And then it was our last day in Scotland. But we were on our way to London! And it so happened to be my birthday. A great coincidence! We woke up in our magnificent room with the sun streaming in. All around the castle were gardens leading into brilliant green nature. I felt a little like one of the characters in a PG Wodehouse novel staying at a country house. But alas.
We had learned the previous night that we had to return our car to Edinburgh by 10am or incur another day’s fees. Never use Europcar. Someday we will return to Dalmunzie and enjoy its comforts. Maybe a anniversary or notable birthday. I’ll be back someday!
Sadly, we couldn’t even stay for breakfast. The staff at Dalmunzie were so kind to us; they encouraged us to at least take some croissants and a bottle of water. Those pastries were incredible, light and airy. Our drive back to Edinburgh was a lot shorter than the prior day. Like the rest of our tour of Scotland, it was an idyllic drive. I even saw a fawn grazing by a tree. The radio was pitch perfect; BBC was running a day long special about poetry.
We got back to Edinburgh safely and within the required time. We had several hours to kill before we needed to head to the airport. I had an idea to ask our old hotel, Mercure Edinburgh City Princes Street Hotel, if we could store our luggage until we needed to leave. And they were obliging as long as it wasn’t overnight. They did check to see if we had stayed there but they let us leave the bags. It was better than having to wait in line and pay 6 pounds per bag or some such nonsense.
We immediately ran to the National Scottish Gallery nearby and wandered around its collection for awhile. The collection focuses on Scottish art, which is pretty neat. The collection was quite comprehensive with drawings to landscapes and much more. We didn’t have time to check out the contemporary wing. Next time.
Then we wandered back to the Royal Mile and undertook some more shopping. It was nice to have some time just to wander without much purpose. There’s an amazing hat shop Fabhatrix near Cowgatehead with beautiful hats. Not inexpensive but very impressive.
Then it was time to head to the airport. Once again I was impressed how painless it was. We caught a bus that took 30 or so minutes to get us to the airport. I wish it were that easy elsewhere!
Then it was time for London! We had some difficulties getting in on the Piccadilly line; there was a fire up on the track. ::shakes fist at Tube:: The following day, we saw notices on the Tube apologizing for the length of the delay!
That evening we decided to go out for my birthday at a Venetian small plates restaurant named“Cicchetti” in Covent Garden. We had about four plates total and it was the perfect amount of food. Fresh and tasty food.
Before we called it a night, we decided to check out the Savoy Cocktail Bar nearby. My husband wanted to treat me since it was my birthday. In December 2014, I had given a talk on the Savoy Hotel so it was especially thoughtful. It was an art deco lover’s dream; you felt like you had been transported back to the 1920s. There was a pianist playing classic songs. The menu was a bit like a book. Each drink had a long description describing ingredients and the history. One page was “Vintage cocktails.” If you feel so inclined to spend a lot of money, there was a Sazerac available for 4000 pounds. So yeah. The regular drinks were really expensive, even for a cocktail bar. The drinks were ok (paled in comparison with the Brambles cocktail bar we went to on our first night in Europe led by our friend). But it was a wonderful experience and worth doing once.
That’s all for now!