This was an unplanned day as far as scheduled shore excursions were concerned, but we managed to fill our time with wonderful sights and a detailed exploration of Queen Elizabeth’s decommissioned yacht the “Britannia.”
We were tendered to Queensferry where we hailed a taxi and headed straight to Her Majesty’s berth in Leith further down the coast. While the ship is no longer in use, it remains almost frozen in time, as if the Royal family were there entertaining world leaders or circumnavigating the world.
Halfway through our tour, we realized the Tea Room on board the main deck was opening; a perfect time for scones and a spot of tea!
Britannia’s tour ended in the spotlessly clean engine room and it was time to start our engines toward Edinburgh. Another taxi ride took us to the Shops of the Royal Mile and ‘The Castle’—Edinburgh’s main attraction.
Having spent so much time “on the yacht,” we decided to look out for an authentic lunch. But first, we took in the medieval and neoclassical beauty of Scotland’s capital, gracefully set among rocky hills and green ribbons of park. We browsed the Royal Mile—the famed avenue connecting the hilltop Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse.
Every pub and restaurant seemed to be overflowing with patrons until we came upon a tiny dead-end side street and the quaint “Stocks Urban Bistro & Bar” at 24-26 St Giles Street. The menu touched all the right spots for us and before long we were enjoying the muscles, linguini, mushroom soup, and vinaigrette salad.
After lunch, the other end of the Royal Mile was calling us to look at the Palace of Holyroodhouse. This is another palace Queen Elizabeth frequents when she’s jaunting around Scotland. She must jump off her yacht and use her Reward Points to stay at these fabulous houses!!
It was getting on in the afternoon, so we decided to get back to Queensferry and board the tender for our return to the Royal Princess!
Tomorrow is the last of our sea days. We’re looking forward to our stop at Le Havre, France and excursion to the Palais de Benedictine in Fécamp—check back later, it should be fun!