A Weekend Trip to Edinburgh – Edinburgh Zoo

This is a separate post from the previous posts as there’s a lot of pics to show in this one!

As a Chinese geek I must see the pandas in Edinburgh Zoo! That’s my main reason for going up to Edinburgh. (^_^)v A few of my friends just thought I was crazy and obsessed! Noooo… not really… I blame the BBC for making a good programme about the panda’s journey from China to Edinburgh…

Anyway, as we got off the bus, I started growing with ecstatic excitement! I started skipping along the road because I was so happy… (I think people thought what is this crazy woman doing!).

Outside The Zoo

Miss Pinky and I got there a bit early, so we had an hour to walk around before we went to see the pandas. The first animal we saw was this MASSIVE sealion sleeping on a rock with its tongue sticking out…

Massive Sealion!!

Next it was the flamingos, monkeys, bears, penguins, sleepy hippos, meerkats, otters… and so many other animals!!!!!

Forgot what these red birds are called! But they are with the flamingos! 
Monkeys, Sleepy Hippos, Sunny Bears and Penguins 
Meerkats, Otters and a Hog

Finally, it was time to see the pandas 大熊猫 (trad. 大熊貓). I think they were running a bit late, because people from the 1.30 pm showing were waiting too!

On my way to see the Pandas!

Awwwwwww…. Tian Tian 甜甜 a.k.a Sweety was fast asleep on her back…

Tian Tian 甜甜 fast asleep
Tian Tian 甜甜 still asleep

Yang Guang 阳光 (trad. 陽光) a.k.a Sunshine was munching away at his bamboo…

Yang Guang 阳光 munching away at his bamboo

Closer view of Yang Guang 阳光

Awwww, Yang Guang 阳光 is so cute

We only had 10 minutes to see them – I wish we had a bit longer. But we got to see their habitat too… Well Tian Tian’s 甜甜 playground…

Tian Tian’s playground

They even had a wooden panda sitting outside!

Wooden Panda

After the panda showing, we went to see more animals… Couldn’t find the koala section (I think we passed it, but couldn’t see it). We couldn’t find the Asiatic Lions too… But we saw some of the cats (some in hiding) and the rhinos.

These two rhinos are gigantic!

This fast moving leopard was hard to get a picture of… It just would not stand still! 

Deer or antelopes… Couldn’t find the description 

By the way, the hilltop is very high up – make sure you’re ready for some exercise. I applaud the parents who brought their children up and for those who pushed up the prams!!

A view of Edinburgh from the hilltop – beautiful!

Finally Miss Pinky and I went back downhill and into the shop! ^_^ Some of the stuff were a tad expensive… But it’s all for the zoo. Plus all that bamboo must be expensive to produce for the pandas…

The Edinburgh Zoo shop! I want that wooden panda puzzle – but where am I going to put it?
My small sovenirs ^_^

I hope to go back again, but hopefully with a baby panda being born… Next year??

Geeky Information:

Location:Edinburgh, UK
Address: Edinburgh Zoo, Edinburgh, EH12 6TS

Public Transport: Buses 12, 26, 31, 48 
Website: www.edinburghzoo.org.uk
Purchase tickets online first especially for viewings of Tian Tian and Yang Guang

A Weekend Trip to Edinburgh – Day 3

Our final day in Edinburgh. There was a bit of noise in the evening, but what could we do. At least we got some sleep!
We left before 12.00 pm (check out time) and started walking – taking a small detour towards Princes Street. We could hear a rock band rehearsing in Princes Street Gardens, and so we decided to have a look…

Sunny Princes Street – too bad about the roadworks… 

A rock band playing in the Princes Street Gardens 
Further along there were more bands rehearsing for a Heart and Soul event run by the Church of Scotland. Not much was going, so we walked a bit and did some window shopping.

Another band rehearsing
We finally got hungry, and we still had a couple of hours to kill before we got our train. We ended up in Jimmy Chung’s Chinese buffet which is right next to Waverley Station (Edinburgh Station)… To tell you the absolute truth. I REALLY hate buffets! A single set menu is ok for me, and that’s it! I think it cost £8.95 per person.

Average Chinese buffet food at Jimmy Chung’s
This was probably an ok-ish buffet. Not as good as the ones in London though…
We still had plenty of time to spare, we ended up sitting in a park on the other side of Princes Street. It was nice and sunny… There was a Scottish family sitting in front of us having a nice picnic, so I took a random pic. ^_^ What a nice time to spend on a Sunday afternoon…

A park view on the other side of Princes Street
A family enjoying their day out ^_^ – just a random picture 
Finally we got the 3.00 pm train. Superbreak.com has a few rules and regulations about train times! It was a 4 hour and 45 minutes journey. My bottom was sore and I was extremely tired!

Waverley Station! (Edinburgh Station)
Here’s King’s Cross Station when we got off…

Finally home – it was a long journey!
Geeky Recommendations:

  • Go to Edinburgh for a weekend trip
  • Make sure you have plenty of spending money – prices are similar to London prices
  • Book train trip in advance – reserving seats are better – but using Superbreak.com was ok
  • Bring a raincoat and umbrella plus extra socks!
  • Try Haggis, Scottish ale and Whiskey
  • Go to Edinburgh Zoo ^_^

    A Weekend Trip to Edinburgh – Day 2

    Day 2 – *YAWN*… (-__-)zz

    After a long night my friend and I woke up and went out for breakfast. We walked along Haymarket Terrace and came across a little coffee shop called Sandwich Culture. 

