Part One - The Boiler Drama
It all started at 1pm on Friday afternoon when I was cleaning the house before we headed off (does anyone else do that, make the house all nice and clean for any prospective burglars who may want to pop in whilst you are away? Lol) and as hoovering the utility room I noticed a massive puddle of water all over the floor. On further investigation (and after much swearing and tutting) I noticed it was coming from the central heating boiler. At this point I freaked out massively and decided to call Mr Bertie who was busy at work and asked if I could sort it out myself. This resulted in me shouting and then putting the phone down on him. I was in the middle of packing for our trip, ironing his clothes and doing his washing to make sure his shirts and trousers were ready for work when we got back late on Sunday night and now he wanted me to be a plumber too during all this?!?!?!? Unimpressed is an understatement!! I told him he needed to come home right now and for once he actually listened and was back within 45 minutes. When he got back he did some things I don't understand (which involved the heating needing to be turned off and the warm water being turned off also) and then called a plumber to come on Monday afternoon when we got back. Disaster semi averted, I finally managed to get packed and off we set to the airport to catch our flight to Edinburgh feeling a lot less stressed and excited for our little break.
Part Two - Motorway Chaos
We began to realise this day was just going to get worse as we got into the car and turned the sat nav on which has a function to tell you the expected time of arrival at your destination. It was now 4pm and our flight was at 6.05pm. Our airport is a 45 minute drive away so by these timings we would have an hour from arriving to parking up the car, checking in and going through security to getting on the plane. A good amount of time and we had also left an extra half hour to factor in heavy traffic. However, the sat nav was predicting the journey to take 1 hour 35 minutes from the point we got into the car. Very worrying, as this meant we would only just make it before check in closed for the flight, and that would be pushing it. But, as it was a Friday afternoon and traffic can be bad on a Friday afternoon we set off telling ourselves this arrival time would change as the traffic cleared away. I was being very optimistic and upbeat but Mr Bertie was quite stressed and certain we were going to miss the flight. I have never missed a flight before and have flown loads, so I figured this kind of thing doesn't happen to me, I am not one of those people it will be fine. Well I was wrong, very wrong.
As we got closer to the motorway there were tailbacks leading to the junction going on to the motorway and as we got closer to the slip road there was a policeman signalling for us to drive past and cars coming up the slip road off the motorway. This was a one way road onto the motorway and the cars were coming the wrong way, very confusing. We then drove over the bridge that crosses the motorway and saw something horrible, traffic jammed bumper to bumper and not moving at all for as far as the eye could see (about 10 miles) we turned on the radio and found out from the news that there had been a massive crash about an hour earlier wiping out the whole of the central reservation. This had resulted in the motorway being closed and cars being stuck whilst they cleared the crash (thankfully nobody was hurt). I tried to stay positive and we began to follow the alternative route to the airport that the sat nav was directing us along. This was a narrow country road that was now full of rush hour traffic that had to follow this route instead of taking the motorway, the sat nav was predicting us arriving at the airport at 7pm! It was at this point that even I had to admit defeat so I called the airline to see if there was a later flight they could transfer us on to (explaining the situation so hopefully they took pity on us and did it for free) The lady I spoke to agreed she could do it for free (hurrah) but that the next flight wasn't until 7am the next morning (boooooo). We couldn't have taken this option as the hotel had a 24 hour cancellation policy meaning if we didn't arrive that night as expected they would still charge us for that night's stay, plus getting there at 8am on Saturday morning would leave us with even less time than we already had planned. We both agreed it would be best to just drive and head off as soon as possible (which was in the opposite direction!!) It took us over an hour to get back to where we started, where we headed off on the 4.5 hour car drive up to Edinburgh. Despite losing £240 on the flights and airport car parking (which were both non refundable) and the petrol costs adding another £100 onto our journey costs, we were both in good spirits and I think Mr Bertie secretly enjoyed having a road trip in his new car. From then on I am pleased to say things got a lot better!
