Sunny Scotland?

Edinburgh - View from Hotel

Edinburgh – View from my hotel room

As is frequently the case I have been traveling a lot for work recently – after a week in Phoenix, I jetted off to Scotland for meetings and was met with sunshine – a first for me I grew up in the UK and am used to seeing grey drizzly weather  – every time I have visited Scotland for work it has been the same so I was quite shocked and delighted to actually need sunglasses on this trip 🙂

Dundee - view from Hotel

Dundee – view from hotel room

I started in Dundee where our offices are located, staying at the Malmaison hotel for the first time – nice hotel very stylish refurb of an historic building, hip but comfortable  rooms with lovely views. (However the bathrooms had no lighting and there wasn’t a single plug near a mirror for blowdrying my hair in the entire room – clearly designed by a man LOL)

Not a bad place to work from :)

Not a bad place to work from 🙂

After a couple days in Dundee we headed to Edinburgh to stay at The Caledonian (the perks of traveling with a VP means staying in very nice hotels LOL) This is a beautiful old hotel, right next to Edinburgh Castle that has recently been refurbished – absolutely gorgeous! Since I have some status at Hilton properties they upgraded me to a room with a view of the castle, so I can’t complain too much about the twin beds.

The Peacock Bar in the hotel was a great place to set up for my meetings and get a little work done – all the more exciting since the actor Brian Cox was hanging out here too – my brush with celebrity.

Brian Cox - my brush with celebrity LOL

Brian Cox  sighting

Apparently he is originally from Dundee and has a home in Scotland. I think he is a great actor – I enjoyed him in Red, The Grudge and remember he played the original Hannibal Lector in Manhunter.

Timberyard restaurant

Timberyard restaurant

The first night in Edinburgh, my coworkers and I ate at the Timberyard – fantastic food and amazing and unexpected cocktails with ingredients like smoke, marmalade, pine etc. I had one with a picked elderflower in it – so weird but absolutely delicious. It was called Rumpy Pumpy which is a saucy old British term for sex – if you are a Blackadder fan you know exactly what I mean. Of course, I had to order it – now I can say I had some rumpy pumpy in Edinburgh LOL

"Rumpy Pumpy" Cocktail

“Rumpy Pumpy” Cocktail

The next day my meetings ended in the early afternoon and I wasn’t flying out till the next morning so I seized the opportunity to visit Edinburgh Castle.

Roal Palace

Royal Palace

It is the highest point in Edinburgh and also the longest continually occupied Castle in UK I believe – there are some building from the 12th century right up to some built in the 1800’s I explored the Castle, saw the Scottish Crown Jewels and wandered around Grassmarket before heading back to the hotel for dinner. It was an unexpected treat to get such a clear day and take in the incredible views.

Looking down on the low defenses and Edinburgh spread out below

Looking down on the low defenses and Edinburgh spread out below

View from parapets

View from parapets

The Lang Stairs

The Lang Stairs

Meg Mons - Giant cannon & balls

Meg Mons – Giant cannon & balls

Fireplace in Royal apartments

Fireplace in Royal apartments

The Great Hall

The Great Hall

Grassmarket just outside the castle

Grassmarket just outside the castle

One of the many closes off the Royal Mile

One of the many closes off the Royal Mile (Scottish term for alley)

Former church - now The Hub an event space

Former church – now an event space

St Giles

St Giles and record hall in foreground

Royal Mile Grassmarket

Royal Mile Grassmarket

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