9 July 2013

Edinburgh: Day 2 Part 1

Hello lovelies!

Are you ready to here more about our weekend in Edinburgh?

Saturday (our first full day there) turned into a self-imposed challenge to fit in as many Tourist Attractions as we could- making the most of the savings from our Edinburgh Tourist Passes. I'm pleased to say we met our own challenge head-on, and managed to save over £50 of entry costs, even after the cost of the tickets! 

Dressed to fight dinosaurs.

We grabbed a freshly baked breakfast from Manna House (unknowing bestowers of the FREE SANDWICHES), washed down with a bottle of apple juice I reckon Enid Blyton would've been proud of. I selected an "apple cinnamon bomb" complete with a faux cinnamon stick made of chocolate. Mostly because I figured if it looked like fruit, it had to be good for me somehow :p

First stop on our epic adventure was Dynamic Earth, because it was the closest attraction to the flat, and the website makes it sound like a hybrid of Dante's Peak and Jurassic Park

Sadly, the reality is rather, erm, tame (bless it) so we left as soon as we could find an exit (about an hour in, having travelled through ice and fire and a "raining" rainforest that was dryer than most puddles). My favourite part was probably the "Time Machine" (aka glass-walled lift) because it reminded me of this scene from The Cabin In The Woods. Still, I still learnt a thing or two. For example, did you know that when the continents were forming before the Ice Age started they moved at the same speed that human fingernails grow?

Bagpipe man. Just because.

Having escaped the wrath of the volcano (/fairy lights), we stomped along to the Surgeon's Museum. The museum front is super-fancy, with huge pillars and banners, but we had to follow a little sign directing us to the unlocked side entrance. Which turned out to be a front door in the middle of a row of houses, and made me suspect we'd unwittingly been tricked into becoming non-anaesthetised surgical experiments. 

Fancy front door...
Ominous side door

Thankfully, we ended up in the museum and not in a laboratory/cage, and spent a very enjoyable hour peering at weird and wonderful medical instruments, reading fascinating factoids about ancient operative techniques, and looking at a lot of weird-shaped skulls. The most impressive thing we saw was a 1:1 scale model of a huge facial tumour, about the size of a football, which a surgeon had successfully removed from a man's face in the days before anaesthetics - in a miraculous 24 minutes with a loss of only 250ml of blood!

After all that gawking at skeletons, we needed a cake break. We hopped into the Black Medicine Coffee Co. to escape the drizzle, as it sounded like they took coffee pretty darn seriously. We were certainly not disappointed, even though I opted for a Calmer Chameleon (teehee) smoothie of strawberry, mango and honey, instead of a coffee; as my apple bomb breakfast had been marginally less nutritious than I'd hoped. We did, however, also split a slab of Malteaser tiffin that was seriously delicious. 

Watch out for these- it's a sign of good coffee!

Our final stop of the morning was Gladstone's Land, a fancy old house on Royal Mile, where we met the sweetest old Scottish* lady who regaled us with some truly brilliant tales about life in Scotland back in the day, and her work for the Scottish National Trust. My favourite story was about her recent trip to a primary school, to tell the children about life in Scotland 400 years ago, and one little boy asking her "Were you there?". She had a proper giggle about it and agreed that when you're only 7 there's no way of telling whether an old lady is 100 or 400... :)

The house is under the protection of the Scottish National Trust, so it turns out we could've gotten in for free anyway with our National Trust passes. I did ask whether our tickets being doubly-free meant they'd pay us to visit, but apparently not. 

The family that owned it were seriously rich compared to all the poor people living on the streets. Not only did they have a piano forte and a four poster bed, but they also completed a Grand Designs-worthy overhaul of their home; adding a huge two-story extension on the front of the house. 

This isn't the house; it's just a shot I took of the High Street.
Aren't the buildings pretty though?

I'm going to write about the second half of Day 2 in another post- as I'm worried you'll use your eyes up if you have to read any more words today!

Katie xxx

* Whilst writing this, I had to Google the question "are Scottish people Scotch?" because I no idea whether the term was still acceptable/in use (it's not). Three words in, Google offered me the second most popular search for people asking "are Scottish people...". The end of that question? IRISH. 

Humanity, I do despair. 


  1. Sounds like you had a great time. I remember going to Dynamic Earth a few years ago and being more than a little underwhelmed! Airbnb is great, isn't it? We used it when we went to Canada a couple of years ago. I look forward to the next installment of your Edinburgh adventures :-) x

    1. It seemed so good when we first went it- with all the costumes from famous films on display, and then it kind of imploded in on itself. I am a full Airbnb convert and will be using it for all future trips. So much better than hotels! :) xxx

  2. Oh, it sounds so lovely there! I had to check out the Dynamic Earth site because we have a Dynamic Earth here in Sudbury! It's part of the Science Centre and there's a mining exhibit (we have nickel mines here). http://www.sciencenorth.ca/dynamic-earth/

    1. I hope your Dynamic Earth is better than the one I went to- although I imagine it will be if it's part of a Science Centre :) Edinburgh is so nice- I'm really glad we decided to go there and not travel further afield; there's so much to see here in the UK. xx