Tales of French Chocolate and Scottish Hills

On our last morning in Edinburgh we decided to skip the breakfast in the Hotel and instead go to a cafe. My wife suggested to visit the Plaisir du Chocolat, a french style tearoom near Canongate. Because I’m a huge fan of chocolate it wasn’t very difficult for her to persuade me.

And it was indeed all about chocolate. Besides offering a large variety of (mostly) chocolate cakes they had a dozen different kinds of hot chocolates on their menu. They differed in the kind of cocoa beans and (often alcoholic) extra ingredients. Being a bit cautious I went for a Chocolate chaud a plain hot chocolate which tasted exquisite nevertheless. Refreshed and in good mood we started out to Holyrood park.

Both having a cold we only wanted to have a look-around. But the landscape up there in the hills is so beautiful.

Landscape in the Hills

And in the end we climbed up much higher than we initially wanted.

Up On The Hills

We didn’t make it to the top of Arthur’s Seat unfortunately. But we are determined to come back one day and try again when we are both fit.

Edinburgh Castle

As I was feeling much better this morning my wife and I decided to resume our original plan and visit the castle today. Instead of walking up the Royal Mile we approached from Grassmarket. This provided us with an impressive view of the castle from below.

Edingburgh Castle

After climbing up a lot of stairs we reached the Esplanade and entered the castle via the drawbridge. We went up the mainroad inside the castle to the gallery and were overwhelmed by the view.

View over the City

We spent many hours in the castle, observed the firing of the one o’clock gun, …

One O'Clock Gun

… admired the architecture, visited all the museums and exhibitions and finally took a look at the Honours of Scotland.

We had a really good time and can only recommend visiting the castle.

(Not) Exploring Edinburgh on a single day

My wife and I had a lot of plans for our first visit in Edinburgh. We wanted to visit the castle, walk down the Royal Mile, climb on Arthur’s Seat and do many more things. But there is an old saying that no battle plans survive first contact with the enemy.

The enemy in this case was a nasty cold that I had been fighting with for two weeks already. Besides a blocked nose I developed a cough during the weekend. Flying in that condition yesterday made things worse and I had a(nother) rough night. In the morning I still felt tired and exhausted after almost ten hours of sleep.

We therefore had to take things slowly and only walked from our Hotel to The Palace of Holyroodhouse.

The Palace of Holyroodhouse

When we were back in the Hotel I collapsed on the bed and fell asleep almost immediately. After one and a half hour of extra sleep I felt somewhat better and we went on another excursion in the late afternoon.

We walked all the way down to New Town and strolled along George Street and enjoyed the lovely weather. Just when we considered having dinner we found a great restaurant, The Sizzling Scot. Good and friendly service, a nice venison burger and one of the best steaks my wife ever had (her own words) made it a very worthwile visit. Stuffed and happy we went back to the hotel and decided to put off further sightseeing for today.

Taking comfort in the Unfairness of the Universe