Monday, 1 June 2009

Edinburgh rocks!

We rounded off the half term holiday with a trip to Scotland's capital city. It was ridiculously hot (ok, so in the low twenties, but that's just not what you expect north of the border) and we both came home a little redder and with noticeably more freckles than we had last week.

We got an early train on Friday, arriving in Edinburgh for elevenses. We did some mooching around the shops, strolled up Calton Hill to get the fantastic view out across the Forth, wandered through the streets admiring the beautiful and varied architecture, went up to the castle and generally enjoyed the change of scenery.On the Saturday we did more of the same, plus a visit to the Whisky Experience, where we went on the 'barrel ride' to learn all about the Scotch whisky industry, smelled the difference between the products of the different regions and had to choose our favourite. We got to keep the glasses which came in handy for the wine on the hill (the one with the stunning views) with our picnic lunch. In the evening there was an event called 'The Nocturne', a cycling thing being held in Grassmarket. This involved a series of races around a 1.2km loop taking in a nasty cobbled hill. We watched the 'folding bikes' race, where competitors, dressed in their office attire, had to run 30 yards to their folded Bromptons, set them up to ride and then complete 3 laps of the course. Entertaining and with some surprisingly impressive speed at the front end. This was followed by the eilite race, won by David Millar, which was amazing to watch, as seeing this sport on telly just doesn't quite do justice to the huge amount of skill and speed involved.
On the Sunday was the Edinburgh Marathon. I'm not a fan of hot marathons and I prefer the smaller events to the big city ones, but this is a good course that goes out along the Forth and has great support. Plus I met up with several people I know so it was all rather sociable. I was relatively comfortable for the first 16 miles, but then felt a bit dodgy in the heat and put in several walking breaks after that. My final time was 4:23:14, so it could have been a lot worse. Jim had spent the morning taking a stroll up to Arthur's Seat - a challenge in itself as he was laden with his baggage including several kilos of camera equipment. We went for all-you-can-eat Chinese afterwards which was most welcome! The finishers T shirt is a good wicky one that I'll actually use and the medal is rather nice too.

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