Wednesday - York - Edinburgh


Due to travel/driving time, we only had a morning in York, but we were able to squeeze a lot in. After a random fire alarm during breakfast which caused the entire hotel to be cleared out (see photos below), we left for the morning. The hotel was right near the city wall, so we were able to walk towards York Minster. We stayed at a beautiful new hotel (2010) in an old railway building, they did a magnificent job on updating the building, keeping it simple and creating a nice atmosphere. The wall led us right over the river and towards the Cathedral. It was stunning and reminded me a great deal of the architecture in Oxford, UK. We spent some time inside and outside on the grounds. It's all very beautiful, but the Chapter House was a the real gem. It is a smaller room off the main Cathedral that has been used for various sorts of meetings since about the 13th century. The stain glass alone is worth the trip, but it also has a magnificent ceiling and these bizarre heads make faces all around the room.

A walk around town and Bettys Tea House was the next stop. It is right in St. Helen's square and has corner spot with full windows for people watching. The snacks and tea were lovely, but it was all about the atmosphere. That's a lie, my eggs and hot chocolate were super tasty. As we walked around everything seemed closer than it looked on the map which is always a nice change. We walked around town a bit and then started at the beginning of the city wall heading for our hotel to pick up the car and leave for Edinburgh. The wall is a great place to get an overview of the city and is a nice short walk. The wall is 1.9 mi, if you walk all four sections, but each section is on the short side. 

                                                     Not a drill, a fire engine actually came.

I was pretty glad I decided not to sleep in that extra half hour. I would have been out there in my robe too if I had.


The ride from York to Edinburgh took about five hours. We had classic English scenery most of the way, open fields with miscellaneous tree lines that just make you want to walk for hours. The moonrise over these rolling fields is the perfect picture and what I think of when I think of the English countryside, but as I was driving there are no pictures. We were able to see a bit of the sea and cliffs just before dark, but the sun started to set pretty early. We arrived in Edinburgh just after dark, the town lit up was a great entrance and first view. We had dinner at Hanem Restaurant just down from the castle. It was delicious, I highly recommend it. If Middle Eastern mixed food isn't your thing, there are a few good places right in a row on the same street. After the long drive, it was an early night. I went to bed excited to explore in the morning.