenners department store. I spent an enjoyable ten minutes browsing round the bathroom department imaging what towels I'd buy if I had an unlimited budget!
People bought books and yarn and other stuff. I read a Patrick Gale book I'd borrowed from my mum. I am always completely absorbed and full of admiration when reading one of his books. This one was excellent. I like the way he sometimes writes himself a lovely man into the work - a farmer this time!
We returned to a museum we'd liked before and which featured in a book we've read since our last trip there. There was an exhibition that was very much to my taste - Treasured. It had various beautiful objects, from insects in amber to exquisite glass models of undersea creatures.
The journey home was rather loopy. We weren't due to leave until 1pm but we decided to go to the station early as heavy snow had fallen across Scotland. Most of it had melted in Edinburgh but we rightly surmised that the trains would be affected. At first we thought we were looking at a bus to Newcastle! Eeek! But then we were advised to get a train heading for Birmingham using the west coast line. We changed trains at Carlisle and got a fast train to London. The whole business probably only added a couple of hours to our journey time but was a bit worrying. We were never entirely sure our tickets would continue to be accepted as we headed further south by a strange route. But it was fine. We didn't have reserved seats (of course) so we were sometimes a bit squashed up - but I've had far worse journeys!
I really love to get away. We live a rather relentless schedule as a family and getting away just changes the pace entirely.