This was the first day of our trip that didn’t quite live up to expectations, all because we booked the wrong tour. This is the first time in my travels that reviews for a guide/tour have been misleading….. I guess it happens, not everything can go perfectly every time. The good news is, it won’t be my last visit and I’ll do things differently next time.
We started the day off in Glasgow and our friends in London, we were ambitious in our planning for the day with our friends catching an early flight and then picking up the rental car we would be using the remainder of the trip and us dropping one of our bags at the second hotel we would be staying at in Glasgow (to save space in the rental car) before catching an early train. We had plans to meet at the hotel, the Indigo Princess street, just in time to be picked up by our guide. After taking a cab to the Hotel Indigo Glasgow and dropping our bags, we walked to the Queen street train station, had a quick breakfast there while waiting for our train. We booked first class and found it to be not crowded and a very pleasant experience. Everything mostly went to plan with only a small hiccup with road construction and unclear GPS guidance for the hotel garage, thanks to the helpful front desk staff at the hotel getting on the phone and talking my friends in to the garage, it was only a short delay. It was okay, this was one of the points with our guide, lets call him McBS, that was satisfactory, he was patient and stayed in contact by phone to pick us up at the proper time.
So only a few minutes behind we started our half day tour by car, where we were supposed to do some stopping and looking around along the way, which didn’t happen as much as we were lead to believe it would. We did stop at Bakehouse close to see the famous scene from Outlander, where Claire returns after 20 years, to Jamie. The only other stops we made were to Rosslyn Chapel (a filming location for The DaVinci Code,) some stop in the road on the way to Arthur’s seat (we didn’t actually get to go to Arthur’s seat) and a campground to see some Highland coos that the guide told us he “used to ride as a kid.” We felt like he was, lets say embellishing, a lot of what he told us on the tour so we spent quite a bit of time fact checking during the remainder of our vacation and our suspicions were confirmed. He did provide quite a bit of entertainment for us during the rest of our holiday, any time the fellas stepped out of line, they were called McBS in his honor. He did recommend the Sheeps Heid Inn, the oldest pub in Scotland and a place visited by Mary Queen of Scots. He also informed us about Queen Elizabeth II having ate there, he booked her table for us, the problem was he didn’t tell us he would be leaving us there and that it was a substantial distance from our hotel, shame on you McBS! I suppose it was worth it to experience this bit of history.
As for getting out on foot, my friend and I did get out for a some shopping on the royal mile after finding our way back to the hotel, with thanks to Uber. This is a really lovely area to stroll but can get pretty crowded.
Our other misstep in planning, was doing our pub crawl this night, we were all so exhausted we only made a few of the stops we had planned ( I suppose we will just have to give it another try next time.) We did get to The White Hart, the oldest pub in the city of Edinburgh (yes, that’s how far the Sheeps Heid Inn was from our hotel, it isn’t even considered to be in Edinburgh!) and to Panda and Sons, which you must visit if ever in Edinburgh, such a funky and fun atmosphere!
The next day we had plans to visit some Outlander filming locations outside of the city followed by a dinner of dry aged Scottish beef and a ghost tour! Day 5 was amazing so stay tuned!