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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Day In Edinburgh

With its imposing architecture and haunted historic tales, Scotland's capital has the ability to simultaneously intrigue and charm you.

The Glasshouse Edinburgh

2:00 pm - Check into your sleek room at the Glasshouse, a modern boutique hotel named as the "sexiest hotel in Scotland 2007." Note the contrast between the old and new exteriors of the building and its close proximity to theaters, dining, and shopping. Chuckle as William the doorman politely calls you "m'lady" with a thick but delightful Scottish accent.

Edinburgh

2:35 pm - Venture out onto Princes Street, the main shopping street in the New Town. It's less than a 10 minute walk from the hotel, which means you won't have to lug your shopping bags very far. Begin your shopping tour with an extended session at the large Topshop location.

Edinburgh

3:35 pm - After visiting a few more high street stores, cross the Waverley Bridge and take a recommended "shortcut" to the Royal Mile consisting of 187 steps. Once at the top of the steps, become fascinated and spooked by the narrow closes (alleyways) and wynds, which date from medieval times. Turn right and walk up to Edinburgh Castle along the Royal Mile and enjoy the breathtaking views of the city and the Firth of Forth beyond. Briefly tour the castle, noting the prison doors where captives from different countries engraved their names and other identifying information hundreds of years ago.

view of Edinburgh

5 pm - Enjoy an early dinner with a hot toddy at the Scotch Whisky Heritage Center and then take the whisky tour, which teaches the whisky manufacturing process and includes a tasting at the beginning which shows you how to enjoy the traditional Scottish beverage like an old pro. Learn the difference between whiskey and whisky. Walk out of the place much happier than when you came in!

Photobucket

7:30 pm - Take a night tour of The Real Mary King's Close, which brings you into the creepy, musty, and dark underground vaults that once were home to many of Edinburgh's citizens during medieval times. Learn about the various residents of the close, how the Bubonic Plague affected them, and how they lived. Be utterly disgusted when you learn that they threw their waste out of the window after yelling "guardy loo" and that they made wall plaster from human ashes and horse hair.

The Glasshouse Edinburgh

9:10 pm - Leisurely amble back to the Glasshouse for a nightcap in the relaxing and richly decorated honor bar. Cozy up to the fireplace, inhale the scent of fresh flowers, and enjoy the ambiance as you relax.

Coming soon...a day in Dublin.