Landed at the Double Tree hotel, midday. The taxi driver tells me I’m in the middle of the Pubic Triangle, (an area of Edinburgh between the three most popular strip houses). Good to know, I thought. (I’m a married spud, I’m a married spud, I’m a married spud).
The start of the itinerary had me climbing the largest indoor rock face in the world at the Edinburgh International Climbing Arena. I’d seen Cliffhanger enough times to know that Rock Climbing can be a treacherous hobby to undertake. I did crap myself a bunch of times, but scaled everything I was asked to whilst humming the Bond theme tune.
Later that day, after sinking 4 whiskies, in the Whiski Rooms, and nailing some beers and sea bass in the Cannonball restaurant, John (The Everyday Man) Chris (Ape to Gentleman) and I ventured off to Panda and Sons for some cocktails. The guy on the door eyed me suspiciously.
“Where have you come from?”
“What’s it called?”
‘I can’t remember.”
“What did you have?”
“Don’t remember that neither.”
“Good enough, in you go.”
It was a horrible exchange, but we got in. I sank a Macallan Gold and started to tail spin into a catatonic stupor. My will to socialise had become suitably immobilised and it wasn’t long before I put forward the motion to head back to the hotel. The guys willingly agreed and the night was over, before it even began.
In the morning I head out for and get some pictures of the castle. Just as I set up my spot a bus pulls in and 30 chinese tourists get out and block my shot. Fucking forget I say to no-one, and head back to the hotel for a haggis breakfast.
After brekkie we head out for the last activity, clay pigeon shooting. I’ve done it before on Dan Jones’s stag do, came last, and as a punishment had to walk through Corby services wearing a bikini. This time around I banged 14/20. Chris top scored and the instructor Jamie said he was the best beginner he had ever seen. I won’t lie, I was jealous and hurt. My ego had taken a 12 gauge to the solar plexus. Plus there were women present.
I catch a flight back, fall asleep on the plane. I catch a cab back from Birmingham to Peterborough, fall asleep in the cab as Gurmeet the driver is telling me about his kitchen tiles. I catch a train from Peterborough to London, and type this blog. The conductor asks for a ticket, he punches it. I thank him and call him a cunt in my head, for no reason whatsoever.
Edinburgh top tips
TRAVEL. A cab from the airport to the city centre will cost you £25 ish.
STAY. The Double Tree will cost you £155 a night, the Hostel opposite the Castle will cost you £14 a night and looked half decent from the outside, no warm cookie reception though.
DINNER. The restaurant Cannonball is at the top of the hill by the castle, and go for the full lobster and try the local ale. The local beer is good, ask for a Barney Red Eye, but refrain from asking the waitress ‘Do you know how to make a red-eye young Flannigan?’ Because she’s 23 and hasn’t seen Cocktail.
PUBS. Panda And Sons is out of the way but trendy, nice chesterfields, perfect date venue.
CLAY PIGEON SHOOTING. Don Coyote clay pigeon shooting is the best I’ve been to, starts from £40. Ask the instructor Jamie to shoot a clay target from the hip like Connery does in Thunderball, he will and he can.