After our wonderful time in sunny, hot, and absolutely beautiful Cinque Terre, we made our way to Pisa for our flight to Edinburgh. We were able to make an early train from Vernazza to Monterossa. From there it was a direct train to the central Pisa airport. One word of advice, always leave with plenty of time to make your connections since trains in Italy tend to run late. Maybe it’s the casual lifestyle we absolutely loved while in Cinque Terre, maybe it’s the rebellion against the tick-tock clockwork Germans (German trains, when late, were on-time to their late estimates!). We thought we gave ourselves enough time but even on one of the connections we had to break out in a sprint to the next train (they switched platforms on us so we had to go underneath the tracks to get on board).
After arriving at the Pisa Airport we had our last meal in Italy, some pizza and yummy mozzarella sandwiches. We boarded our flight to Edinburgh and arrived two and a hours later!
We always knew we wanted to go to Scotland, we didn’t know where. There are plenty of choices (Aberdeen, Dundee, Glasgow, Inverness, etc.) but we settled on Edinburgh because we would be visiting at the start of the Fringe Festival. The Fringe Festival, or “Fringe” as the performers call it, is an annual theater festival. Edinburgh is transformed into a town of impromptu venues, over 300!, in the universities, parks and pubs. It can be overwhelming with the number of people but the entertainment is excellent and well worth the crowded streets. We were lucky to have our good friends, Rick and Rachel, join us in Edinburgh since Rick lives only about 4 hours away! More on the Fringe later.
Bus Ride from Airport to Downtown Edinburgh
We were renting an apartment for our time in Edinburgh and the main office for the rental was a few stops blocks away from Waverley Station in City Center. We took the Airlink bus shuttle, which cost £3.50 per adult one way (£6 if you buy an open return round trip). I’m not sure how long the ride took but if I were to guess, probably around thirty minutes. Here’s a map of where the bus goes and the stops along the way.
Once we got off, and the area was packed with people, we hoofed it about a million blocks to the rental office. This is where it got a little ugly. The apartment we rented was approximately 2 miles away but the rental agency people told it was “really really close.” Now, even without the added encouragement of “it was really really close,” we probably would’ve walked it. But it took forever.
Hungry hungry hippos
Once we made the hour-long trek to our apartment (it might have only felt like an hour), we started looking for food and settled on a Chinese restaurant nearby. Having eaten a week of German food and some Italian for two days, Jim had a craving for something not of the continent. We settled on a restaurant not too far from St. Andrew Square beside a Barclays. We got some dim sum and the food was decent but I think it tasted a lot better in our memories because we were starving and because it was something different.
After that, we wandered around until Rick and Rachel drove in from England.