Hogmanay New Year (4 Day Start London) » Review by Maggie "DC"
First of all let me say that my tour manager, Evana, was great--very helpful and knowledgeable and friendly to our group, so anything I say in this review is not related to her great performance as a tour manager. However, I was a bit disappointed with the actual tour itself; I realize this is only the second year that Contiki has done Hogmanay in Edinburgh so perhaps it was still getting its ground, but I felt like the city of Edinburgh was not much of a sight to see, although some people may have disagreed. Our hostel was very nice, comfortable, and hospitable, and we were told that it was of the closest to the inner city--which if it is, it is quite a hike! It was a long walk to get into the city and even then it was mainly just comprised of gift shops and a couple local pubs. The street festival itself on New Year's Eve was pretty chaotic (yes I know, what do you expect), and it was very difficult to get around and see what was actually there. Unfortunately I personally was ill on new year's day so I didn't participate in watching the Looney Dook, although from what everyone said who went, you couldn't really see anything (but like I said I didn't go so this is just what I was told). One thing I will say is that the optional (Scottish Evening) was not worth 35 euros. It was extremely long/dragged-out, the wait staff was not very attentive or polite, the food was not very good--the bag piping was cool and the guy doing the presentation was very enjoyable, however they waited until AFTER dinner was served before starting the presentation, and it ended up going a very long time--a lot of us were really tired and frustrated by the time we were supposed to leave. Since I wasn't spending extra days in Scotland after the tour, I was advised not to go on the optional to Stirling Castle in order to be able to see more of Edinburgh itself, but I really regret not going on that tour because like I said earlier, Edinburgh was not a very impressive city as far as tourism goes. I feel like I didn't get the experience of Scotland that I was hoping for and do need to go back and try again.
Review written Jan 2013event 0.3