    Forgot to take a pic in the day – Closes early on a Saturday! 
    View from the window seat – just to point out (and if you look closely) there is a reflection of a building, which I thought was in the sky ¬_¬

    We both ordered a Breakfast Box (£3.90), and it was great! Especially the brown bread baguette because it was soft and chewy. The bacon wasn’t salty, the eggs and beans were just right, and the sausage was juicy. Yummy! I recommend this place if you are staying near Haymarket.

    Breakfast Box – Thumbs up (^_^)b

    After breakfast, we got on one of the local buses to Edinburgh Zoo (they call it Zoo only). A day pass costs £3.50. It is worth it if you decide to take a long bus trip (which was what we decided to do later that day).

    A bus stop along Haymarket Terrace – not the one we wanted 

    The zoo is about 4 stops from where we were. Unlike the London buses, these ones are long but they only have one entrance. Purchasing a ticket on the bus was like being on a Hong Kong bus with their coin slot machine! 😀 Also be careful and count the number of stops because the buses don’t have a charming lady saying which stop is next.

    Once we got to the zoo, we saw a lot of MASSIVE animals and for a short period of time we got to see the pandas! (More about the Zoo in another post).

    Outside Edinburgh Zoo

    We took another bus back towards Princes Street, and decided to stay on the bus for a little longer. I took some pics when we got off.

    On a street in Edinburgh

    Our next trip was to Whetherspoons. One of the biggest ones I’ve been to! There were a lot of football fans (and I wish I took a pic of them)! I tried a Scottish ale (Flying Scotsman) and it was great! It almost tastes like a Chinese beer 😀 We then ended up in another Whetherspoons (it was so busy in the other one – and there was no where to sit!). And what did we end up eating…? Haggis!!

    Haggis in Whetherspoons! ^_^

    I liked it, Miss Pinky didn’t. I guess the Chinese will try anything foodwise! 😀 I ended up adding a bit of ketchup and it still tasted good to me! Reminded me of my parents cooking fried mince meat.

    We ended up shopping for a bit, and came across this place… Friendly staff. Cheapish whiskey. And cheapish souvenirs!

    Hector Russell along Princes Street

    Afterwards, we ended up in another pub along Haymarket. I drank some of this Monkey Shoulder whiskey with coke (the barman recommended it), and it really tasted good!

    Found this in The Whiskey Shop in
    Princess Mall near Waverley Station

    By the time we went back to the hotel it was too late to order food (actually we were so tired and couldn’t be bothered ¬_¬)…

    Along Eglinton Crescent – just before the hotel

    So we ended up going out again and eating Indian takeaway!

    Chicken Biryani

    Both Miss Pinky and I prepared for night 2! (There was some noise, but we both managed to get some sleep!).

    End of Day 2.

    A Weekend Trip to Edinburgh – Day 1

    Ack, so I wanted to go to Edinburgh purely to see the pandas that had arrived in December 2011. But Miss Pinky wanted to go purely for the whiskey! So we ended up going to do both! ^_^

    I was looking for a very, very cheap holiday package that would benefit both of our pockets, so in the end I ended up choosing a website called www.superbreak.com. They had the best deal! Two nights at Travelodge (in Eglington Crescent) and a train ticket for £96 per person! Wow! If I had booked this trip using easyJet, I don’t think I would’ve got a better deal!!

    Our train journey started from King’s Cross Station. We wanted to get the 9.30 am train but unfortunately ALL the seats were reserved for that train. This is one of the disadvantages with using this promotional site as they don’t reserve the seats for you. But the good thing is that you can choose any train time (within specific time periods of the day – read guidelines very carefully!) to go…

    It was fortunate that we were able to get seats on the next train at 10.00 am!

    And so we arrived in Edinburgh after 2.30 pm. It was cold! And it was raining, which we were both expecting! We took a taxi to the hotel in Eglinton Crescent because we couldn’t find the way out! It’s actually a short walk from the station (about 20 minutes) – unfortunately we didn’t know that and there are a lot of road works at the moment… 😦

    A very wet Princes Street

    We were both very hungry and ended up eating a pizza at Travelodge just to fill our stomachs.

    The dining area / bar and pizza at the Travelodge 

    As well as friendly staff, the room they gave us was great! One double and one single bed. They didn’t have any twin rooms available at the time but that didn’t matter as long as we had a room to stay in…

    The Room

    After doing a little unpacking Miss Pinky and I decided to go out and have a look around… It was a long walk and we ended up doing some shopping and walking in the cold wet rain.

    Scottish Goodies! I wanted to buy cashmere!!
    So much whiskey plus salesman in kilt! ^_^

    If you do decide to stay around Haymarket, make sure you pass this Designer Cake Boutique!

    Designer Cake Boutique

    Finally dinner time. We decided to eat at the hotel because it was just convenient… I had the top two dishes (chicken goujons and steak & ale pie), the pie was humungous! Miss Pinky ate the bottom two dishes (chicken wings and red thai curry – it was extremely spicy apparently!).

    Sorry for the dark pics – I forgot to the flash on! 

    First night at this Travelodge was a little noisy than expected! I think there was a stag do or a Scottish football match coming up… A lot of doors opening and closing. A lot of men talking. And a noisy breakfast run… Only a few hours sleep (-__-)zzzzz