I just spent the last few days in Edinburgh and also had a day trip upto St Andrews in an attempt to see some of The Golf Open. I feel slightly guilty adding a travelling entry for such a short trip somewhere quite local, but why not? Halfway through the trip I realised this was actually my first trip away with family since we all went to British Columbia, Canada almost 5 years ago now.
So my two Brothers, my Dad and I headed upto Edinburgh on Tuesday on a fairly pleasant and quick enough drive up. We were staying in the Smart City Hostel just off Cowgate in the centre of Edinburgh. Having spent plenty of time in hostels recently I saw no reason to stay in a hotel, especially as we had an entire room to ourselves. The hostel itself was nice enough, perhaps the cleanest hostel I’ve stayed in and had a very nice bar and common area. However the windows didn’t keep the noise from late night drinkers out too well and earplugs would have been useful! Also the place seemed to be hosting an entire school of 15 year old Italian kids and the place lacked the hostel atmosphere really, there was very few other travellers around to talk too and no tours run by the hostel, which are always a good way to meet others staying in the hostel. It was a nice enough hostel, but if someone were travelling alone I wouldn’t recommend it.
After arriving late Tuesday afternoon we spent the evening walking around the most of Edinburgh, we ended up eating dinner at some pub on Grassmarket which was nice enough, followed by a walk around the the foot of the hill Edinburgh Castle is situated on and then heading up Carlton Hill for some rather nice views of the two as the sun was slowly setting.
Early on Wednesday morning we headed out for St Andrews and the Golf. I must admit I’m very much a fair weather golf fan and the weather forecast for Wednesday and Thursday was not good at all. After getting out of the hostel by 8am we stopped in Kirkcaldy for some breakfast. The weather was really rough at this time with heavy rain and winds, despite reminding myself on facebook to pack a warm hat I had managed to forget so I ended up having to find one for a rather inflated price in Kirkcaldy! We drove into St Andrews from here but found it difficult to find anywhere to park. We ended up going past the course and parking just out of town, the traffic queues looked really bad and this was just for the practice day. The reason we were specifically going on the practice day was that there was a special tournament on at the end of the day with many past champions taking part so we could go see this as well as some people practising earlier. However the weather meant no one was really out playing, so we headed to the Golf Museum which free admission into was included with the ticket. Then we headed out to get a warm drink before heading back to the course expecting this tournament to start fairly soon as the weather had cleared up somewhat. In the end they announced they’d cancelled the tournament, basically meaning we saw about 5 minutes of golf practice for over £20 – on a student entrance, and £40 for my Dad! Bit of a waste of cash, and we will be writing in for a refund!
On Thursday Dad and Thomas went for the first championship day at The Open and with a really early start. Kyle and I weren’t too bothered about it with the weather forecast similarly poor and the draconian no camera rules they have for some bizarre reason, so we spent a day in Edinburgh. Turns out the weather was quite alright in St Andrews, however that’s not to say we didn’t have a good day in Edinburgh. We spent the majority of the day in The National Museum of Scotland, which was rather huge and spans everything about Scotland since 600 million years ago, when it was near the south pole right upto modern social issues etc! It took us a good 3 hours to go through and we were skipping quite a lot of the less interesting features too. After heading back to the hostel for some food after the museum we bumped into a few people who mentioned a pub crawl that was going on, so we said we’d go. Except by the time we got there it had already left! So we just spent the time in a few bars playing pool and table football. I won both if I remember right Although Kyle did beat me at Blackjack when I was the dealer!
So that’s all for now – not the most interesting trip I’ve had recently, but it’s always good to get away from home especially when you work from home too! Hopefully my next entry will be about somewhere a little further ashore. I do have some rather ambitious travelling plans for this coming winter, hopefully I can make them materialize.