The Drive Up and Checking In
We had a surprisingly nice drive up with no traffic and had a giggle talking about random things as we went. We made a few stop offs and eventually arrived at the hotel at 10.30pm. Any stress about the journey was completely forgotten as soon as we checked into our room, it was gorgeous and full of lots of little gadgets that we both appreciated. At the end of our bed was a HD3D TV with movies and sky TV.
The bathroom had a massive roll top bath made for two (ooh errr) and a TV you could watch whilst taking a soak. It was geek heaven so we were completely at home!
By the time we had got checked in a settled it was 11.30pm so all the restaurants were closed, we had no option but to go to a takeaway instead (highly glamorous!) The first place we went into had all sorts of weird battered objects that we had to ask the lady what they were (battered haggis and battered black pudding apparently, ewwwww) so I asked her if they had anything not battered or any healthy options to which she laughed and said "you're in Scotland now, this is your lot" I found this amusing but wasn't ready to give in an eat some battered haggis so said we would try some more takeaways and come back if we couldn't find anything. She wished us good luck and I could hear her laughing at us as we left the shop.
It turns out she was right! Everything in the takeaways was either battered, covered in cheese or battered AND covered in cheese. I could feel my arteries clogging just looking at it all. In the end we found a place that made us a thin and crispy pizza with chicken (not battered) jalapenos and some 'spicy meat' which tasted ok but that 'meat' turned out to be donner meat, yummy (not!) but we were so hungry we ate it anyway. After that we headed back to the hotel and watched the Terminator in bed whilst drinking beers, it felt so lazy and luxurious. I think we fell asleep about 3am.
The First Day and A Night Out
For our first day we had a sleep in until 10am and then headed downstairs for breakfast, which turned out to be a piece of fruit and a coffee each. I was not impressed as when I booked the hotel I was told we would get a 'gourmet continental breakfast brought to your room at a time of your choosing' but, being English, I didn't complain and we headed out to find a pub to buy a proper breakfast (I must add I did query this when we got back to the hotel later on and they apologised profusely, there had been a mix up, they took £20 off our bill to cover the breakfast we had to buy extra on the first day and brought us a menu to choose our breakfast in bed for the second day and we could choose the time, so all was well in the end. It obviously pays to politely query/complain) After our breakfast we headed to the Edinburgh Dungeons where I spent the next 90 minutes poohing myself at all the dark rooms we were taken through and all the gory stories. On one of the rides (the attraction is a walk through thing but has two rides inside too) I sat hanging onto Mr Bertie with my eyes closed the whole way through saying "what can you see? what is it? Is anything happening?" the couple sat next to me were in hysterics at me. There was an 8 year old kid on our tour who was braver than me, the shame!! I had said if I managed to do this tour without being too scared I would do the underground ghost tour thing but after the way I reacted to this tour and reading Amber's account of her experience of the underground tour, I felt I might be risking a heart attack and decided against it.
We went for a pint of traditional real ale after this to calm my nerves and plan where we were heading to next. I think Mr Bertie found the whole thing rather amusing, he is obviously much braver than me! The weather was beautiful so we decided to have a walk around the centre of Edinburgh looking at the architecture and popping into the shops before heading back to the hotel to get ready for our night out.
Our night our started with a curry at a restaurant near the hotel which was nice but nothing spectacular and then we headed over to The Beehive Comedy club for a night of boozing and comedy. We had a great time, if you are ever in Edinburgh I highly recommend this place. £7 each and you get 6 comedy acts and all get a seat (which is a selling point for me, I can't enjoy these places where you end up standing the whole way through). There was a stag party there who kept heckling the acts but the comedians were great with dealing with them (well most of them were anyway) and stopping them from taking over the whole evening. Also one of the acts who was only about 19 was absolutely hilarious, I need to find out his name and go see him if he is every on anywhere near us. I predict big things for him, I wont be surprised if I see him on TV in the very near future. I haven't laughed so much in ages!
We went for a couple more drinks after the comedy and headed back to the hotel about 1am slightly tipsy and ready for a good sleep.
Here is what I wore on Saturday night;
I will end there (I think I have gone on long enough!) and be back tomorrow with some more photos and tales from the last day of our trip.
Has anyone been to Edinburgh before, do you recognise any of the places in my photographs?