Visit to the UK
MB and I traveled to the UK recently, visiting Cambridge, Edinburgh, the isle of Islay, and London, over the span of about nine days. We traveled by planes, trains, ferries, and automobiles. And wow was it cold! But we still had a fantastic time.
If you’re thinking about traveling to the UK for fun, and you live in the US, I have two pieces of advice. First, if you don’t like the cold, don’t go in the winter. Edinburgh (we now call it Edin-brr) in particular was below freezing, with drizzles of rain and flurries of snow, but it was the biting cold wind that really got you. Needless to say I now have a beautiful and well-used scottish wool hat, scarf, and gloves. My second piece of advice would be to be prepared to spend a LOT of money. Prices for everything were about the same as the US, except that they were written in British pounds, not US dollars. So, that dinner that seemed pretty reasonable at 15… pounds? Well right now, given the state of the US dollar, it’s 30 bucks! Everything feels like it costs twice as much as it should. If this bothers you, may I suggest traveling to Buenos Aires instead? Or Saigon? They are both beautiful, and much more affordable!
I’m being a bit cheeky though, because frankly, we had a fantastic time despite the cold weather and high expense. Cambridge is a lovely old town, very walkable, with many old buildings and a quite pleasant little market on the weekends. Edinburgh has a huge, dramatic castle in the center of town, a beautiful palace, and fantastic nightlife (try the haggis!) On Islay, we were able to really relax amidst the many many sheep and oh, did I mention the whisky distilleries? And landing back in London after a few days on Islay was a bit jarring but we had some fantastic curries, visited the Prime Meridian at the Greenwich Royal Observatory, and enjoyed a wonderful boat ride down the Thames. All in all, a very nice vacation.
Here are just a few pics from our journey.
The sheep of Islay:
Straddling the Prime Meridian:
London Eye at Sunset: