I should probably finish writing about Scotland before my Mom heads there in a few days, yeah?
Also because the first post was from, like, a month ago, and the trip was from, like, four months ago. Yeah.
Edinburgh! So much to do and see. We definitely had no problem filling our three-day trip, even with zero prior planning.
So, the night that we arrived back in the city after our Castles tour (which took us down to Northumbria) we asked to be dropped off near the Grassmarket area. Well, we actually had no idea where we were at, but once we drove by the Brew Dog pub house, we yelled up to our fabulous chariot driver, Eric, requesting to stop.
Sidenote: I don’t think Matt nor I (and I’m speaking for him here, so take it with a grain of salt) knew how to properly say goodbye to Eric and our new friends from the bus tour. It was a bittersweet parting after a super magical day.
But, Brew Dog was waiting. That is, until we walked in and couldn’t even find the bar it was so crowded. So we skipped out and walked our tired selves back to the Grassmarket square to find a filthy pub to serve us fish ‘n chips and beer. Mission Accomplished.
After a less than fulfilling dinner (for me anyway) we took a late evening walk down The Royal Mile, yet again.
We popped into a quieter pub for another sampling of Scotch (Matt) and a hot tea (me). I always feel bad being low-key when we could be out meeting new people and soaking up some nightlife…but the quiet back corner with two hot cups of tea were just what I needed. That and some more throat lozenges, which we later bought from a nice old man who told me I was too pretty to be an American and that I looked like a proper Scottish Fiona.
The next morning we slept in a bit, and realized if you get breakfast later than 9 it’s a long wait. No worries though, Matt got his haggis on for the third day in a row, and we set off to climb to Arthur’s Seat in Holyrood Park.
Venturing up the “shortest but hardest” trail, we climbed, sweat through our layers, wheezed a bit, and probably scared some other tourists… Then we made to the top! And, oh the views!
After taking in the sights from the highest point, we decided to explore the rest of the park off the trails. You can wander around the old royal hunting area freely, and we had a good time bumbling down steep parts, sneaking up on birds for better pictures, admiring the locals’ dogs, until I saw, from afar, a flock of white.
Swans. Matthew! To the swans!
Hiking from St. Margaret’s Loch we passed Holyrood Castle and kept going straight up to the ridge of the park that juts out and leads to a steep drop off down a rock face. More stunning views, a quick photo shoot, and getting a little too close to the edge for comfort…
…and we had worked up a good appetite by lunch time. Setting off on foot, we walked back toward the Royal Mile and stopped for lunch at Holyrood 9A. We had a delicious burger lunch (honestly, get the falafel vegetarian burger…omgyummmm) with a
couple few beers (due to a crash-and-burn, full-pint-of-beer spill. Matt’s fault. Oops). Super nice staff, excellent food…now I’d like to go back today just talking about it…
After lunch we tottled around New Town a bit, stopping in a few stores here and there, but mostly it was an exercise in refraining myself from dragging Matt into H&M, TopShop, Zara, and Boots. I regret that now.
We stumbled into a street fair where crafters were set up and they were handing out free pints of beer (uh…yes please). Then we kept walking along Rose St. and Matt almost bought an all-too-expensive jacket from Barbour, which I was not going to discourage because, hell, I was in love with the menswear.
After another couple of hours on foot, we stopped at a random pizza place filled with pretty girls out for a bachelorette party, and sat by the window and people watched. Matt watched a Jason Segel look-alike walk back and forth, and we probably spent too long wondering if it was really him or not. Tired tourists.
The next morning, we caught our flight back home on good ol’ Ryainair. Thankfully, too, because I spent the next week parked on the couch with that lingering cough and cold. Edinburgh might be the best place in the world if being sick (me) and having way too small shoes (Matt) couldn’t even bother us for days.
We plan on going back soon, and often. I told Matt I needed to go shopping there, because at least the girls there have similar body-shapes to mine (unlike Sweden). He said he’d gladly go with me (score!). I didn’t think that excuse would work alone, but if it does, I’m not fighting it.
If anyone has tips on where to go, what to eat, drink, try, do…please let me know! And, like I said, if my Ma talks up her highland tour she’s planned, I’ll likely have another post coming that may or may not detail how to smuggle a “hailin’ coo” out of Scotland…