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Back home - trip report and Thanks!

Springfield...
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66 posts
237 reviews
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Back home - trip report and Thanks!
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Hi Everyone,

We're back in the states and we completely enjoyed our time in Edinburgh. We rented 5/3 Clifton Terrace through Edlets, and it is a wonderful flat and the owner is a very nice woman who went out of her way to make our time there special. The flat is right across the street from Haymarket station and all the good buslines run right by the place. Even with that, since the bedrooms are in back, it was pretty quiet! I would tell my best friends to book the place. ( it is up 2 flights of stairs... so not for the physically challenged)

We went on the Mercat Ghost and Ghoul tour, for our dose of the creeps. It was fun, and the guide " Barney" was a cool guy who didn't take himself too seriously.

We booked a day to the Border Abbeys with Craig, from "mini-tours.com" and although it was expensive, it was the highlight of the trip. He's as friendly as a wet Labrador, and knows his stuff - even when grilled by our historian. We were able to see some great stuff that the normal tours miss - like the William Wallace statue - which was very cool. Dryburgh Abbey was voted our favorite.

Another great day was our day trip by train to Stirling. We took the hop-on-hop-off bus while we were there so we were able to see the castle, Wallace monument, interp center and what is left of the battlefields, plus do a bit of shopping. Part of our crew continued by bus to Doune Castle - of Monty Python fame. A great time was had by all.

We enjoyed the museums (my personal favorite - I didn't know you had one of the Canova "The Three Graces" what a treat! ) We walked the Royal Mile, checked out the castle, tried out a few pubs, ate at Howies (yummy), and... Walked up Arthur's Seat, and down the other side - to lunch at The Sheeps Heid. I'd have never known about the place if not for you guys. Wonderful!

Our daughter bought a funky hat in a shop in the Grassmarket. We had a great lunch in an Italian place down there that I can't remember the name. We hiked part of the Leith Walk, strolled through New Town - and spent some money there, and at Jenners.

I'm sure we did more than that, but that's what I remember right this moment. Thanks for all of your help. I'd love to come back some day.

Cheers! M.Elston

Edinburgh, Scotland
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998 posts
1. Re: Back home - trip report and Thanks!
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So glad you enjoyed your visit - and pleased to see yet another glowing report of Craig's tours. I must find out who this guy is - he deserves a big pat on the back.

I wonder if the Italian restaurant in the Grassmarket might have been Mama's?

Southern California
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135 posts
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2. Re: Back home - trip report and Thanks!
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Great report. I am so glad you enjoyed Craig's Mini Tours. We are booked with him in August and can't wait. Question, how did you pick where you wanted to go with Craig? There are so many places to see.

Springfield...
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66 posts
237 reviews
173 helpful votes
3. Re: Back home - trip report and Thanks!
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Hi CA Travel Geek,

When it came down to choosing places, when we decided to pay that kind of money we didn't want to go to the places every tour bus frequents. A collegue of my Husband's is from Scotland and recomended the border country, and Craig heartily agreed - he knows all the back roads, and neat places.

We also didn't want to spend all day in the van, and told him that about three hours of riding would be our limit - we wanted to be out and about! We went to Abbotsford House ( I think I spelled it wrong...) Melrose Abbey, Dryburgh Abbey, Scott's View.... and a place to see the little lambs ( we were there when they were only a week or two old) running around in a field by a river... lovely! We had a picnic lunch, and even picked up a geocache...introducing Craig to the hobby.

Do a little research as to what you want to see. He told us that we could change our mind up to the morning of...he cares not where he takes you, as long as a good time is had by all.

~M.Elston

Scotland, United...
Destination Expert
for South Ayrshire, Glasgow
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15,295 posts
284 reviews
570 helpful votes
4. Re: Back home - trip report and Thanks!
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Glad you had a great time Elston. I went on the Mercat Ghouls and Ghosts tour last week, though we had Faith as our guide, and what a hoot she was too.

I'm itching to know what a geocache is:-)

Southern California
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135 posts
1 review
2 helpful votes
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Thank you Melston -- One more question, did you take your picnic lunch with you or did you stop and get it on the way? Sounds really cool, and we want to do the same as you. Not being in the van all day, but seeing as mutch as we can.

New Orleans...
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522 posts
25 reviews
30 helpful votes
6. Re: Back home - trip report and Thanks!
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Ah, I'm hoping to get in a small amount of geocaching while I'm over there, too. I love caching while on vacation.

Purple - It's a high tech game played with a GPS receiver. You find things (caches) hidden by other players. Usually it's a small container with a couple of small trinkets inside. You sign the log book, take something if you want it, leave something if you want to, and search for another one. (www.geocaching.com)

Scotland, United...
Destination Expert
for South Ayrshire, Glasgow
Level Contributor
15,295 posts
284 reviews
570 helpful votes
7. Re: Back home - trip report and Thanks!
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Wow, I'd never heard of that. Sounds like great fun, in fact sounds a bit like letterboxing, though I've never done that either.

Its amazing the things you learn on Tripadvisor!

Champaign Illinois
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3 helpful votes
8. Re: Back home - trip report and Thanks!
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Hi Melston, Glad to hear you had a great time on the Mercat Tour...we had Jodie as our guide. Greatest and loudest scream I've ever heard! I'm copying the Craigs Tour info for our next trip...we loved the city and surrounding area so much, a lot of it due to these fabulous people here at TA. We used more than just a bit of the info both here and in Glasgow.

We just put together our photo albums...what a great trip it was!Sounds like yours was wonderful!

Maryann

9. Re: Back home - trip report and Thanks!

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