Edinburgh Part 1: March 2024

Getting Settled In for the Month: Our Apartment, Food, Fitness, and Transportation

So we’ve been here a week in Edinburgh so far. Early March. Cold and rainy, but overall a great city to visit.

For some reason we’re having a lot of trouble turning around on this trip. We've been sleepy and tired, and taking naps in the middle of the day. But that seems to be correcting after a few days. We're happy that we're here for over a month on a slow visit, otherwise we'd be pushing ourselves to go out and do and see things.

We rented a one bedroom flat in New Town, and it's much better than we had hoped for. Cost was around 100 GBP a night (plus some fees) compared with 160 a night for the local Marriott Courtyard a few blocks down the road. Here are a couple photos:


This place is a bit posh, which was a lovely surprise.

Relieved that the bed is comfortable

Showing these photos is actually a little bit embarrassing. This place is really nice.  We don't ever get a place that looks remotely like this. But we got off-season rates, and we spent a little extra to have a comfortable place since we're going to be spending so much time here. So we're very happy with the result.

We knew Edinburgh before we planned this trip. There's a Marks & Spencer department store on Princes Street and a Food Hall in the basement with a wide range of prepared foods and useful grocery store fare. Based on the map, it seemed very close, but on the ground, we found that it's 3/4 of a mile each way, with some hills, so a bit much for a casual grocery run, but it's a great way to get exercise, which we're always trying to do. 

Scott Monument, Princes Street

We always seem to get sick the first week we travel, and this is no exception. I have a runny nose and cough, maybe due to walking around in the drizzle, without a hat, in the wind. Maybe I got chilled. Who knows.

We like television in the UK! A Place In the Sun, Antiques Road Trip, and Gogglebox, which is our very favorite.

We joined the local Edinburgh Leisure facility, about a 14 minute walk, for the month. Beautiful building, great pool, sauna and steam room, weight room, located in a residential neighborhood. It's a joy to walk to this place. But the walk back is all uphill, which is a chore after working out. More exercise!

On weekdays, we work, so the schedule is not much different from home. I've been working in the kitchen. Kristen has been checking out local short-term office spaces to find a more comfortable working situation. She's tried a few options, including Regus private offices and co-working spaces. We've used many Regus offices all over the world, and have been generally really happy with them. We've tried out a number of co-working companies and setups on this trip. More on that later.  

Office Setup in the Kitchen

Kristen's Coworking Space Nearby

I didn't bring enough warm clothes, so I’ve been shopping for a sweater. I’m OK if I layer things enough, but a sweater would be better. But spring is almost here, and the winter clothing inventory seems to be already sold out.

We've already visited a number of restaurants: Dishoom (Indian), Baba (Mediterranean), Devil's Advocate, Tuk Tuk Indian Street Food, Amarone (Italian), Pizza Paradise, Pret for lunch. Overall, the food quality has been great, but a bit pricey, especially with the exchange rate which adds about 27% to every dollar.

Pub on the Royal Mile

We've also been taking care of essentials. A bus pass is 68 GBP unlimited travel for a month vs. 5 GBP a day If you purchase à la carte. The bus system here has a great app for navigating the system. You just tell it where you want to go, and it will tell you where to catch the bus. Very convenient, and very easy. And Ubers are also usually 4 minutes away.

Blackwell's Bookshop

We have a lot of things planned for the remaining weeks. Visiting with our daughter, dinners at some of her friends' houses, checking out some attractions, some short trips to Glasgow, Stirling Castle and other nearby destinations. We've been here a few times and traveled the Highlands, so we've already visited many of the main sights. Later, for our last week here, we're taking a drive south through England, to the Lake District, the Cotswolds, and stopping in to see some bucket list places, like Bletchley Park, Chartwell, and the Imperial War Museums in London.

Edinburgh Castle

Stay tuned. More to come.

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