Last month I went up to Edinburgh, to visit Australian friends Carole and Don who are living there for six months. I'd spent one day in Edinburgh back in 2003, but it's a city that deserves a much longer visit (and indeed two and a half days for this visit wasn't really enough either).
I caught the train up on the Friday and back on the Monday, which proved quite a pleasant way to travel. It's close to a six hour trip, but that amount of time on a train (with one change) is much more pleasant than two hours on a bus to an airport, an hour or two checking in and waiting, an hour on a plane, and then another bus at the other end. The trains were moderately crowded, but I'd reserved seats. And £110 for the return trip didn't seem too bad.
On the Saturday I had breakfast with Carole and Don and two other Australian friends resident in Edinburgh, in a nice cafe (Urban Angel) in the New Town. We walked there over Carlton Hill, which gave some nice views in morning light.
Then I went off by myself. I visited the Georgian House, one of the big houses in Charlotte Square that's been furnished as it was in the late 18th century,
wandered under the castle (and through a farmers' market) to the Grassmarket, where I had another coffee, looked at the National Museum of Scotland (and the Royal Museum), the Museum of Edinburgh and the ground floor of the People's Story.
I just had time for a climb up onto Salisbury Crags but the sunset wasn't that exciting.
On Sunday I started with a climb of Arthur's Seat, looked at Greyfriars Kirk, visited bookshops in West Port, looked at St Giles cathedral, and then (since the Writers' Museum and Peoples' Story were closed) had a quick look through the Musuem of Childhood and then went back to the National Museum, where I bought a copy of The Lewis Chessmen Unmasked.
The day was pretty overcast, with good light only right in the morning and in a few patches in the late afternoon. I had dinner with Carole and Don in an excellent Chinese dumpling place called Chop-chop, to the west of the city centre.
On the Monday morning I just had time for a quick look at the Writers' Museum, which covers Scott, Burns, and Stevenson, before catching my train back to Oxford.