Royal Botanical Gardens
Thursday morning we woke up and went to the Pharmacy so that I could ease my travelers sickness. None of the medicine labels are the same in the UK so I ended up having to ask someone to find something for me behind the counter. We went to the Starbucks in Stockbridge and were greeted by a baristo from Colorado! His wife is Scottish so he's been living here for a little while now. I ordered the iced passion tea which you can imagine they had a little trouble making and an English breakfast muffin with egg, bacon, sausage, and bechamel sauce. Gotta love those international food items! Everything in Edinburgh was walking distance from our home for the honeymoon including the Royal Botanical Gardens. We took the walk along waterway towards Inverleith Park and made our way up past the private playing fields and to the gardens. We were so impressed by the amount of free things to do in the city. None of the places we visited charged admission including the gardens. I think the Royal Botanical Gardens were one of my favorite stops during our trip. Being in a garden reminds me of my mom and my mother-in-law and I hope someday I will appreciate their love of gardening in my own home.
We happened to be at the gardens during an orchid show. The exhibit was so beautiful. Vendors from around the world used their orchid plants to create clever displays. Some looked like boats or mini gardenscapes. We ended up picking out an orchid to take home to Pat even though she said she doesn't have much luck keeping her plants alive.
We strolled through the park and soaked in the views of various themed gardens. Alex took note of all the different species of trees while I took some detailed photographs of the most colorful flowers. At one point we saw some ducklings that seemed to be catching the interest of small children and their nannies. We also climbed to the top of a rock formation and soaked in some pretty incredible views of the city (I thought those were breathtaking until we climbed Arthur’s Seat and I really got a sense of what Scotland is like)!
The Queen’s Garden, the Glass House, and the 26 foot tall box hedge really captured my attention but my favorite part was the student exhibit on display. Students had the opportunity to create gardens based on medicine, folklore, or food. Some of them had some really great ideas! The bug motel made from an old tire topped the list. I really got the sense of how personal gardening could be. It was truly an art form! Each person had their own distinct style like you would expect from a painting. Instead of oils or acrylics these students composed using flowers you could see, smell, touch and taste. I wouldn’t trade our day there for anything.
For lunch we went to a place on our way back to the flat called Maxi's. It turns out that one of Pat's former students owns it! It was a cute little cafe with lots of locally sourced and homemade selections. I feel like if we lived in Stockbridge we'd be there all the time. After lunch we headed back up to Princes Street for more shopping. I wanted to get a backpack for when we went to the Highlands that was a little smaller than my actual pack (which had finally arrived the day before) and I also needed to find some gifts to bring back to my family. I found the infamous 1D socks at Primark for Corey. They had everyone but poor Liam. I would have felt embarrassed except that I really like One Direction and didn't really care and the girl helping me look for Liam was extremely giddy about it all. I also found a quaich to bring back to my dad. It's a type of two handled Scottish drinking cup made for whiskey. I never got him a gift for our wedding and in modern times, the quaich has become a wedding favor and a symbol of friendship and partnership so I thought it would be the perfect souvenir from our trip. Later that night for dinner we cooked in again. This time it was stir-fry and egg noodles from Scotmid.