Ballater to Gordons Bay: Sunday May 6

We were up bright and early to pack up. With all our shopping we are still underweight! Breakfast was a treat of scrambled eggs with smoked salmon, bacon, mushrooms and tomatoes. Dave checked out while I sorted out the bags. Our electricity cost us £21 for the week.

back to Edinburgh
back to Edinburgh

We then drove through Perth and stopped at the Powmill Milk Bar in Hook of Devon where we had an espresso each and shared a cream and jam scone (£5.70).

back to Edinburgh
back to Edinburgh

We the drove to the Falkirk Wheel and we were in time to see it work.

back to Edinburgh
back to Edinburgh

After that we drove to the airport and sat in the Servisair lounge while waiting for our flight. Our luggage has been checked straight through which is a blessing given how chaotic terminal 5 is. Edinburgh airport is a duty free zone even though we have not gone through border control. This is the same at terminal 5. Our penultimate whisky for the trip was a Talisker for Dave and a Cragganmore for me. Our flight to Heathrow was uneventful – but BA could learn a thing or two from SAA when it comes to snacks – we got a packet of chips! We tried to claim our VAT back at Heathrow but we did not have the right slip from Edradour as they do not have the slips, and Whisky Castle have not registered. After that we had a snack of sushi before heading to the correct gate for our departure. They can only tell you an hour beforehand which gate the flight is leaving from! The flight was empty so I had two seats to sleep on, and Dave had 4! What a pleasure. Sadly my diabetic meal was full of sugar – but I was given fruit from business class – real crockery and cutlery! We got through border control and collected our cases and we were out of customs within 15 minutes – another lesson for Heathrow. It was then home, after an amazingly wonderful holiday.

back to Edinburgh
back to Edinburgh
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Edinburgh to Ballater: Sunday April 29

After breakfast of bacon and eggs we packed up and left Edinburgh.

on our way to Ballatar
on our way to Ballatar

We drove through Dundee to Arbroath where we bought smokies and scallops.

Arbroath
Arbroath

We took a scenic drive to Finzean Farm Stall. I had elderflower presse to drink and Dave had an espresso. For lunch I had slow roasted cherry tomato and goats cheese quiche and Dave had chicken pie.

Finzean
Finzean

The food and drinks were about £22 and we spent a total of £44.50 there as we did grocery shopping as well.

on our way to Ballatar
on our way to Ballatar

We stopped in Ballater before heading to our timeshare, and took a slow walk around, stopping for coffee before driving further up the road.

on our way to Ballatar
on our way to Ballatar

We are in the Craigendarroch mountains and snow is visable. Our unit is in the forrest and is huge. We have a two bedroom, two bathroom, 6 sleeper. It has a lounge with a fancy TV and sound system, an open plan dining room and a well kitted out kitchen. We have gadgets galore and a dishwasher. The upstairs bathroom includes a sauna and the washing machine. I’m using a drying cupboard for the first time ever. Our bedroom is downstairs and we have a dressing room and spa bath! I am in heaven. We went to take a look at the gym and spa. The swimming pool is tempting but I don’t have a costume with me. We had drinks in the bar, Guinness for Dave and Gaymers original cider for me. Supper started with scallops, pan fried in butter. Mains were pork sausages with a shallot and tomato mix and mushrooms and courgettes flavoured with garlic greens. Wine tonight is Minervois 2009.

Snow!
Snow!

Edinburgh: Saturday April 28

After breakfast of kippers and eggs we went to the Edinburgh Farmers Market on Castle Terrace. We bought razor clams, sausages, shitake mushrooms, eggs and garlic greens.

Edinburgh
Edinburgh

We then walked up to Edinburgh Castle and walked through a working mill before heading back to the apartment to drop the food off.

Edinburgh
Edinburgh

We went to The Advocate for lunch. Dave had Cairngorm Wild Cat to drink and I had Strongbow Apple Cider as it was the only one on tap.

Edinburgh
Edinburgh

Dave ate steak and ale pie and I had haggis with a whisky gravy. The meal came to about £20.

Edinburgh
Edinburgh

We walked to John Lewis and walked around looking at ideas for the house before going to Harvey Nichols.

Edinburgh
Edinburgh

It is amazing and the have a conveyor belt bar for cupcakes and champagne.

Edinburgh
Edinburgh

We went to Sainsbury’s to buy wine and got a lotto ticket.

Edinburgh
Edinburgh

We walked around the National Gallery before coming back to the apartment.

Edinburgh
Edinburgh

We went back to Albanach for our nightly whisky. Dave had Ardbeg 10 year old and I tried Dalwhinnie Distellers Edition.

Edinburgh
Edinburgh

Supper was accompanied by Le Fontegnac Claret.

Edinburgh
Edinburgh

Edinburgh: Friday April 27

We started our day with scrambled eggs, bacon and mushrooms before heading out for a walk. We stopped off at the fishmonger to get haddock for supper and kippers for tomorrow’s breakfast.

Edinburgh
Edinburgh

We then went to the harbour and walked around. We decided to get a day pass for the bus at a cost of £3.50 which was well worth it. We were on and off the bus all day.

Edinburgh
Edinburgh

We went for lunch at The Kitchin and Tom Kitchin came to meet us! We had an amazing experience and the review is going to be long. Our three course lunch started with crudites, artisan breads and consomme before our starter was served. It ended with coffee, petit fours and whisky after dessert.

Edinburgh
Edinburgh

We then went to Oceanview Shopping Centre where we saw naval ships and the royal yacht Britannica. Dave got toffees from Thorntons before we came back to the apartment to drop off our shopping and the signed recipe book from Tom Kitchin.

Edinburgh
Edinburgh

We then went to Holyroodhouse to walk through The Queen’s Gallery where the treasures from the Queen’s palaces are on show. We saw a Faberge egg among other amazing jewelled items and paintings. After looking through the gates at the palace we went back to The Albanach where Dave had Ardbeg Uigeadail and I had Isle of Jura Superstition.

Edinburgh
Edinburgh

There is a price war between Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencer. The sunolive oil we bought was Price Checked! meaning it has been compared to the same product sold by the opposition. The recession is clearly visible not only in this, but in the empty shops and buildings we have seen.

Edinburgh
Edinburgh

The haddock was soft and mild and a perfect supper after our big lunch.

Edinburgh
Edinburgh

this is the view from our apartment!

London to Edinburgh: Thursday April 26

We landed at Heathrow terminal 5 and were told by BA staff we could clear customs so that we could see Kim. After half an hour in the queue we were told we could not clear the transit lounge. So, we went to the departure hall and waited for our delayed flight. We arrived in Edinburgh and our suitcases did not go through customs! We caught the bus into the city and walked up a hill to the apartment. Had a shower and unpacked.

Edinburgh
Edinburgh

We went grocery shopping, posted Kim’s wedding present and bought a data package for our SIM card. Had a wee dram at The Albanath Whisky. Our choice for this afternoon was The Dalmore Cigar Malt Reserve.

Edinburgh
Edinburgh

Dave made lamb chops with tomatoes, mushrooms and carrots for supper and we drank Canti Negroamaro Zinfandel from Puglia.
note: wine is very expensive here!

Edinburgh
Edinburgh